Presidential election candidate David Norris is at the centre of another storm – this time over a disability allowance paid by Trinity College while he was employed as a full-time Senator in the upper house of the Irish parliament.
Norris has confirmed to the Irish Independent newspaper that he drew down the payment for 16 years while he was out of work at the college but employed by the Senate.
The Independent candidate’s election campaign has been rocked by a series of scandal with the latest newspaper claims again set to embarrass the 67-year-old.
Now retired from his Trinity lecturing job, Norris receives a monthly pension worth over $3,000 from the Dublin university.
A senator since 1987, he has refused to confirm how much he received in the disability allowance funding over a 16 year period from 1994.
“It was around a quarter of my salary but I wasn’t getting anything like they get now,” Norris told the Irish Independent.
The disability payment only ended in July 2010 when Norris reached the retirement age. Senator Norris currently receives an annual salary and expense package worth over $100,000 from the Irish senate.
Insisting to the paper that he is in ‘perfect health’, Norris also refused to reveal the nature or extent of his disability.
“It will not stand in the way of me becoming President, I am in perfect health,” insisted Norris.
He then added: “And if you look at my Seanad (senate) record you see that. I hope we’re not going down the medical route of all this but I will do any medical test you want. I just think this is getting daft. It shows how open I am, my life is an open book.”