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Poll: Has the Norris letter controversy affected his Áras bid?

Will 1997 letter seeking clemency for a friend throw Norris’ campaign off-track?

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

PRESIDENTIAL hopeful David Norris has admitted that the controversy arising over a letter he wrote seeking clemency for his friend and former partner from the Israeli courts could seriously damage his bid to secure nomination to run for the Áras.

In the 1997 letter written on official Seanad paper, Norris asked the Israeli High Court to consider a non-custodial sentence for Ezra Yizhak, who had been convicted of having sex with an underage teenage boy. He wrote of his concern for his friend and of his  worries over “anomalies” he says he witnessed in the court case.

Several of Norris’ senior campaign staff have resigned over the past few days, with some citing new information coming to light as the reason for their resignation.

The senator has insisted he will continue to push for the support he needs to win a nomination to run for the presidency. He has secured the support of 15 of the 20 Oireachtas members he needs. However, he says that his chances for a nomination now appear “slim”.

Earlier this year, Norris was criticised for comments he made in a 2002 interview with Magill, but subsequent opinion polls showed the controversy had little effect on his overall popularity.

Do you think the letter he wrote from the Seanad in 1997 will affect his bid to run in this year’s election?

Poll Results:

Yes (1531)
No (314)
Don't know (105)

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