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Thursday 23 February 2017

Members of Norris's presidential team announce resignations on the internet

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

SENATOR David Norris (pictured right) used the internet to recruit enthusiastic volunteers for his campaign team

But many of his new recruits to "Norrisforpresident.ie" were using the internet themselves last night -- to announce their resignations.

The Norris campaign had attempted to harness the power of the internet to attract volunteers -- a method successfully used by US President Barack Obama.

It started to organise regional meetings between Norris volunteers and fundraisers, such as coffee mornings and table quizzes.

But although some had previously campaigned for other political parties, Mr Norris did not manage to attract any volunteers with significant experience of fighting political battles.

Patricia Tsouros, an art collector who is also a board member of Irish Museum of Modern Art, released a one-line statement on Senator Norris's Facebook page: "I announce my resignation as Development Director from the 'Norris for President' campaign," she said.

It came after senior members of the Norris campaign, director of communications Jane Cregan and director of elections Derek Murphy, also announced they were quitting their posts.

Mr Norris's campaign manager Liam McCabe could not be contacted for comment yesterday.

Duirmuid MacSean, who created Mr Norris's Facebook page, said he was quitting due to revelations.

"Because of recent revelations, my trust in the Senator's judgment has been shaken, so it would no longer be fair of me to continue as administrator and owner of this page while I have those doubts," he said.

It was a far cry from the enthusiastic gathering of around 40 Norris volunteers in Limerick last April, where they were told about how to campaign and stay within fundraising guidelines.

Galway-based US citizen Troy Gottfredson, who previously worked on President Clinton's presidential campaigns, said it had been very impressive.

But he quit the campaign later on because he felt not enough was being done to take on the campaign of Michael D Higgins in his native Galway.

"I thought it was handled wrong," he said.

Another Norris volunteer, Trish Brennan, confirmed to the Irish Independent she was no longer working with the campaign. But she declined to comment any further.

Dublin-based Norris volunteer Terry Fitzpatrick said he was reserving judgment at the moment on whether he would continue to be involved with the Norris campaign.

"I really wouldn't have a comment to make on it," he told the Irish Independent.

Irish Independent

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