Norris should extend his resignation to the Seanad

Whether there was a witch hunt out for him from the start or not, what he did was wrong and inexcusable.

David Norris’s actions left him with no option but to withdraw from the presidential race this week.

A boy was raped. There is no excuse, no words which can pardon such an action, no grounds for pleading clemency, which Senator Norris did, albeit out of love for a personal friend.

In fact, he should step down from the Seanad too given the fact that he used official note paper to plead clemency for his former lover who had been convicted of statutory rape of a 15 year old boy in an Israeli court where the legal age to have sex is 16.

In a statement this week Norris said the fallout from his former lover’s “disgraceful behaviour” had spread to him and was in danger of contaminating others close to him both politically and personally.

Even after all the outrage against what Norris did, the man himself doesn’t seem to understand that it was his personal actions in the wake of his former lover’s conviction that the people of Ireland are disgusted by.

Yes, Ezra Nawi wrongfully had sex with a minor 25 years ago in Israel. No one would dare defend those actions, except David Norris, and he needs to realise very quickly that it was his own actions that contaminated his campaign.

Another unfortunate side to this story is that it has exposed a section of Irish society as the bigots that they are. There was an anti-gay lobby who did not want to see Ireland elect the first European gay president. Senator Norris’ sexuality should never have been on the agenda but unfortunately it was, and had this latest scandal never occurred, that should have been the big talking point about this election campaign.

Then there were the political parties who genuinely feared that Norris’s bid for the Áras would scupper any chance they had of electing their own candidate.

He was doomed really from the start. But he could have surmounted the challenge of the anti-gays and the anti-Norris brigade if this latest revelation had not come to light.

And thank God it did before he set up camp in the Áras because something like this would have brought immense shame on Ireland at a time when the country is already under the spotlight for its appalling child abuse record.

Black, white, gay, straight, man, or woman. These are issues which should be irrelevant when it comes to electing politicians. Unfortunately for David Norris, defending a convicted rapist, his former lover, is not excusable and his resignation was the only option open to him this week.

That leaves the way open for another strong independent candidate to enter the race. ‘Dana’ Rosemary Scalon, who is now residing up the road in Claregalway, is considering having a second go at becoming Ireland’s President. The former Eurovision winner entered the political arena in 1997 when she secured enough nominations to contest the presidential election but she came in third place to Mary McAleese on that occasion. After that, in 1999, she was elected an MEP, she contested the general election in 2002 for Galway West but was unsuccessful and was again unsuccessful in the 2004 European elections.

Mayo native Mary Davis, entrepreneur Sean Gallagher, Fine Gael’s Gay Mitchell, and Labour’s Michael D Higgins are the confirmed candidates for now and Dana would certainly ensure the electorate have ‘all kinds of everything’ to consider. The remaining candidates should have enough flair and colour to give us an exciting campaign before the October 27 polling day.


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