18th October

SFPA pays tribute to former colleague Pat McGarvey

Pat McGarvey photo

SFPA Statement

The death has been announced of Pat McGarvey who retired from the Sea-fisheries Protection Authority in 2011.

Pat worked with the SFPA since its establishment in 2007 as a regional expert in food safety and fisheries conservation, particularly along the northwest coast. Nationally he was a manager and key decision-maker and expert in conservation of pelagic fisheries.

With a background in salmon fishing off the Donegal coast, his career in conservation began when he joined the Department of Fisheries in Dublin in 1968. His in-depth knowledge of fisheries and local community issues along with his dedication and unstinting efforts had a meaningful impact both within the public service and the fishing industry.

Pat was also a pioneer in conservation, and was one of Ireland's first fisheries representatives when it joined the European Economic Community, working with the Department of Agriculture & Fisheries.

Pat also held the honour of being Ireland's first European fisheries inspector, serving a five-year term with the European Commission. He then returned to Killybegs to serve as the senior manager in Ireland's premier pelagic port and was part of the management team in the Department of Communications and Natural Resources and later with the SFPA.

Pat's opinions and ideas were keenly sought at many technical workshops; his practical approach to difficult technincal issues was widely respected. Few could equal his knowledge and experience of all technnical aspects of pelagic fisheries regulation within the EU and Third Countries.

Pat was dedicated to a concept of fairness - whether that was towards an individual fisherman within a port, or a port within Ireland or to Ireland within a community of countries. He would defend the best interests and reputation of Killybegs, Donegal and Ireland, in the face of criticism or challenge from any quarter. 

He was completely dedicated to ensuring the ocean's wealth would be there for the benefit of the next generation and that valuable pelagic fish stocks would not be damaged through overfishing.

"We extend our deepest sympathy to Pat McGarvey's family. Pat played a major part in shaping the SFPA; his energy, determination and unfailing support are well-remembered by his colleagues," remarked Susan Steele, chair, SFPA.

"His influence extended beyond the SFPA itself and he use teh extensive contacts that he developed throughg a long and successful public service career in Ireland and with the European Commission to great effect in supporting Ireland's pelagic fishing fleet.

"May he rest in peace."

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