Strife of Brian: Crowley’s values drifted from FF
The MEP’s separation from Fianna Fail followed five years of friction
It was a brief conversation, but clearly terse. Brian Cowen was approached by Brian Crowley as he arrived for a function in the Council of Europe's offices, adjacent to the majestic Parc du Cinquantenaire in the European quarter of Brussels.
Later that day, in March 2009, Cowen was due to attend a lunch with leaders from Fianna Fail's new European home, the liberal group.
The then Taoiseach had sprung the move to the staunchly pro-European and reformist liberals, then known as the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR), at the Fianna Fail Ard Fheis a fortnight earlier.