Fianna Fail’s only MEP Brian Crowley jumps EP political groups…

Oh, and here’s some more bad news for Micheal Martin (this time it is actually real bad news)…

So, his only MEP has gone rogue and swung back to the right [with the British Tories? – Ed] to join the ECR group and leaving the much diminished Liberal ALDE group of MEPs.


That’s Double Ouch actually in the sense that in both 2009 and 2014 EP elections Crowley rode out his party’s drop in the European poll… A parting of the ways now, would leave Fianna Fail with no European representatives in Brussels.

Micheal Martin apparently is furious…

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  • megatron

    It could have been worse. Crowley could have jumped ship before the euros. If I was MM I would be thinking that he wasnt around for the long haul anyway and he probably didnt have MM’s best interests at heart.

    Probably setting himself up for a run at the park as an independent – might even suit FF to keep themselves out of that field from a financial point of view. Given Gay Mitchell’s performance for FG (and McGuinness to a certain extent) and the now well established independence of the office it seems the park elections are a no-win game for political parties.

  • Nordie Northsider

    ‘it seems the park elections are a no-win game for political parties.’

    Not so sure about that. The current incumbent is Labour and Mc Aleese was FF.

    It’s hard to see what Martin can do here. If he lays down the law, Crowley could say cheerio. If he lets a MEP dictate what European grouping FF belongs to, then he looks like he’s lost control. This has implication for the ongoing SF vs FF duel as well. FF leaders are constantly harping on about SF not being enthusiastic enough about Europe. In fact, it’s one of the reasons Martin routinely brings out when explaining why he couldn’t possibly enter coalition with SF. What now, when FF’s only MEP unilaterally signs up with euro-skeptics?

  • Jagdip

    Just where does Micheal Martin find in himself such a commendable reserve of “fury”, what with that bloody woman Mary Hanafin defying him in the recent local elections, Niall Collins mortifying him with pleas of clemency to a judge for a convicted drug dealer, Eamon O’Cuiv unrepentant about his pleas for prison clemency for a convicted killer and what’s that sound in the background, why, it’s Michael McGrath sharpening the knife to be imminently plunged between the shoulder blades. So depleted is FF’s representation in the Dail that Micheal can’t fire anyone even if wanted to because they’re all spokespersons, with many doubling up.

    FF had a rotten Euro election with Brian Crowley a special case romping home signally minus any association with FF, FF won’t be happy about the Dublin West by election, are nowhere in the forthcoming Dublin South West or Roscommon/Leitrim by elections. They did fair enough with the local elections, because they had a volume of good candidates and the electorate wants to punish FG and Labour, but Micheal will need more than fury to survive into the Autumn.

  • ALDE has shrunk since last Parliament, and ECR has enlarged. Perhaps this is more a matter of being associated with at least as powerful a group, and switches usually come with offer/promise of important committees etc. When you are one, fairly easy to jump. UUs have jumped ‘groups’ frequently.

  • Mick Fealty


    Agree with that. Martins pro EU stance was not universally popular in the party, nor with the mood in the country. His hands are tied a little in this since it really is Crowley’s call.

  • Jagdip

    “Brian unfortunately had no discusssions with the party leadership before taking the unilateral action” says the FFers’ whip this morning.

    Brian was a candidate on the ALDE banner, up to yesterday (as evidenced by Brian’s website) said the whip on RTE.

    MM had discussions with BC a few weeks ago about staffing, about Irish staffing working for the ALDE group, but whip understands those issues were resolved.

    Is MM’s leadership now under threat? “Absolutely not” says the whip.

    So, BC, who is in hospital at the moment according to RTE, may yet be booted out of FF, leaving the FFers with no MEP for the first time in their history (since 1973 when Ireland joined the then EEC). In 2014, after three years of the unpopular austerity policies of FG and Labour, it’s not looking good for Micheal Martin.

  • Mick Fealty


    I heard that speculation yesterday, but decided to await events rather than anticipate them… Some (were you one of them?) here were predicting MM would be finished if they only came home with one MEP…

    Personally I think he’ll have to tread very carefully round Crowley…

  • Roy Walsh

    Radio Eireann carrying, as is Slugger, that Brian Crowley is losing the Fianna Fail party whip, then again, so have other’s previously, on broadly the same issue.
    What no one is saying is, has Brian Crowley moved to reflect the feelings of those who elected him in South last month?
    Equally, it was the unilateral dictat of Martins predecessor Brian Cowen that the party move from the less europhile UEN to ALDE so, it now appears Brian Crowley has done no more than redesignate roughly where this party were six years ago and I should expect, where many of their older membership feel more politically comfortable.

  • cynic2

    Merge? But unless the trough enlarges howwill be all find room to get to the swill?

  • Greenflag

    So FF are not in Dublin nor at Stormont nor in Europe ?
    Where are they then ?

    At sea one supposes .

    Could be worse . Labour’s at sea two minus any lifeboats and storm’s ahead .

  • Jagdip

    @Mick, I think the FF performance in the local elections and doubts about Micheal McGrath’s preparedness might save MM for now. The party might want to see how McGrath responds to Buget 2015 in October this year. McGrath has not been outstanding in his responses to 2011-2013 budgets.

    On the other hand with betting that the next GE will take place in 2015 (PP says 1.1/1 for 2015 and 1.6/1 for 2016), FF will want a new leader bedded in, and the FG/Lab reshuffle/summer recess might be the time for a change in leadership. FF will want to avoid the debacle of Cowen’s messy exit in early 2011 and the subsequent melt-down at the polls. “Politics for Dummies” suggests a new leader needs a 12-month bedding in period to establish themselves for a GE.

    Don’t write off FF. Their performance at the local elections demonstrates they have a strong network at local level, they are far more sophisticated than SF as a traditional political party (as by the way is Labour). I don’t think a FF/FG merger would be considered unless there was a decade of wilderness.

  • Greenflag

    @ jagdip,

    ” they have a strong network at local level, they are far more sophisticated than SF as a traditional political party (as by the way is Labour).”

    Has it perhaps ever dawned on you that Irish people (among other voters in other anglophone countries )are becoming more than a little pissed off with ‘sophisticated ‘ parties who deliver economic austerity and apparently haven’t a clue about the financial world we all live in . Not just FF of course . Theres a reason why both SF and independents are together garnishing almost half the voters and perhaps more in the next election.

    FF have been a pathetic opposition -they could’nt do worse if they were represented at Stormont 🙁

    As for writing them off ? I would’nt . But I would imagine that with another strong election performance fro Independents and a big increase for Sinn Fein along with a probable near extinction for Labour FF will have little alternative but to merge with FG come the next election .

    In retro Gilmore may leave the Labour Party in it’s worst possible shape and lowest representation since the infamous inept Tullymander handed FF a landslide victory in the 1977 election.

  • Jagdip

    @Greenflag, you might be right, but I don’t see the Shinners going anywhere fast in the South. Can you name a successful left wing party in any other country in the globe that is not aligned to the trade unions? For all Labour’s woes, they still have a monopoly with the unions.

    FF, like democracy, might be the worse form of government, until you consider the alternatives. As regards traditional politics, the Shinners are still beginners The South doesn’t appreciate the success of the Shinners in the peace process, they’re just another (newish) leftwing politicial party.

    At the next GE, SF will probably get 30 seats, FF 40, FG 45, Labour 15, Independents 25. Unless they’re willing to abandon a tie-up with “giving cover” to a centre right govt, they’re probably going to be in Opposition.