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David Norris is "an active candidate", says independent TD

Maureen O’Sullivan says David Norris spoke at a meeting of independents as if he was still looking for their nomination to run.

David Norris declined to comment to the media outside Leinster House following his meeting with TDs and Senators.
David Norris declined to comment to the media outside Leinster House following his meeting with TDs and Senators.
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

SENATOR DAVID NORRIS spoke to independent TDs and Senators at their meeting today as if he was still a candidate in this year’s presidential election, one of the TDs who attended the meeting has said.

Maureen O’Sullivan told TheJournal.ie Norris had spoken to attendees “in such a humble and honest way that you couldn’t but be impressed about what he had said.”

The main content of his address to attendees was not about his own candidacy, but rather the need to reform the “unjust process” that prospective candidates are currently required to go through to feature on the ballot paper.

Norris had been “really heartened” by the response he had meet with upon returning to Ireland after some time on holiday, O’Sullivan said, adding that Norris felt “really re-energised”.

The Dublin Central independent TD added that Norris had reaffirmed “what we all know – that unless he gets 20 [nominations] he’s not going to stand.”

Asked whether she felt Norris was still “an active candidate” in the hunt to get those 20 signatures from members of the Oireachtas, O’Sullivan said simply: “I do.”

It is understood that between eight and ten people attended this afternoon’s meeting at Leinster House, which was also attended by Mary Davis, who has already secured her spot on the ballot paper for the election on October 27.

Norris himself declined to comment to media as he left Leinster House following the meeting.

Fianna Fáil will hold a meeting of its parliamentary party this evening after Norris’s Seanad colleague, Labhrás Ó Murchú, said he was also seeking the support of 20 Oireachtas members.

That meeting is expected to discuss whether the party whip should be withdrawn from members, allowing them to nominate any prospective candidate of their choosing.

Norris’s hopes of re-entering the race would be boosted by any such move, as it would give him another 33 members of the Oireachtas to canvas for a nomination.

More: Fianna Fáil calls meeting to discuss backing Senator’s independent Áras campaign >

In full: TheJournal.ie’s coverage of the race for the Áras >

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Gavan Reilly

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