Norris's team to return unspent campaign funds
Published 06/08/2011 | 05:00
FORMER presidential frontrunner David Norris will return any unspent campaign funds to his supporters after creditors have been paid.
But his campaign team would not reveal how much it had raised prior to the collapse of his bid last Tuesday.
The team that backed Mr Norris's failed campaign said "it will not be found wanting" as it seeks to redistribute funds raised for the popular senator.
The campaign team suffered a series of defections after it was revealed that Mr Norris had written a clemency letter for his former lover Ezra Nawi following his conviction for the statutory rape of a 15-year-old boy.
But Norrisforpresident.ie said it was prioritising the payment of all outstanding debts and liabilities that had been incurred so far by the campaign.
Campaign manager Liam McCabe told the Irish Independent last night that the remaining members of the team were getting a "firm handle" on the financial situation.
"It is our absolute intention to wind down the campaign, logistically and financially, in as appropriate a way as is humanly possible," said Mr McCabe. "But we will not be found wanting."
The Norris campaign had attempted to harness the power of the internet to attract volunteers -- a method successfully used by Barack Obama in his bid for the US presidency.
It started to organise regional meetings between Mr Norris's volunteers and fundraisers.
Mr Norris, who has represented Trinity College Dublin in the Seanad since 1987, 10 years before he pleaded for clemency for Nawi, routinely topped the poll in elections.
Earlier this year the Joycean scholar was re-elected to the Seanad on the first count, where he polled 5,471 of the valid poll of 15,394 votes. Mr Norris described his 34pc share of the vote as "remarkable".