George Galloway was born in 1954, in the industrial Scottish city of Dundee, though in the Irish quarter, Lochee, known by all as Tipperary or just “Tipp”.
His father, the original George Galloway Senior, was from a poor Scottish family of jute mill workers who had moved from the land where they were agricultural labourers at the turn of the 20th century.
His father’s grandmother, for reasons as yet unexplained, was probably the only woman in the 19th century to emigrate FROM New York TO Dundee… Perhaps she got on the wrong boat!
Both of Galloway’s grandfathers fought throughout the Second World War in the 8th Army under Montgomery at El Alamein in North Africa and at Monte Casino in Italy most notably.
George Galloway Senior left school at 14, served his time as an electrician, became a factory worker on the assembly line at the National Cash Register company, working his way up to the title of electronic engineer. Made redundant in his 40s, he went to university as a mature student and became a schoolteacher! He was a lifelong member of the engineering union AEU – now a part of Galloway’s own union Unite. He was an active member of the Labour Party and died just prior to Tony Blair’s victory in 1997.
His mother, Sheila O’Reilly, is of Irish background from the town of Granard. His Irish relatives, O’Reillys, Dougans, Floods and Feeneys, made sure there was nothing he didn’t know about the crimes of British imperialism.
His mother, now 84, also left school at 14, worked in Dundee’s then famous Hat Factory, in Lochee’s Fish Cannery and as a school and public library cleaner.
Galloway has a younger sister, Colette, who worked in a local university and has two children and one grandchild, and a younger brother Graham who is a computer whizz kid with three children.
Galloway has five children and four grandchildren, is happily married to Dutch-Indonesian artist, anthropologist, TV presenter and film producer Putri Gayatri Pertiwi. They live in London with their son Toren Mustaqim and daughter Órla Dhien.