Norris Looking To Re-Enter Presidential Race

Appearing on Friday night`s The Late Late Show, Senator David Norris confirmed that he is seeking the minimum 20 votes required for nomination to re-enter the race to become the next President of Ireland.

When asked directly by host Ryan Tubridy how many of those votes he currently has, Senator Norris was coy and refused to reveal, “this is a poker game” he added. Mr Norris did say that he understood why some of his previous backers had withdrawn their support and he held no ill feeling towards them.

Senator Norris acknowledged that it will be a tough fight but one he’s not afraid of, and he is buoyed by his belief that “people love a comeback” and aren’t afraid to give “second chances”.

Norris stated that should he go on to win the race it would be the “greatest comeback in Irish political history”.

Senator Norris did not have the interview all his own way however, and faced some tough questions from Tubridy who was determined they speak on the incident that lead to the Senator’s withdrawal from the Presidential race in July.

The Senator withdrew from the race following controversy over a letter he wrote in 1993 to the High Court in Jerusalem seeking leniency for a former partner who had been convicted of the statutory rape of a 15-year-old boy. The letter had been written on Seanad headed paper and within the letter Senator Norris also mentioned that he had being touted as a possible Presidential candidate. The Senator stated on last night`s show that he didn’t really believe at the time that he was a candidate but thought it would add weight to the letter. The Senator went on to add that everybody was sending these official letters at the time.

Mr. Norris acknowledged this was a serious “error of judgement” on his part and that he had “reached out a hand to help a friend”. The Senator said that more politically canny individuals would not have sent such a letter however he is someone who cannot reject an appeal for help, adding that if he helps strangers how could he not try to help a friend. However, Senator Norris stated that he “did not condone or excuse” what his partner had done and abhors the abuse of children.

When pushed on a previous interview Senator Norris had given in which he was reluctant to deny advocating a case for “classic pederacy” the Senator said he was misquoted and that his answer had been based on an academic understanding of the term and not as was portrayed in the article. Mr Norris went on to state he does not believe there is ever a justifiable case for sexual relations between an adult and minors, as in the situation with his former partner.

Mr. Norris finished the interview by stating that he’s not perfect but “if you’re waiting for a perfect President then you’ll be waiting a long time”.

This may be quite an apt statement given the day’s earlier shock candidacy announcement.

It was revealed yesterday that deputy First Minister in the Northern Ireland Executive, Martin McGuiness, will be the Sinn Féin candidate for the Presidency.

Mr McGuinness is expected to be unveiled as his party’s nominee in a press conference in Dublin later today. Although a key figure in the Northern Ireland peace talks, along with Sinn Féin party Leader Gerry Adams, Mr. McGuinness is also known to have been a leading member of the Provisional IRA.

Speaking yesterday Mr. Adams stated: “I believe he can be the people’s President. If elected he will draw the average industrial wage. He will dictate himself to a genuine national reconciliation and the unity of our people.”

With the party holding 14 seats in the Dáil and 3 in the Senate, it leaves the party requiring the support of 3 more members of the Oireachtas to have the 20 signatures necessary for Mr. McGuiness to officially become a candidate in the race.

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