Crowley likely to join race for Áras
FIANNA Fáil MEP Brian Crowley will make a decision next week as to whether he will seek a nomination for the forthcoming Presidential election.
It is expected, having consulted with various senior figures within the party and family members, he will allow his name go forward to contest the election to be the ninth President of Ireland.
The Bandon man is considered a highly credible candidate and is well thought of within the Fianna Fáil party. Mr Crowley first stood as an MEP candidate in 1994, and he has topped the poll in each of the four elections he has contested.
In the last election in June 2009, despite a swing against Fianna Fáil, Mr Crowley received 118,258 first preference votes, making him the biggest vote-getter in Ireland.
Brian Crowley attended Hamilton High School in his native Bandon and later received a Diploma in Law at UCC in 1993. That same year he entered the Senate as government spokesman on Justice, Equality and Law Reform.
A spokesperson for Mr Crowley said he was considering his options and will come to a decision next week: “Once the Seanad election is over, he will speak to people within the party and then make a decision. It is the party who will have the ultimate decision and they will decide if they would endorse his candidacy.”
The spokesperson refuted rumours that an advertisement taken in a number of papers, including today's Cork Independent, was an indicator of his decision to go forward. “That is a totally separate thing,” said the spokesperson. “Mr Crowley is on the industry, trade, research and energy committee in the European Parliament. There are monies that Irish companies can access in grants and he will be assisting these companies. It is completely separate to any Presidential bid.”
The spokesperson added that Mr Crowley has been a consistent vote-getter for his party: “I would be confident that he has the character to be a credible candidate, the Presidency is something that has always interested him but no decision has been made yet.”
He has served on President McAleese's Council of State.
Born in 1964, Mr Crowley is a wheelchair user since the age of 16 after an accidental fall from a building left him paralysed from the hips down. Some years later he survived a serious car accident.
Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin, said he will be discussing the matter with Mr Crowley at the earliest opportunity but also said that no formal decision has yet been taken as to whether or not Fianna Fáil will even contest the Presidential election.
The Election is due to take place in October, and so far Senator David Norris is the only candidate declared. Fine Gael’s Mairéad McGuiness is seeking her party’s nomination, while MEP Seán Kelly and John Bruton are other possible candidates for the party. The Labour Party nomination will be between Fergus Finlay and Michael D Higgins while Gerry Adams is a possible nominee from Sinn Féin.