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Michael O'Doherty: Gogarty finds his true level in life

As a member of RTE's reality show Charity ICA Bootcamp, publicity-mad Gogarty will be joined by 15 other celebs as they're instructed in the ways of simple country living, to include baking bread, knitting sweaters, and cleaning farmyard animals' backsides.

Before the last General Election, it was put to Gogarty that the representation of the Green Party in Dail Eireann might be cut down to just two seats, to which Gogarty replied, with his usual inspiring rhetoric, that, "As long as one of them is mine, I don't give a shit".

It's good to see that, having failed to get elected, Gogarty has found his correct level in life -- not only is he obliged to now give a shit, he's also wiping one off a sheep's arse.

David Norris could have been the most inspiring president we'd ever had

The best things in life aren't free. They're usually expensive, hard to attain and make you question each day why you even bothered. But the reason some people persevere is that they don't want to deal with being lumbered with that most bitter of regrets -- what if?

David Norris will never know whether he'd have made a good president, because of a thoughtless thing he did 17 years ago when, in seeking leniency for a former lover, he gave the impression of not caring about that person's victim.


His downfall has, to a degree, been down to a lack of cunning, not being careful for the past 20 years about what he said or did, in case it one day came back to haunt his political aspirations.

But that is the way that David has always lived his life and hey, we've all done foolish, crazy things out of love. David, as he's proven all his life, is a man who sticks his neck out.

Growing up gay in Ireland at a time when it was illegal, how easy it would have been for him to hide, and let someone try to fight for the law to be changed. Instead, Norris had the bravery to do it himself, a fact from which countless people since have benefited.


The stench of a concerted anti-Norris plot, which culminated in the 'there are more scandals to come' innuendo that some papers ran with earlier this week, is hard to ignore.

From day one, when Helen Lucy Burke went on radio and promised to unearth a tape recording of Norris giving disturbing views about paedophilia -- we never did hear it by the way -- Norris has been subject of unprecedented scrutiny by so many, including the ever-present anti-gay brigade.

Within minutes of Norris announcing his decision not to run, the 'anti-sodomy' brigade were already congratulating themselves, with Planet Catholic tweeting "good news for the culture of life as David Norris leaves Presidential race."

People are judged by the company they keep, so I hope those who dealt a fatal blow to Norris's campaign are happy now. In my opinion, they are no better than the small-minded, bigoted, religious zealots who form the backbone of the anti-Norris brigade that David has had to endure all his life.

I make no apology for my support for David Norris, and my belief that, despite everything, he should still have been allowed to run.

Finian McGrath et al were not being asked to appoint a president, they were simply being asked to make it possible for the Irish public to cast their vote about Norris. If public opinion was against him, as the media would have you believe, then he would have been wiped out at the polls.


Something tells me, however, that for all his errors of judgment in the past, David Norris could well have been elected, and could have gone on to become the most popular, inspiring president we've ever had. The tragedy now is that we'll have to live with what if?

From one stud to another for Georgia

GORGEOUS Georgia Salpa has got her tongue pierced, but is already regretting it.

"I can't eat anything and I'm constantly talking with a lisp," she lisped, "I only did it as a dare!"

Georgia seems to be learning the hard way that you shouldn't play around with studs. And I'm guessing there's more to come from that lesson soon...

The website that's not streets ahead

SOUTH Dublin County Council is setting up a website called fixyourstreet.ie, which allows the public to log on and report potholes or any form of leak or fault in their locality.

Having done so, the council is committed to dealing with the problem within 48 hours, and you can follow progress online while it's ongoing.


There's only one problem from what I can see -- the website isn't yet completed.

And the last I heard, six men were leaning against shovels around the computer in the council's IT department, scratching their heads, wondering how long they could drag that job out for without getting rumbled.

What's the betting it remains that way for the next two years?