MORE than 1,000 people attended the funeral of MEP Brian Crowley’s brother, Flor, yesterday including Taoiseach Brian Cowen and former taoiseach Albert Reynolds.
Flor Crowley, 42, the MEP’s youngest brother, had been travelling to Mass at St Patrick’s Church in Bandon last Sunday when he was killed after his car skidded on black ice. His wife Aideen and three daughters, Ruth, Sarah and Grace, were also in the car but escaped injury.
Yesterday in the same church, the children, who are all under 11, heard glowing tributes to their father. Brian Crowley said his brother “lit up the lives of everybody he encountered”.
“Life was for the living for Flor. Life was to be enjoyed to the full and shared with everybody else,” the MEP said.
He told mourners that President Mary McAleese had rang him on hearing the tragic news and asked that he give Flor’s wife and children a hug from her.
The MEP said so many friends of Flor had given hugs to the family in the last few days it had given them the strength to continue.
Parish priest Fr Denis O’Leary recalled he was in the sacristy last Sunday when he heard the tragic news that Flor Crowley had died on his way to mass.
“It was a terrible shock, a terrible loss and today we want to acknowledge that huge grief and loss.”
He said Flor had a tremendous belief in his religion and that he and his family were regular Mass-goers.
Fr O’Leary said that Flor had been born in the Bons Secours hospital in Cork just three days before his wife, Aideen.
“They met on St Stephen’s night in 1986 and reared three outstanding girls,” Fr O’Leary said.
He said Flor, who was an accountant, was a great follower of Munster rugby, Bandon GAA, horse racing and Man United.
He described him as the kind of positive person who always saw the glass as half full rather than half empty.
Fr O’Leary said Flor was a caring man who had many friends, but who always put his family first.
Pat Cox, former President of the European Parliament, also attended the requiem Mass along with a number of MEPs including Alan Kelly and Sean Kelly, Brian Crowley’s colleagues in Ireland south.
Senator Donie Cassidy, leader of the Seanad, also came to pay his respects.
Former MEP Kathy Sinnott was also in attendance alongside Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin and Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe. A number of TDs were also in the church. The president was represented by her aide de camp Captain Martin Larkin, while the Gardaí were represented by Chief Superintendent Michael Finn.
Following requiem Mass Flor Crowley was buried in the adjoining cemetery.
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