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Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy

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Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy

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Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy

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Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy
Snippet Contents:

I would like to be associated with the tributes to Bernard McGlinchey. Like Senator Cullinane, I did not know him but, having heard the moving accounts of him by Senators MacSharry and Ó Domhnaill, I believe we got to know him a little better. He was born in 1932 in a county which, as we know, is only barely attached to the rest of this State by the three or four miles of territory between Budoran and Ballyshannon. The county was often neglected and experienced very strong emigration to Scotland on the Derry boat. In the late 1930s, there were petitions by thousands of people in Donegal asking to leave the State because they had become so disillusioned. I have heard the historian Éamon Phoenix talk about the last petition, which was in 1937. The Border runs down the middle of the area between the four churches in the small town of Pettigo. Two of the churches are in Fermanagh and two are in Donegal. Donegal was so remote from the rest of the State that it needed a champion in Bernard McGlinchey. By all accounts, it got a champion in him, and that is why the park is called after him. One must acknowledge his role in having the Department of Social Protection offices located there, in addition to his role in respect of Letterkenny General Hospital and the regional technical college, which later became the institute of technology, a noted part of the infrastructure.
Donegal is a unique county in which three languages are spoken, namely Irish, English and a strong Ulster Scots. It was served by a unique representative who, as we have heard, was re-elected repeatedly. Donegal needed a champion and obviously had one. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.