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Wednesday 21 March 2018

Norris plans quick return to Seanad as he reveals cancer battle

David Norris: being treated for his illness
David Norris: being treated for his illness

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

INDEPENDENT senator David Norris – who has revealed he is being treated for cancer – says he hopes to be back at work in the coming days.

Mr Norris (68), a former presidential candidate and gay and human rights campaigner, said he has been undergoing treatment for a serious condition.

He said he was getting treatment in St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin, and had no issue discussing his illness publicly since there should be no stigma associated with the disease.

The senator, who has represented Trinity College for decades, said it is believed the cancer is related to viral hepatitis which he contracted from tainted drinking water in eastern Europe in 1994.

Earlier this month, he revealed in an RTE radio interview that he was undergoing tests but that he had "no intention of croaking it".


And in a statement released yesterday following a number of queries about his health, he said: "I am currently undergoing medical management for a serious cancer condition.

"I am extremely grateful for the superb treatment I have received from the team of consultants at St Vincent's Private Hospital as well as the nursing and general hospital staff.

"I have no difficulty in making this information public in response to press queries because I believe that there should be no stigma attached to cancer as a disease.

"I continue to enjoy life and am looking forward to returning to my duties in Seanad Eireann over the next few days."

Mr Norris's absence from political life had been noted in recent weeks, especially since the campaign to save the Seanad from abolition ramped up.

Mr Norris had been held up as one of the best and most well-known members of the Upper House and as an example of the Seanad at its best.

Colleagues in the Seanad said they were aware he went to hospital last week for a procedure, and friends said Mr Norris had notified them recently that he was ill.

Mr Norris ran for the presidency in 2011. Although he topped opinion polls before the campaign, he withdrew from the race months before the election following controversy over letters he wrote seeking clemency for his former lover, Ezra Nawi.

But he re-entered the race in September 2011 having secured the support of the four county councils needed to get on the ticket proper.

However, despite this, he eventually finished fifth out of seven candidates.

Irish Independent

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