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Tuesday 16 October 2018

Burke released Norris tape in final days for maximum impact

David Norris
David Norris

HELEN Lucy Burke released the controversial ‘Norris tape’ for broadcast in the last days of the campaign to "give voters something to think about" before they elect a new President on Thursday.

RTE radio’s Liveline played a recording last Friday of David Norris’s interview with the journalist in 2002, in which the senator shared his views on sex between older and younger men.

Ms Burke said yesterday she found the tape recently but only released it in the last days of the campaign for “impact.” She said “it would give people something to think about when they went to the polls. It might incite people to vote against Norris or for Norris.” This weekend Mr Norris said there was “absolutely nothing new” in the tape and said it had already been “comprehensively dealt with”.

The journalist reprised the senator’s comments on Liveline in May, as she thought they made him unsuitable to be President. Mr Norris claimed his campaign had been sabotaged and called on Ms Burke to release the tape. Ms Burke released the recording “in its entirety” with just six days to the presidential election, and with Norris trailing in opinion polls. She said: “It was only after some time that I managed to find that tape. By then a whole lot of water had flowed under bridges and people didn’t seem to care whatsoever about what Norris said.”

Joe Duffy played about eight minutes of the tape on Friday but Ms Burke said there was “a lot more” on it. Ms Burke said there were “no political forces” involved in her decision to release the recording: “I didn’t speak to one single politician about it nor did one single politician attempt to contact me. Which is rather lax of them, come to think of it,” she said. In the excerpt played by Duffy, Norris said he couldn’t understand how anyone could find children attractive.

He went on to say: “But in terms of classic paedophilia as practised by the Greeks, where it is an older man introducing a younger man or boy to adult life, I think there can be something to be said for that. “Again, this is not something that appealed to me, although when I was younger it would most certainly have appealed to me in the sense that I would have greatly relished the prospect of an older, attractive, mature man taking me under his wing, loving me, introducing me to sexual realities, treating me with affection and teaching me about life.”

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