Following the announcement that Brian Crowley has decided to retire from the European Parliament, Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin has paid tribute to his long career of public service.

Deputy Martin commented, “Brian’s life has been one of service to his community and to the country. His personal story has also acted as an inspiration to many people as he refused to allow his disability, following an accident at 16 years of age, to hold him back from his vocation of public representation, in any way.

“Former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds recognized in Brian a person of great dedication, talent and charisma, and appointed him to Seanad Éireann in 1993. Shortly thereafter, in 1994, Brian sought a mandate for the European Parliament and has been returned there ever since, enjoying extraordinary support from the Irish people.

“Brian was dedicated and dogged in serving the people that voted for him in great numbers. He approached all issues with great enthusiasm and detail. He was a passionate advocate for opening up the European institutions to the people and throughout his career he encouraged and welcomed people from all walks of life to visit Brussels and Strasbourg so that they could see how the EU parliament works.

“In recent years, Brian’s health has suffered and I understand that his decision to retire will not have been an easy one, but I also know that Brian is a person of great resilience and great faith and I wish him the very best as he works to achieve a full recovery to good health,” concluded Martin.