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Peter Gallagher: Life-long educationalist who had a passion for Irish language

Leading educationalist Peter Gallagher, a former director of the North West Institute of Further and Higher Education, has died after a short illness. He was 75.

His influence stretched far beyond his native city of Londonderry. He spent his whole career in education, first as a teacher in both primary and secondary schools, then as Principal/Director of the Regional Technical College in Letterkenny and, latterly, as Director of the North West Institute. In addition to this demanding role, Peter worked to establish Customized Training Services and Noribic, a not-for-profit business innovation centre. He also served on a large number of national boards and committees.

The Derryman had a lifelong interest in the Irish language. In 1964 he was a founding member of the Irish College at Glenvar in Co Donegal and during the 1960s and 1970s he taught in Anagaire and Rann na Feirste. He also served on the North-South language body, Foras na Gaeilge, and on the Queen's University Belfast Senate.

Mr Gallagher was passionate about local history, traditions and culture. Other passions were for drama and sport, including Gaelic football.

Mr Gallagher's daughter Aine described her father as a man of deep faith who had worked right up until his death to help, encourage and comfort others.

"What should have become a 10-minute walk along the quays in Derry could have taken hours with Peter, as there were so many stops to exchange stories and laughter with people along the way," she said.

Mr Gallagher is survived by his wife and best friend Margaret, whom he met at Queen's University in 1959, his four children, Aine, Conal, Paul and Maire, his daughter-in-law Veronika and granddaughter Eva (3).

Belfast Telegraph


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