Retiring MEP refuses to endorse successor
Ireland South MEP Brian Crowley (54) has refused to endorse any candidate to succeed him in the European Parliament as Fianna Fail now faces a bitter internal wrangle over May's Euro elections.
Veteran Cork TD Billy Kelleher expressed strong interest in the position, despite Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin making clear his preference for the Cork North Central politician to remain involved in domestic politics.
Others linked to Mr Crowley's vacated position are former Cork County Lord Mayor Councillor Seamus McGrath, a brother of Finance Spokesman Michael McGrath TD, and Kerry's Senator Mark Daly.
Waterford's Kieran Hartley, who was Mr Crowley's running mate in 2014, is the nominated candidate to replace him should he step down during the current European Parliament session.
However, Mr Crowley has steadfastly refused to endorse any potential Fianna Fail successor. "That is a matter for the party," he said.
Mr Crowley remains suspended from the Fianna Fail parliamentary party after changing political groupings in the European Parliament five years ago. However, he insisted he remains a proud member of the party.