After previous controversy over his decision to stand for president, Senator David Norris has officially secured a position in the Irish presidential race.
On Tuesday afternoon gay advocate Norris won the backing of Dublin City Council, his fourth nomination by a local authority needed to enter the presidential race. The Joycean scholar also received backing from the authorities in Laois, Fingal and Waterford.
Labour presidential candidate Michael D Higgins had told his party councilors not to block Norris’ chances of entering the presidential race. Sinn Fein also anounced they were supporting his bid.
Higgins released a statement which read: “Given the prevailing circumstances and bearing in mind that I have consistently described the nomination criteria for the Presidency as outdated and in need of review, I believe they should not seek to obstruct the entrance of David Norris as a candidate into the field.”
According to reports in the Irish Examiner Norris responded by saying “What can I say? You're a real democrat Michael...You're a generous, decent and good man, and I thank you.
"I hope it's one of us, and if it's either of us, we're going to have a great President."
Higgins replied “It's about democracy, David...I think the people will benefit from a debate on the issues. I wish you well."
Norris received news that Waterford City Council signed the papers to nominate him as a candidate on Tuesday morning. He tweeted "My sincere thanks to Waterford County Council who have just given me my 3rd nomination. One more to go!"
Former Eurovision star Dana Rosemary Scallon has also secured her place with backing from the authorities of Offaly, Donegal, Carlow and Roscommon.
Senator Norris recently re-entered the running having withdrawn due to controversy surround a letter he wrote to an Israeli court pleading clemency for his former partner, Ezra Yitzhak. He had been convicted of the statutory rape of a 15-year-old boy.
Norris is the seventh candidate to enter the race. The other six candidates are Independent Dana Rosemary Scallon, Fine Gael's Gay Mitchell, Labour's Michael D Higgins, Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness and two independents, Mary Davis and Sean Gallagher.
The deadline for all nominations is Wednesday, September 28th, 2011, at midday.