Thursday 14 December 2017

How the campaign unravelled

March 14: David Norris officially launched his bid for Aras an Uachtarain saying he was not running for the glory of high office, but for the difference it could make to people's lives. He claimed his sexuality would not be an issue with voters. "I don't see myself as a gay President, I see myself as a President who happens to be gay."

May 9: Fingal County Council became the first local authority to nominate Mr Norris, who needed 20 TDs and senators to nominate him or to secure the backing of four county or city councils.

May 30: Mr Norris's hopes of being a presidential election candidate were thrown into doubt as controversy erupted over comments he made a decade earlier regarding paedophilia. He made the remarks to journalist Helen Lucy Burke in an interview later published in 'Magill' magazine.

May 31: Mr Norris defended himself on RTE's 'Today with Pat Kenny' radio show, claiming the resurrection of the interview was "an attempt to sabotage my campaign". The senator said he abhorred and condemned the abuse of children.

June 23: An Irish Independent/Millward Brown Lansdowne opinion poll confirms that, despite the 'Magill' interview controversy, Mr Norris remains the most popular candidate with 30pc of public support, more than twice that of his closest rivals.

July 20: Mr Norris only has the backing of one local authority and two thirds of the support from senators and TDs that is required.

July 30: Mr Norris's campaign is again thrown into turmoil as two key members of his campaign team resign and claims emerge about an Israeli court case involving his former partner Ezra Yizhak Nawi.

July 31: In an exclusive interview with the 'Sunday Independent', Mr Norris says that while he is "absolutely committed to remaining in the presidential race", he accepts that his bid for the Park is "in serious trouble".

August 1: Israel denies any involvement in the controversy. Mr Norris's presidential hopes look all but over after a number of his supporters withdraw their backing.

August 2: Mr Norris withdraws from the presidential campaign.

Irish Independent

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