Current Affairs Politics

David Norris And A Series Of Unfortunate Events

Well it would seem that David Norris has more or less destroyed his own Presidential chances after a series of revelations over his private views, and private actions, have left supporters dropping away left, right and centre. As RTÉ reports:

‘Senator David Norris has said he will continue to seek a Presidential nomination, but has admitted his chances of getting a nomination are now ‘slim’.

Senator Sean Barrett has said the controversy surrounding a letter Mr Norris wrote to an Israeli court would make it extremely difficult for him to get on the ballot paper for the presidential election.

Mr Norris has secured 15 out of 20 Oireachtas member nominations, but speaking on Today FM, Senator Barrett said he did not know where the missing five people would come from.

However, he said it was still possible for Mr Norris to become a candidate for the contest on 27 October.

Dr Barrett said he did not think such a letter should have been written.

The letter, which was released to the Sunday Independent, was written on Seanad notepaper and in it Senator Norris pleads for clemency for his former partner Ezra Yizhak, who was awaiting sentence for the statutory rape of a 15-year-old Palestinian boy in Israel in 1992.

In it he described Mr Yizhak as a trustworthy, good and moral person for whom the present difficulty was quite uncharacteristic.

He said he had been lured into a carefully prepared trap, and had unwisely pleaded guilty to the charges.

A number of people on Mr Norris’s campaign team have resigned, including his directors of elections, communications as well as people working on his online campaign.

Mr Norris told the Sunday Independent he remains ‘absolutely committed’ to his campaign, which he said was now ‘in serious trouble’.’

Meanwhile rumours are floating of further possible revelations:

‘A journalist has claimed there are at least two other controversies to hit the Norris campaign, but declined to give details.

Speaking on This Week, Joe Jackson said he had contacted Senator Norris’s communications manager last week saying he was aware of three impending controversies that were about to break.

He said received no response from Jane Cregan who has since resigned.

Mr Jackson, who wrote ‘Trial by Media’, said while he was morally driven to write the book, he is morally torn today after reading the letters.

He said he found them deeply disturbing and was particularly disturbed by what seemed to be a lack of sensitivity to the rape victim.

He described Senator Norris as a ‘stupid romantic’ who was deeply in love with his former partner.’

Coming after previous controversies it is probably safe to say that Senator Norris will not be a candidate for the office of Uachtarán na hÉireann.

While I have mixed feelings about Norris, and I have found his views over the Easter Rising of 1916 somewhat historically redactive, his work on behalf of Ireland’s Gay community placed him head and shoulders above many of his political peers. It would be a dreadful shame if one result of all these controversies was that the advances in civil rights for Irish Gay men and women were somehow tainted with the perception that its chief proponent was ‘soft‘ on paedophilia. We’ve thankfully come a long way since the days when homosexuality and paedophilia were considered one and the same, and Norris really should have been much more careful, and thoughtful, in expressing the views he made in past interviews and utterances.

While standing by a former partner and friend accused of a criminal offence is a laudable act of loyalty and generosity, trying to persuade a court to grant leniency to a man who had sex with child is, at best, questionable. Indeed some of the personal statements in the documents submitted by the Senator to the Israeli court are rather odd, including the apparent implication that there is a difference in the sexual abuse of a minor by a homosexual or a heterosexual man (the paragraph titled ‘Fourthly’, here). That is dangerous ground to get into, and while it may be taken out of context, added to the previous views expressed by David Norris on homosexuality and pederasty (an intimate and usually sexual relationship between a man and an adolescent boy), he might do well to explain himself further.

2 comments on “David Norris And A Series Of Unfortunate Events

  1. Note the focus of the typically Irish bigotry-driven dirt diggers and biased media only on Norris# past and systematically ignoring the skeletons that some of the other candidates have. Alone the heterosexuality of the other candidates automatically qualifies them for the typical diplomatic immunity and non-accountability that we know so well in this country

  2. I agree that the timing and circumstances around the most recent revelations of Senator Norris’ past are a bit odd, but the questions about his behaviour, and some of the views expressed, are fair enough. I don’t believe this is an anti-Gay witch-hunt.

    However you are certainly right, there needs to be a closer examination of the other candidates, warts and all. My most recent Post looks at Gay Mitchell’s very conservative, Roman Catholic and Christian beliefs.

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