David Norris likened himself to Irish patriot Daniel O’Connell after he received the green light to run in Ireland’s Presidential election – and was immediately challenged to publish his letters for clemency written on behalf of his former partner.
He later refused saying that on advice of his lawyers the letters had to remain confidential.
“My legal team have told me there is client confidentiality and legal privilege. The core of the letters is substantially the same. It’s standard practice. I’ve done thousands of these, for Tibetan monks, for people in East Timor...Irish people just want to move on,” he said.
Norris was forced to withdraw from the presidential campaign over the summer after the publication of letters in support of his former lover, Ezra Nawi convicted of the statutory rape of a child in Israel.
Dublin City Council provided the final nomination Norris needed to run in the election at their meeting on Tuesday night.
But some councilors expressed anxiety over the Norris involvement in the Israeli case.
Fianna Fáil councilor Paul McAuliffe voted for the motion then challenged Norris to publish all the letters sent at the time and to outline his views on the age of consent.
Independent Damian O’Farrell voted against the Norris nomination. “I am not prepared to turn a blind eye to those issues. There is an attempt being made to brush them under the carpet.”
Norris was triumphant as he celebrated outside the meeting and likened his political comeback to that of one of Ireland’s greatest historical leaders.
“Daniel O’Connell at one time was the king of the Irish people, another time he was reviled, and yet he came through,” said Norris.
“If I can make this extraordinary comeback, then this wonderful country can make an equally extraordinary comeback and I hope to be there at the head of it in order to guide it and help it and empathize and understand the people.
“And to anybody who has been hurt or troubled by anything I may have said inadvertently, let me just say this: I apologize for any hurt from the bottom of my heart.”
Norris refused to take questions however and wouldn’t discuss publishing the seven letters sent to Israeli authorities on behalf of his former lover.