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Rebel TD may dump Dana for David

REBEL TD Mattie McGrath was on the verge of giving David Norris a push towards the Aras today.

The Tipperary TD was set to abandon his previous pledge to nominate Dana Rosemary Scallon in favour of the senator.

His move came as Shane Ross hedged his bets on the issue. The Dublin South representative was consulting with supporters before deciding whether to help Norris get on the ballot paper.

The controversial senator was three signatures short of the 20 needed from Oireachtas members for a nomination. But all indications are that he will achieve his goal either through the Oireachtas format or by securing the support of four local authorities.

Today Deputy McGrath revealed he would not "stand in his way" if Mr Norris needed just one vote.

He said he has received many requests in recent days telling him Mr Norris should be allowed contest the election on October 27.

His "predicament" is that he has to talk to his supporters in south Tipperary before he comes to a final decision, he added.

"But look, in the interests of democracy, if he is caught for a vote, I wouldn't like to stand in his way or stand in the public's way."

He added that Mr Norris should go back to Fine Gael, Labour and Sinn Fein, and ask them "if they're so in favour of democracy to give him one (vote) each, get him over the line".

Dublin South TD Shane Ross, who was a colleague of Mr Norris' sin the senate for over two decades, said he is still undecided.

"I'm still thinking about it and I'm talking to a large number of people who supported me in the General Election about what position I should take but I'll be making my position absolutely crystal clear very, very shortly," the Independent said.

If the two were to offer their support, speculation would focus on Tipperary North TD Michael Lowry (Ind) whose backing would be needed for the quota to be reached.