Friday 21 July 2017

Campaign staff warned rambling senator of need to 'shut up'

Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

David Norris was repeatedly warned by campaign staff to stop rambling when dealing with serious questions about his candidacy.

During his first campaign for the presidency, staff would hold briefing sessions in the headquarters on North Great George's Street in Dublin city centre to prepare Mr Norris on issues that would come up.

But the exercises often failed to match the purpose as the senator would go into philosophical discussions, rather than concentrating on the matter at hand.

On one occasion, a senior strategist had to shout at him just to shut up.

"The campaign team around him were sensible people. We were told to ask him questions in these sessions. After a while of him giving an answer, a senior person would politely say: 'Stop talking, senator'. But he just kept talking until eventually he told him to shut up.

"He was never a proper politician in his career but he couldn't control himself at all. He just had no self-control," a source said.

Mr Norris had more than 50 volunteers working on the campaign at the time.

He had access to opinion poll research and every aspect of campaign planning was covered.

His original campaign team even included a "personal trainer" and a "book writer".

But the emergence of the letters of clemency on behalf of Ezra Nawi sparked a series of acrimonious resignations and the collapse of the campaign with Mr Norris withdrawing.

"I think there was something else there. There seemed to be a lack of trust. It was a professional campaign but the most unprofessional part was the candidate. I was shocked at how bad it was," the source said.

Despite several key members of his campaign failing to come back, Mr Norris claimed he had only lost a small number.

Irish Independent

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News