Meet Terry Crowley
Crowley Clan Representative for Canada

Terry Crowley

(Crowley Clan) How long have you been involved with the Crowley Clan?

(Terry Crowley) I attended my first gathering in 1995 and have never missed one since. I had been receiving a magazine called "Inside Ireland" and in their spring 1995 issue there was an excerpt about the Crowley Gathering of that year. I was surprised at the time, not realizing that there were that many Crowleys to generate a gathering. Out of curiosity I went to the gathering and had the time of my life.

(CC) What have been some of the high points of your involvement?

(TC) Without a moment's thought, being asked by the Crowley Council to be the representative for Canada has been one of my highest points. I have been contacted by many Canadian Crowleys over the last few years by phone, mail, especially the internet inquiring about gatherings, asking for help about their ancestry, etc. It has also been a pleasure meeting some of these Crowleys in Ireland at the gatherings.

At our 2004 gathering, before Fathering Liam Crowley started Mass, he announced that the Mass was dedicated to my mother who had died two weeks previously. You can't imagine what that meant to me.

In 2010, my daughter Cristina, my granddaughter, Alyssa, and I represented Canada and became the road bowling champions. Canada has won four times at road bowling.

Another high point was attending the 2000 Millennium Crowley Gathering in New Zealand. There are just too many high points to mention, especially meeting and getting to know many Crowleys from around the world.

(CC) What is your professional background?

(TC) I would have to say public relations, since I have always been involved with people. I started out in the optical business, then interior decorating specializing in draperies and carpets. From there I became a financial consultant, owned and operated a butcher shop, and finally worked for the Canadian Postal Corporation until I retired in 2005.

(CC) What are your interests and hobbies?

(TC) I love to travel, especially to Ireland. In the last 21 years, I have been to Ireland 17 times. I like researching my ancestry and reading.

(CC) Tell us about your family and about your Crowley ancestors.

(TC) My ancestors came from a little village called Carraroe in Connamara. My grandfather left Galway in 1882 and settled in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. He moved to Brantford, Ontario and married my grandmother in 1911. My father is the eldest of seven children, and I am the second oldest of four, also the only boy. My wife Crystal and I celebrated our 42nd anniversary last October. We have four children, Cristina, Patricia, Mary, and Bill. I also have five grandchildren, Alyssa (Cristina), Payton and Brett (Patricia), Drew and Isabella (Mary). Bill is getting married October 1, 2011.

(CC) How did you get an Irish passport?

(TC) While researching my family, I found out that if I could find the necessary documents to prove that my grandfather was born in Ireland, through him I could become an Irish citizen. I obtained that information, applied for and obtained my Irish citizenship on May 22, 1992. I immediately applied for my Irish passport.

(CC) Tell us about the first time you went to Ireland on your Irish passport.

(TC) It was the fall 1992, I flew to Ireland. It was great! I didn’t have to fill out the landing form because I had an Irish passport. After landing in Dublin, I got out my passport to show at customs, and I noticed that the people who were carrying an Irish or European passport just held their passports up and walked through Customs without being stopped. Not me, I stopped and showed the Customs Officer my passport. He looked at it, then he looked at me, smiled and said, “Ah, you’re coming back home, son.” Bursting with pride, I replied, “I am!”

(CC) How did you get the idea for the Crowley Castle Bricks project?

(TC) After years of being involved, I wanted to do something special that everyone would appreciate. I had an idea of creating a Crowley lapel pin, not a cheap one that you can buy in any Irish shop, but a beautiful, well-made one that would last. I had quite a few made, and I handed them out at the 2004 and 2007 gatherings. Not long after that, I was asked by the Crowley Council to consider selling those pins with some of the profits going to the Crowley Castle Restoration Fund. But how could I give out these pins for free at two gatherings and then start charging for them!

Then I came up with the idea of selling bricks and giving a Certificate of Appreciation to the donor. It could be taken home as a memento and maybe give the donor a feeling of doing something important for clan. My daughter Patricia helped with the design, had them made and donated them. At the 2010 gathering, my sister Barbara and I sold 236 Crowley Castle Bricks for a total of €1,180 of which 100% went to the fund.

(CC) What would you like to see the Crowley Clan accomplish in the next years?

(TC) The clan has accomplished so much since 1995. Look at the castle ruins back then, and look at them now. The gatherings have mushroomed. Compare the room we used at the Dunmanway Hotel to the banquet halls we use today. I would like to see the Crowley Castle Fund completely debt free. All of us need to pitch in and help.

The Crowley Clan Newsletter is
compiled by Marian Crowley Chamberlain