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Senator David Norris Photo by: Google Images

David Norris faces uphill battle to get on Ireland's presidential ballot

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Senator David Norris Photo by: Google Images

David Norris will know his Presidential election fate by Tuesday night – and the omens are not good after another devastating blow to his hopes.

The chances of Norris even appearing on the ballot paper at the end of October are now slim after South Dublin Council rejected his bid for support by just one vote.

All six Fine Gael councilors at the meeting in Tallaght on Monday night voted against Norris who only has the support of two councils so far with eight due to make their decisions on Tuesday.

Norris has already acknowledged that he is highly unlikely to receive the 20 signatures of support he needs from members of the upper or lower houses of the Irish parliament.

He is also unlikely now to reach the minimum requirement of support from four county councils, effectively ruling him out of the equation.

The South Dublin Council decision could spell the beginning of the end for the gay senator who needs the backing of four councils to contest the October election and currently has just two on board.

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With eight county councils sitting on Tuesday to decide their take on the Presidential election, Norris will know his fate in the next 12 hours.

Already, Donegal County Council has voted to support former Eurovision winner Dana Rosemary Scallon on Tuesday morning. She now has the support of three councils and needs just one more.

Norris is also likely to be rebuffed by Dublin City Council at its meeting on Tuesday evening after the Fine Gael members of the South Dublin Council voted against the senator.

Cork, Waterford, Westmeath, Offaly, Longford and Cavan will also decide where their support is going on Tuesday.

All reports on Tuesday morning indicated that the South Dublin decision is a devastating blow for Norris in his bid to succeed Mary McAleese.

Four Labor Party and two Sinn Féin councilors also voted against Norris who received backing from five Labor, four Fianna Fáil, one Independent and one People Before Profit Alliance councilor. Two Fine Gael members and one from Sinn Féin abstained.

Labor Party councilor Mick Duff, who seconded the motion supporting Norris, said: “It’s regrettable; I don’t think democracy was well-served. This was a decision that should have been left up to the general public.

“They have the right to decide who will go to the Áras and I feel our actions here have deprived a lot of people of that right.”

Fianna Fáil councilor Eamonn Walsh told reporters: “It is quite clear that this was an attempt by Fine Gael, whose candidate is performing poorly in opinion polls, to frustrate any competition from rivals.

“It was a frustration of the democratic process, it is quite clear that Senator Norris has a long-standing legislative background.

“I am not saying we were going to support him for president but certainly we believe he is entitled to be on the ballot-paper. It is small-minded of Labor and Fine Gael to have frustrated that and I think they may pay dearly for it.”

Labor councilor Eamon Tuffy voted against the motion. He said: “I was worried about the celebrity element of his candidacy and that there wouldn’t be enough focus on the real issues. The Senator is portraying himself too much as a celebrity candidate.”

----------------------

READ MORE:

Read all stories on the Irish presidential race

Sister-in-law of IRA victim claims Martin McGuinness has ‘blood on his hands’

Norris suffers new election blow as McGrath workers vote against him

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