Crowley first stood for election in the Cork Mid constituency at the 1977 general election. However, in the landslide victory for Fianna Fáil which saw Jack Lynch returned as Taoiseach with a 20-seat majority, Fianna Fáil took three of the five seats in Cork Mid, and Crowley was unsuccessful.
He stood again at the 1981 general election and was elected to the 22nd Dáil a Fine Gael Teachta Dála (TD) for the new constituency of Cork North–West. He was re-elected at five further general elections until he lost his seat at the 1997 general election.
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