Senator David Norris has taken the first steps to become a runner in Ireland’s Presidential race again. The controversial academic has met 15 Independent deputies and senators in the Irish parliament to discuss the election.
Boosted by support in a number of recent opinion polls, Norris is keen to re-enter the October election.
He was forced to officially withdraw last month after a series of revelations concerning his support for a former boyfriend convicted of child rape in Israel.
Now Norris is expected to receive backing from at least some of the deputies and senators before formally announcing his decision to run on Friday night’s Late Late Show on Irish television.
Independent deputy Finian McGrath has also invited Special Olympics chief Mary Davis to outline her bid to the group of senators and deputies at Leinster House.
McGrath publicly withdrew his support for Norris in the wake of the Israel controversy but is prepared to listen to the Senator before finalizing his own views on the election.
“The Independent members of the Oireachtas have agreed to meet any Independent presidential candidate or potential candidate. The idea is to ensure everybody gets a fair hearing,” McGrath told the Irish Times.
In a separate development, Northern Ireland’s deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is no longer seen as a likely candidate for Sinn Fein.
The party’s health spokesman Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin and former UIster agriculture minister Michelle Gildernew are now the frontrunners to contest the presidential election on Sinn Fein’s behalf.