Senator David Norris has revealed how he was ‘conned’ into releasing the letter that cost him any chance of winning the Presidential election last year.
The Trinity College Senator has written of his failed presidential bid in a new book entitled A Kick Against The Pricks.
The Irish Times is serialising the book and outlines how Senator Norris described how he was panicked into divulging the letter that put paid to his chances of winning the presidential election last year.
Norris writes that early on in the presidential election, a controversy blew up over an interview for Magill magazine.
The decade old interview was conducted by Helen Lucy Burke whom Norris describes as ‘a waspish little woman’.
He was quoted in the interview on the distinction between paedophilia and classic Greek pederasty. His remarks at the time then resurfaced during the presidential campaign.
Norris then reveals how an unnamed Sunday newspaper contacted his personal assistant Miriam Smith and claimed to have letters that showed he had asked for clemency in a case involving his former partner Ezra Nawi who was convicted of having sex with a minor in Israel.
Opting to defuse the controversy, Norris outlines how he decided to give an interview to the Sunday Independent and released one of the letters.
He then discovered that none of the other Sunday papers had the letters.
Norris writes: “The claim by the person who called my assistant was a lie. They never had the letters.
“It was a sting by that person but, thanks to my naivety and the lack of political experience of some of my team, it worked.”
Norris then got a call from his original proposer, Dublin North Central TD Finian McGrath and asked for a few days to see how it developed.
Norris adds: “But Finian couldn’t wait and yet again went to the media. He really dropped me in the manure by talking about the protection of children, which sounded to me as if I was a threat instead of one of the staunchest defenders of the rights of children and young people. Finian had been first in. Now he was first out.”
Norris subsequently withdrew from the campaign but he strongly believes he did nothing wrong by writing the letters.
He adds: “I am proud of those letters, and if they ever emerge I hope the moralisers cringe with shame. I will not be publishing them; I stand by my principles on that matter.”
The Irish Times also reveals that state broadcaster RTÉ refused to accept the initial wording of an advertisement from the paper promoting its extract from the book on the basis that the word ‘pricks’ in the title was unacceptable.
The paper says the phrase is a biblical reference.