Almost 40 years after he was first elected to the county council, Jack Crowe’s popularity and success were crowned last week when friends, supporters, political allies and opponents alike came together to hail his achievements over four decades of political life.
The council chamber at South Tipperary County Council was packed for a civic reception for the Fine Gael representative from Dundrum.
As tributes, anecdotes, colourful stories and laughter criss-crossed the room, it was also pointed out that, with the imminent merger of the county’s councils, Cllr Crowe’s record of unbroken membership in South Tipperary will never be matched. “The one and only, the most famous of them all,” was how council chairman John Crosse described him at the end of the formalities.
Among the guests were Fine Gael MEP Seán Kelly, independent TD Mattie McGrath, mayor of Clonmel Pat English, mayor of Cashel Martin Browne, parish priest of Knockavilla and Donaskeigh Fr James Egan, former TD Noel Davern, former county manager Ned O’Connor, other retired and serving council officials and staff, along with Cllr Crowe’s family members including his wife Noirín, daughters Sinéad and Niamh and grand-daughter Cariosa.
Also present was the councillor’s brother, Austin Crowe, who was himself given a civic reception in 2005 for his contribution to the business life of Dundrum and Tipperary.
Cllr Crowe was presented with a framed certificate and photograph of his time in 1984 as chairman of the council, and given a standing ovation.
One of Cllr Crowe’s longest serving colleagues, Michael Fitzgerald, said it was a love of the local people and the community “that has endeared him to so many people.”
Among the tributes to Cllr Crowe County manager Billy McEvoy said it was a “tremendous achievement” to serve for so many years despite so many changes in that time.