Senator David Norris has announced his withdrawal from the Irish Presidential race, during a press conference this afternoon in Dublin.
His resignation comes after it emerged last weekend that the Senator had wrote a letter on government headed paper to Israeli authorities pleading for the clemency of his former partner Ezra Yitzhak Nawi, who had been convicted of the rape of a 15-year-old boy.
"My motivation to write the letter was out of love and concern. I was eager to support someone who has been very important and continues to be important in my life," he said during his address to reporters outside his home today.
“I do not regret supporting and seeking clemency for a friend but I do regret giving the impression that I did not have sufficient compassion for the victim of a crime,” he said.
During his seven minute address he said he thought it was time to reevaluate the method of selecting candidates. He thanked his campaign staff and supporters and did not take any questions from the media.
He concluded the statement with a Samuel Beckett quote: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
His announcement comes after mounting public and political pressure for him to end his presidential bid.
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Former Labor Party advisor Finlay, now chief executive of the children’s charity Barnardos, made the appeal to Norris on Irish radio this morning.
“I believe that Senator David Norris should immediately announce that he is no longer seeking a nomination for the presidency,” said Finlay ahead of the Dublin press conference.
“You simply cannot use public office to try to influence a court in the particular situation that pertained in this case, it is simply not acceptable.
“For the sake of the contribution David Norris can still make to public life he needs to announce in a dignified fashion that he is withdrawing from the race.”