Crowley denies feud with FF leader Martin
IRELAND South MEP Brian Crowley (FF) and Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin have met just once since the controversy over the party's aborted 2011 Presidential election campaign.
The revelation came as Mr Crowley (49) confirmed he intends to defend his MEP seat in next year's EU and Local Government Elections.
He said he was not taking the nomination for granted and that another FF candidate may challenge him, despite his having won every EU election he has contested since 1994.
He confirmed he plans to challenge for the FF nomination to contest the Presidency in 2018.
But Mr Crowley denied that there is any lingering feud with Mr Martin over the controversial decision not to run a FF candidate in the 2011 Presidential election campaign.
"Yes, we have had just one official meeting (since 2011). Now, I have met him at funerals and such. I met him in Innishannon last month. But MEPs are never high on the radar for any party as regards the leadership," Mr Crowley told the Irish Independent.
"Personally, I don't think there is any problem. The leader of the party has other duties and other things to do. There is a very tough task for Micheal in trying to turn around the fortunes of the party and I think he is doing very well over the past while."
"That (the Presidency) is gone. It is past. It is history. The decision was made and that is it. You move on to the next thing and that is the European and Local Elections in 2014."
However, he said he didn't take an FF nomination to defend his EU Parliament seat for granted and admitted that, for FF and Mr Martin, the European and Local Elections will be absolutely crucial.
"All political parties and all politicians are about winning elections. The personality is only the side issue. It is mainly about getting the best possible result in every election that you put candidates forward in."
Mr Crowley, who was left paralysed after a fall in 1980, has suffered health problems over the past three years related to being in a wheelchair for over three decades.
With his health problems now behind him, Ireland's longest-serving MEP is adamant that he will return to work in Brussels from September, and hopes to contest the European elections for FF in Ireland South (Munster) next year.