Former Fine Gael TD Frank Crowley dies aged 83

The former deputy for Cork North West held his seat for 16 years after his first general election victory in 1981

Photograph: Alan Betson, Irish Times Staff Photographer.

Houses of the Oireachtas Commission suppliment
Leinster House
Photo taken on 28/3/07

Tributes have been paid to former Fine Gael TD Frank Crowley, who has died aged 83. The former Dáil deputy for Cork North West held his seat for 16 years – throughout five elections – after his first general election victory in 1981. He was also a councillor on Cork County Council for more than 30 years.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar paid tribute to Mr Crowley’s constituency work and what he achieved for Fine Gael.

“He played a major part in ensuring development and infrastructural projects for his constituency and a leading role in providing including flood relief works for Kanturk town,” Mr Varadkar said.

“Mr Crowley helped Fine Gael win two seats for the party in the fiercely contested three seat constituency for six General Elections. Clearly highly thought of by his electorate, Deputy Crowley was rewarded by being returned to Leinster House and carrying on his work across two decades.


“I pay tribute to his work for the constituency, his country and for what he achieved for Fine Gael,” the Tánaiste said in a statement.

Fine Gael TD for Cork North West Michael Creed described his former political colleague as a friend with an extraordinary work ethic “who had a cross-party reputation for honesty, integrity and dedication”.

“I had the privilege of working with Frank when we were both Fine Gael TDs for Cork North West. His work ethic was extraordinary,” said Mr Creed. “At national level he was a fearless advocate for his constituents, and he left no stone unturned in his efforts to serve them.

“I remember his tenacity and persistence in delivering key infrastructural projects, for example the Kanturk flood relief scheme, which was resolved during his time in office. At home in his beloved north Cork he built a reputation for excellence in his approach to public representation in the Kanturk electoral area.

“For Frank it was all about doing the work and helping people. That is what he did, and he did it consistently well. For that reason he was always held in high regard by people of all political persuasions and none. I offer my sincere sympathy to his wife Wynne and their family.”

At a function to mark Mr Crowley’s retirement some years ago, former taoiseach Enda Kenny said Cork North West was “a model constituency of how to run elections”.

Mr Crowley’s life and his work “has touched the lives of Cork North West – he gave great service, long and dedicated hours to people and to politics”, Mr Kenny said, according to a report at the time in the Corkman newspaper.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said at the time: “When I entered Cork County Council for the first time I was still quite green in politics and I saw Frank as a senior figure, somebody who was a rock of sense, and when he spoke everybody listened, and I think that in itself sums him up. He has huge respect in Cork County Council, and particularly within the younger members.”

Mr Coveney said “16 years in Dáil Éireann is fairly special”, and Crowley was “a solid, secure, modest figure who knows what he is talking about and who isn’t afraid to share his experience”.

Brian Hutton

Brian Hutton is a freelance journalist and Irish Times contributor