Pat the Cope was born in Burtonport and has lived in Dungloe, Co.Donegal all his life where he attended Roshine and Luinneach National School and thereafter Dungloe High School and Coláiste Éinde Gaillimh.
He obtained his Commerce degree from NUI Galway in 1970. From 1970 to 1981, he was involved in the fish processing sector. Pat the Cope has been married to Ann Gillespie for over twenty five years. He has been a board member of the Rosses Community School Board of Management, Killybegs Tourism and Training College and the Donegal Vocational Education Committee to name but a few.
An enthusiastic GAA and Celtic FC supporter, he follows both as much as he can.
His listed priorities:
Job creation is key for Donegal: Creating an environment for job creation throughout the constituency, sustaining existing employment, supporting the indigenous & SME sectors is vital for our economic future.
Saving Rural Ireland: Sustaining our rural communities by providing the necessary services and investment - broadband, rural policing, rural schools, access to health and other essential services.
Education: Fianna Fáil commits to investing in education both primary and secondary. The continuous support for LYIT and Killybegs school of tourism as the county’s third level colleges.
Healthcare: Fianna Fáil is committed to investing in healthcare to provide a health system that delivers for the patient, prioritising mental health, home-help and care. The health service requires additional investment, additional staff and capacity in order to meet current demand.
Agriculture & Fisheries: Sustaining our farmers and farm enterprises by supporting the family farm model and rural way of life. Committed to delivering a seafood industry that is strong ensuring sustainable employment. A sector that creates employment in coastal communities by allowing the expansion of the catching, supply and processing sector.
Tourism: Tourism is the heart of the economic development of Donegal. It offers great employment potential and I will work with all the stakeholders in maximising these opportunities.
Infrastructure: Donegal needs greater investment in its road network. I will work to increase investment in National Primary / Secondary roads and county roads throughout the constituency. I propose that the Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) be reintroduced for non-county roads.
Constitution: I will oppose the repeal of the 8th amendment of the constitution.
Gaeltacht: Fianna Fáil proposes to have a full cabinet Minister for the Gaeltacht. Restoration of funding to both Udaras na Gaeltachta and Roinn na Gaeltachta, to reintroduce directly elected board of Udaras na Gaeltachta.
Taxation & Water Charges: Abolish the universal social charge for all income earners under €80,000, Abolish Irish water. Water charges to only be considered when the water infrastructure meets quality and supply standards and leakages are eradicated.
Social Welfare: Prioritise and increase support for all vulnerable in society with special focus on carers, single parents, elderly and social welfare dependant families. Guarantee social welfare entitlements for part-time, seasonal and self-employed.
Recent Floodings: Provide funds & plans to combat future flooding in areas prone to flooding in the constituency.