Friday 17 November 2017

Senator hires Ahern tour manager for campaign

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

FORMER Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's campaign tour manager has been hired by Independent Senator David Norris.

The addition of former Fianna Fail regional organiser Maurice O'Donoghue is the latest signing to beef up Mr Norris's campaign.

Mr O'Donoghue ran Mr Ahern's general election campaign tours in 2002 and 2007 and Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin's nationwide tour in the 2011 election.

The former army officer also worked as the party's regional organiser in the south of the country until last year.

Mr O'Donoghue said he was working on Mr Norris's campaign in a professional capacity and was happy to be approached.

He is not the only figure with links to Fianna Fail to work on the campaign.

Mr Norris has also drafted in crisis-management PR man Paul Allen, a long-time Fianna Fail activist.

Mr Norris tried yesterday to close down the controversy surrounding his letters on behalf of his former partner, who was convicted of the statutory rape of a 15-year-old.

He said the people of Ireland had moved on from the controversy over the clemency letters he wrote on behalf of Ezra Nawi.

Meanwhile, Mr Norris complained about being "muzzled" on last night's 'Late Late Show' presidential debate.

Following his much-hyped appearance on the show a fortnight ago, where he effectively kick-started his comeback into the race, the other six candidates each received mini interviews.

Although Mr Norris was on the show for a good half an hour, his competitors only got a five minute one-to-one with the host.

Mr Norris was excluded from this opening round of interviews.

But he came back into the fray when the debate was opened for a round robin between all seven Aras candidates.

Mr Norris moaned that he wasn't being included in the original round of interviews.

When it was pointed out to him that he had recently been on the show, he said the interview a fortnight ago only focused on one subject.

Irish Independent

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