Norris first to admit defeat to 'maverick' rival Higgins
Published 29/10/2011 | 05:00
SENATOR David Norris -- the frontrunner in the presidential election for a long time -- was the first to concede defeat yesterday.
Mr Norris said he was happy that Labour's Michael D Higgins had won, since he "is a little bit of a maverick", like the Trinity senator.
"When you have such a concentration of power in the hands of the Coalition I think it's good to have somebody who will be in a position morally and intellectually to speak out on behalf of the marginalised," he said. "I know that Michael D will do that. So I'll be very happy to be an Irishman under the presidency of Michael D Higgins."
His campaign was hit by a string of scandals and, as he said himself during the last television debate, there were no skeletons left in his closet by the end of the campaign.
He was leading the opinion polls months ago, but his main problem was how he dealt with the skeletons that came tumbling out in dramatic fashion.
His first campaign imploded over the August bank holiday weekend, when it emerged Mr Norris wrote letters to Israeli judges in 1997 seeking clemency for his former lover Ezra Nawi, who had been convicted of the statutory rape of a 15-year-old Palestinian boy.
The Norris campaign part two benefited from the seasoned political operators brought on board, as opposed to the largely idealistic crew working for him first time around.
But whatever chance he had of getting back into the race ended when the Irish Independent reported that he had been in receipt of a disability payment from Trinity College for 16 years, while continuing to work full time as a senator.