Tributes have been paid to the former director of the North West Institute of Further and Higher Education (NWIFHE) Peter Gallagher who died at the weekend.
SDLP Westminster candidate Mark Durkan said: “I am deeply saddened by the death of Peter Gallagher who made such a strong contribution to education and training in the North West for so many years.”
Mr Durkan said he was a man who loved the North West and provided valuable personal counsel in the aftermath of the Belfast Agreement.
“He radiated a ‘grá’ for Derry and Donegal and showed a love for the language, lore and landscape of the whole North West.
“He was a man of keen knowledge with a rounded outlook who took the long view.
“I appreciated his counsel and encouragement when, after the Good Friday Agreement, we were drawing up the new government departments for the North and terms and remits for North-South implementation bodies.
“It was personally fitting therefore when I was able to nominate him to serve on the North-South language body Foras Na Gaeilge.
“I also recall his enthusiasm and ideas for prospects at Fort George and Ebrington – including early advocacy of a footbridge.
“In his college role Peter Gallagher managed change, expansion and diversification with effect even when he had his own misgivings about some of the policy context.
“Peter got on with things and he really got on well with people.
“His partnership instinct ensured that community interests and the requirements and potential of local businesses were well reflected in his institute’s outreach.
“As the founding patron of NORBIC Peter pioneered new linkages between teaching, enterprise, innovation and sector support with an approach that became a pathfinder for others.
“I extend my sincere condolences to Peter’s wife Margaret and to all of his family and friends at this very sad time.”