Former Fine Gael TD and Cork county councillor Frank Crowley has passed away aged 83.
Mr Crowley served as a TD for the Cork North-West constituency and was first elected in 1981, topping polls in 1991 to become the councillor for Kanturk.
Mr Crowley was re-elected five times before losing his seat in 1997.
He spent over 30 years as a member of Cork County Council and has been described as “a fearless advocate for his constituents" in the wake of his death.
Describing the 16 years Mr Crowley served his constituency, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar said: "Throughout this time, Mr Crowley helped Fine Gael win two seats for the party in the fiercely contested three seat constituency for six General Elections.
"Clearly highly thought of by his electorate, Deputy Crowley was rewarded by being returned to Leinster House and carrying on his work across two decades."
Mr Varadkar continued: “Like his father Pat before him, Frank was also a member of Cork County Council from 1974 to 2004. He served as Cathaoirleach in 1987 and 1988.
"He played a major part in ensuring development and infrastructural projects for his constituency and a leading role in providing including flood relief works for Kanturk town."
The Tanaiste paid tribute "to his work for the constituency, his country and for what he achieved for Fine Gael".
“I also wish to express my sincere sympathy to Frank’s wife, Winifred and their children Leah and Ken and extended family and friends. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.”
Cork North West TD Michael Creed also paid tribute today, saying: “It was with great sadness that I learned today of the passing of my former Dáil colleague, fellow Fine Gael member and friend, Frank Crowley.
“He was a member of Cork County Council for over 30 years, a TD for 16 years and a public representative with a cross-party reputation for honesty, integrity and dedication.”
Mr Creed said Mr Crowley had an “extraordinary” work ethic: “At national level, he was a fearless advocate for his constituents, and he left no stone unturned in his efforts to serve them.
“I remember his tenacity and persistence in delivering key infrastructural projects, for example the Kanturk Flood Relief Scheme, which was resolved during his time in office,” Mr Creed continued.
“At home in his beloved North Cork, he built a reputation for excellence in his approach to public representation in the Kanturk Electoral Area.
“For Frank, it was all about doing the work and helping people. That is what he did, and he did it consistently well. For that reason, he was always held in high regard by people of all political persuasions and none.”
Former Fine Gael leader John Bruton said that he was “deeply saddened” to learn of the news and said that Mr Crowley had been “vital” in helping the party into government. He said that Mr Crowley “loved North Cork and spoke up for it with deep conviction”.
Mr Crowley passed away peacefully at Bon Secours Hospital in Cork and is survived by his wife Win and children Ken and Leah.
His death notice reads: "Sadly missed and lovingly remembered by his wife, family, daughter-in-law Niamh, Leah's partner Mark, adored grandchildren Teddy, Lauren and Jacob, sister-in-law, nephews, nieces, neighbours and a large circle of friends."
Mr Crowley will be reposing at McCarthy's Funeral Home, Banteer on Wednesday evening from 6.30pm followed by removal at 8.00pm to St Joseph's Church, Lyre.
His funeral Mass will take place on Thursday at 11.00am, with a burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.