David Norris delivering his statement outside his home today

David Norris calls a halt to presidential campaign

The Independent senator has said that it’s time to “reassert the while of my life and destiny”.

Updated 3.15pm

DAVID NORRIS HAS announced that he’s withdrawing from the presidential campaign.

The independent senator has delivered his first public comments outside his home in Dublin since revelations emerged at the weekend that he wrote a letter pleading clemency for his former partner Ezra Yizhak Nawi. Nawi was convicted of the statutory rape of a 15-year-old boy in 1997.

Norris emerged from his car to speak to reporters this afternoon.

He has said that he has been overwhelmed by the support he has received and has thanked his team. He also said:

My motivation to write the letter was out of love and concern. I was eager to support someone who has been very important and continues to be important in my life.

Norris said that writing the letter on behalf of his friend and former partner was wrong, and that it was motivated by love and concern. He said that he has written letters for people all over the world.

The senator also said that his journey in trying to secure a presidential nomination has “thrown up issues that make it clear that the whole question of the way that candidates are nominated must be examined by the government”.

Norris said:

I have also now demonstrated that it is possible for a gay candidate to run for the highest office in the land.

He expressed hope that the remainder of the presidential campaign will be conducted in a way that is dignified and respectful.

David Norris also said that it is time to “reassert the whole of my life and destiny”.

He finished the statement with a Samuel Beckett quote:

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

The senator was applauded as he finished his statement and took no questions.

A number of Norris’ campaign staff resigned at the weekend and three TDs withdrew their support and a pledge to sign his nomination papers. It left him with only 12 signatories from the Oireachtas, including himself. Norris needed 20 to receive a presidential nomination.

A number of those who had also pledged support had yet to make a statement regarding their intent.

Read more: Michael D Higgins says previous support for Ezra Nawi was a “human rights issue”>

Read Norris’s full statement here – and listen to the full audio>

Twitter reaction to Norris statement of withdrawal>

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