Tuesday 25 April 2017

Norris facing legal battle over unpaid €30,000 campaign fee

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

INDEPENDENT senator David Norris is facing the prospect of legal action over a €30,000 public-relations bill from his failed presidential campaign.

He had hired the public relations expert Paul Allen to organise events, training and media relations.

He paid his firm, Paul Allen and Associates, a total of €61,750, but is now in dispute over a further €30,008.

Mr Allen said yesterday that he could not make any comment about the dispute, which was detailed in records supplied to the election spending watchdog by Mr Norris's campaign team.

But it is understood that Mr Norris will face legal action if he does not pay the bill -- which was received by his campaign team before it submitted its documentation to the Standards in Public Office Commission on December 21 last.

It was the only "claim in dispute" listed in the records.

Mr Norris spent €331,974 on his failed bid to become the country's first gay President -- and only got €17,929 in donations.

Since the presidential campaign last October, he has returned to his work as a senator.

A colleague said he had initially been subdued by the bruising experience in the presidential campaign but was now "getting his voice back".

"It has taken him a while to get back to his old bullishness," he said.

Waste

Last week in the Seanad, Mr Norris was highlighting the fact that one million tonnes of food waste were thrown away in Ireland every year.

"One of the things I admire so much about the mountain community in Cyprus, in which I live on a part-time basis, is the fact that everything from the vines there -- leaves, wood, grapes, etc -- is used and nothing is allowed to go to waste," he said.

He also complained about the fact that gay people could adopt children individually but not as a couple.

Mr Norris could not be contacted for comment yesterday.

Irish Independent

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