Higgins 'horrified' by leak suggestions
Published 06/08/2011 | 05:00
PRESIDENTIAL hopeful Michael D Higgins said yesterday he was "horrified" by suggestions that a Labour supporter leaked information which led to the withdrawal of Senator David Norris from the race.
Mr Higgins and Independent candidate Sean Gallagher both called for a clean campaign, without personalised smears.
The two men said the presidency should be decided on an issues-based and ethical campaign.
Both men -- campaigning in Cork yesterday -- paid tribute to the "grace" shown by Mr Norris in withdrawing from the race after it emerged he had written a letter on Seanad notepaper pleading with an Israeli court to show clemency towards his former partner who was convicted of statutory rape.
Ezra Yizhak Nawi (60) -- who was convicted of having sex with a 15-year old Palestinian boy -- said he was "sorry David paid the price" and stressed that Ireland had lost a potentially great President.
Mr Higgins said he was "absolutely horrified" at the claim that Labour supporters were involved.
"This is just outrageous because no one that I know would be involved in such an action. I was horrified by that. I remain a friend of David's," he said.
'Dragon's Den' star and entrepreneur, Mr Gallagher, said he wanted to see a positive campaign.
"I found him (David Norris) to be a charming and engaging man who I believe has the right intention. I am sad for him given the amount of work he has put into it," Mr Gallagher said.