Senator David NorrisChris Bacon

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has urged all presidential election candidates to be honest with the public – after David Norris again refused to publish the clemency letters he wrote on behalf of his former lover.

Norris has again said he will not publish the seven letters he sent to the Israeli authorities seeking clemency for his former partner after he was convicted of the statutory rape of a young boy.

His latest refusal came just hours after PM Kenny warned candidates the electorate will expect honesty between now and polling day at the end of October.

“The people are going to have their say about who they want to represent this country and the people have a right to know about all relevant issues before voting,” said Fine Gael leader Kenny.

“I think all the candidates have to be upfront with the electorate and the people, because they want to know - and they have a right to know - if they are going to make a decision to cast their votes.”

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So far Norris has only released one letter he sent to the Israeli supreme court in 1997 when he sought clemency for former partner Ezra Nawi after he convicted of the statutory rape of a 15-year-old boy.

“I have been legally advised that I could prejudice the situation if I revealed information because this was held in camera,” said Norris on the first official day of campaigning.

Meanwhile, fellow candidate Martin McGuinness tripped himself up on a radio interview when he was unable to name the Republic’s Environment Minister or state the correct number of deputies in the Irish parliament.

Sinn Fein candidate McGuinness again defended his IRA past. He said: “After Bloody Sunday the people of Dublin went out and burned the British embassy. We didn’t have a British embassy to burn.

“So many of us joined the IRA. I believe we had a right to fight back against the British army.”