Wednesday 22 February 2017

Norris to deliver eulogy -- at his own funeral

Nick Bramhill

Published 07/11/2010 | 05:00

Senator David Norris has promised to deliver his most colourful speech -- at his own funeral. The eccentric politician said he's started recording his eulogy, which will be delivered from his coffin.

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Mr Norris, who hopes to become Ireland's next President, has bought his grave, hand-picked several Victorian hymns and even started preparing his final farewell. "I've planned every single detail of my own funeral," he said.

"First of all I've bought my own grave, not many people think of me as being from the bog, but my ancestors all come from Co Laois and that's where I will be laid to rest."

The grave will be in a cemetery in Roskelton, near Mountrath in Co Laois.

"I'll be there with my great-great-great-grandfather and his son and his son. In fact, I'm related to every single person in the graveyard, apart from someone called Mrs Despot, who somehow squeezed in -- but since she was a gin-drinking, gossiping, card-playing [figure] from the Ascendancy, I'll be quite happy in her company.

"Roskelton is literally in the middle of the bog, which will make it a great funeral, because half the mourners will get lost."

Before he is laid to rest, Mr Norris has requested that his funeral mass takes place in St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin.

"I'll be having a Haydn mass in St Patrick's Cathedral with lots of weepy hymns. But the dean won't be getting a word in -- I'll be having the last word as I'm recording the obituary and I'll be delivering it from the box."

No doubt Mr Norris will hope to include his experience as President of Ireland in his eulogy if his bid is successful. During a visit to Kinsale, Co Cork, last week he said he would hit the campaign trail in January to get a head-start on his rivals.

He said it was necessary for him to launch his campaign early because his position as an independent meant it would be harder for him to get on the ballot, as he would need to be backed by 20 Oireachtas members, or four county councils.

"It is extremely difficult because the entire system is loaded against the independent candidate.

"If I am elected President, I will be the first and only complete independent ever to have gained office. I'm looking forward to travelling round the country next year meeting different people and community groups.

The Joycean scholar also said he felt Ireland was mature enough as a nation to elect its first openly gay President.

"If I become President, I will describe myself as a President who happens to be gay, which is a different thing to a gay President. And all the signals at the moment are that the electorate like the idea of me becoming President."

Sunday Independent

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