Brian Crowley

Brian Donal Crowley (born 4 March 1964) is an Irish former Fianna Fáil politician who served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the South constituency from 1994 to 2019. He served as a Senator from 1993 to 1994, after being nominated by the Taoiseach.[1]

Brian Crowley
Member of the European Parliament
In office
1 July 1994  24 May 2019
In office
12 February 1993  1 August 1994
ConstituencyNominated by the Taoiseach
Personal details
Brian Donal Crowley

(1964-03-04) 4 March 1964
Blackrock, Dublin, Ireland
Political partyFianna Fáil
RelationsFlor Crowley (Father)
Alma materUniversity College Cork

He is a wheelchair-user as a result of an accident he suffered at age 16.[2]

Early and personal life

Crowley was born in Blackrock, Dublin in 1964, but was raised in Bandon, County Cork, where he attended Hamilton High School.[3] He received a diploma in law in 1993 from University College Cork. His father, Flor Crowley, served as a TD for various Cork constituencies for most of the period between the 1965 general election and the February 1982 election.


In 1993, he was nominated by the Taoiseach Albert Reynolds to the 20th Seanad Éireann.[4] At the 1994 European Parliament election he was elected to the European Parliament for the Munster constituency. He retained his seat at the three subsequent elections. He was a member of Ireland's Council of State from 1997 to 2004,[5] Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the delegation for relations with the United States. Crowley also served as a substitute member of the Committee on Legal Affairs.

Crowley stated in an interview with The Irish Times on 29 September 2008 that he would like to run for President of Ireland at the 2011 presidential election.[5]

On 12 February 2009, the Committee on Legal Affairs of the European Parliament approved a report drafted by Brian Crowley to extend the copyright term of music recordings from 50 years to 95 years.[6][7]

He was co-president of the Union for Europe of the Nations until 2009, when Fianna Fáil joined the ALDE group.

In June 2011, Crowley refused to release details of his expense and allowance claims as a member of the European Parliament.[8]

Again in July 2011, Crowley declared to Fianna Fáil party colleagues, that he was available to run for the presidency,[9] but had been advised by party colleague Fianna Fáil TD Willie O'Dea not to seek his party's nomination.[10] In the context of failure to be nominated for the presidential election by his party, Crowley withdrew his candidature for the nomination.[11][12]

From 2011 to 2013, Crowley had trouble with sores on his legs arising from his paralysis.[13] These required repeated treatment which kept him out of the public eye.[13] In July 2013, he said his health was improved and he intended to run for re-election in 2014.[13][14]

In June 2014, he joined the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the European Parliament, against the wishes of the Fianna Fáil leadership.[15] He lost the Fianna Fáil party whip on 24 June 2014.[16] Fianna Fáil stated that the principles of the ECR group were incompatible with the party.[17]

In December 2015, concerns were raised about Crowley's frequent absence from the European Parliament due to ill health.[18] A news report in May 2016 stated that Crowley had failed to attend any votes since being re-elected over two years previously.[19] In March 2018, Politico Europe included him in their list of "The 20 MEPs who matter, for the wrong reasons".[20] In June 2018, the Irish Examiner reported that Crowley had not voted in the Parliament since his re-election on 2014.[21] He has not cast a single vote in the 2014 to 2019 session.[22]

On 17 January 2019, Crowley announced at a news conference that he would not seek re-election in the European elections in May 2019, and would be retiring from public life.[23]

See also


  1. "Brian Crowley". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 29 September 2008.
  2. O'Connor, Aidan (12 May 2009). "Crowley tells wavering voters to hang tough". Irish Independent. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
  3. "Crowley likely to join race for Áras". Cork Independent. 24 April 2011. Archived from the original on 4 January 2012.
  4. "Brian Crowley". Retrieved 29 September 2008.
  5. "Fianna Fáil MEP Crowley says he would like to run for president". The Irish Times. 29 September 2008. Retrieved 29 September 2008.
  6. "Music copyright to be extended to 95 years". European Parliament. 12 February 2009. Archived from the original on 15 February 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2009.
  7. "Extending copyright is music to major labels' ears". The Irish Times. 23 January 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2009.
  8. Byrne, Luke (24 June 2011). "Two MEPs in President race refuse to give expense details". Irish Independent.
  9. Sheahan, Fionnan (29 July 2011). "Crowley seeks FF nod to join race for Aras". Irish Independent.
  10. Minihan, Mary (19 August 2011). "Crowley advised against Áras bid". The Irish Times.
  11. "Another fateful blow dealt to the Soldiers of Destiny". Irish Independent. 17 September 2011.
  12. "Michael D heads presidential poll but 33pc yet to decide". Irish Independent. 8 September 2011.
  13. Ó Fátharta, Conall (8 July 2013). "I wanted my legs amputated, says MEP Crowley". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  14. Riegel, Ralph (8 July 2013). "Crowley denies feud with FF leader Martin". Irish Independent. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  15. "Crowley angers Fianna Fáil by joining conservative euro group". RTÉ News. 23 June 2014.
  16. "Fianna Fáil's only MEP has joined a Eurosceptic grouping led by Britain's Tory party". Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  17. "Brian Crowley loses Fianna Fáil whip". RTÉ News. 24 June 2014.
  18. "Absent MEP Crowley has no staff in Brussels". The Sunday Times. 6 December 2015.
  19. Lynch, Suzanne (11 May 2016). "Attendance rate of Irish MEPs at European Parliament improves". The Irish Times.
  20. "The 20 MEPs who matter, for the wrong reasons — The ranking". 22 March 2018. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  21. McEnroe, Juno (5 June 2018). "Renewed calls for MEP Brian Crowley to resign or clarify position". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  22. "Brian Crowley". Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  23. "MEP Brian Crowley announces retirement on health grounds". RTÉ News. 17 January 2019. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
European Parliament
Preceded by
T. J. Maher
Member of the European Parliament for Munster
Succeeded by
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of the European Parliament for South
Succeeded by
Billy Kelleher
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