Sunday 4 December 2016

'I applied for disability benefit but the buggers wouldn’t give it to me' - Top 8 Senator David Norris quotes from the Ray D'Arcy Show

Published 31/01/2016 | 14:16

Senator David Norris on the Ray D'Arcy Show
Senator David Norris on the Ray D'Arcy Show

Senator David Norris appeared on the Ray D'Arcy Show on Saturday night and proved he's as interesting, witty and ebullient company as ever, despite a recent battle with liver cancer.

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Here are some of his best quotes from the interview:

On his health in general:

“I feel great.  I don’t have quite as much vitality as I did but then I’m nearly 72.  Things get rusty and fall off and stop working and you gradually go down a bit and then eventually they say goodbye.  It’s all part of nature, nothing to be afraid of!”

On finding out he had liver cancer:

“I had a very aggressive form of liver cancer which I was delighted to discover from the doctors had nothing whatever to do wit drinking, because I thought it might have.”

On a joke he was told by a member of staff at the Mater hospital:

“One of the staff told me a joke. Would you like to hear it?  I tried it out on the staff in Lenihans shop on Capel Street and they said, ‘Well, I’d keep it for the green room.’”

Credited by Ray for having a big hand in pushing the marriage equality bill, he said:

“The people who really deserve credit for that are – and I’m not a supporter of the Labour Party, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, or Sinn Fein, but Eamon Gilmore put it on the agenda of this country.  Without Eamon Gilmore it wouldn’t have happened. And then there was Grainne Healy and Brian Sheehan of Marriage Equality – they motivated people.”

He added:

“It was so moving.  We’re only about 10 per cent of the population so we were relying on the generosity and goodwill of all you so thank you to you and the wonderful people who came home not just from London but Canada, the United Stages and Australia. It was so moving.”

Ray played a clip of Senator Norris being interviewed for rte by Aine O'Connor ("She was lovely, she was Gabriel Byrne's girlfriend") 42 years ago.  She asked him if homosexuals were sick:

“No, we’re neither sick, ill, pathological, neurotic of any of these emotive terms occasionally used by people not well informed on the subject to conceal their own prejudices and allege that we are ill.  I don’t feel ill, I hope I don’t look it.  Of course we are subject as ordinary, other people are to head colds, influenza, hangovers, this type of thing but in the basic sense we are not sick.”

Following the clip he added:

“The authorities insisted that I was sick, it was classified as an illness, so I applied for disability benefit but the buggers wouldn’t give it to me.”

Asked who he would like to see as President he said "Olivia O’Leary".  When Ray pointed out she has never openly expressed an interest in running for President, Senator Norris replied:

"Good! You don’t want these people who are ambitious for themselves to have a big car and roll around the place having afternoon tea. You want someone who’s really good.”

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