Gallagher, Patrick Joseph (1909–94), businessman, was born 28 February 1909 in Cashell, Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo, one among six sons and three daughters of Matthew Gallagher, farmer, of Tubbercurry, and Margaret Gallagher (née Reilly). He was educated at Tubbercurry national school before leaving for America in 1929. There he attended central high school and Temple University in Philadelphia, where he graduated B.Comm. He later attended TCD, where he graduated MA and DPA. In America he served in the US Army Air Corps (1942–5) and in the Office of Price Administration (1950–51).
In 1952 he returned to Sligo, where with two of his brothers he set up Gowna Wood Industries. The company lasted only a few years, but by 1958 the brothers had set up Basta Ltd in Tubbercurry, a company involved in the manufacture of locks and builder's ironmongery products. The business flourished, and at its peak employed 300 people. Other businesses were opened in Tubbercurry, including Industrial Foundries Ltd, which performed die casting in brass, zinc, and aluminium, and the Tool and Gauge Co. of Ireland, precision tool makers and mould makers. Some of Gallagher's brothers, especially his brother James, had been involved in the construction industry in Britain while he had been away, and had returned to Ireland with a number of property interests in England and Ireland. From this the Gallagher Abbey group emerged, containing Abbey Homestead Ltd (London) and Abbey Homestead (Ireland) Ltd. The Gallagher Abbey group soon came to encompass almost all the Tubbercurry businesses, with the exception of the Tool and Gauge Co. Gallagher sat on the board as deputy chairman of the Abbey group; the chairman was his brother James, who also chaired the Sligo businesses. In April 1973 Torc Manufacturing Ltd, in a reverse takeover, acquired the share capital of Abbey Homesteads and the Gallagher Abbey group. The enlarged entity was floated on the stock exchange in May 1973, enabling it to raise sufficient funds to maintain its prominent position in the construction sector. In the 1980s Gallagher took over as chairman of the group. He also chaired a body called Earlsfort Developments Ltd, which was concerned primarily with the former Alexandra College site, and which had been placed in a trust held by his brothers. He also founded and chaired the P. J. Matthews group, bathroom specialists, which in January 1987 was put into liquidation. A buyer of the group later emerged, who retained the P. J. Matthews trading name.
Gallagher sat as a member of the executive commission of the Trinity College Dublin Trust, and was a member of the Social and Statistical Inquiry Society of Ireland, the Dublin Grand Opera Society, and the RSAI. He died 5 November 1994 at the Blackrock Clinic, Co. Dublin, after a short illness.
He married (1944) Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Joseph Gleason of Tullamore, Co. Offaly; they had three sons and two daughters and lived in Shankill, Co. Dublin, and later in Donnybrook. He was the uncle of the jailed property tycoon of the 1980s, Patrick Gallagher. His youngest sibling, James (b. 1920), served as Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo–Leitrim (1961–73, 1977–81).