It gave me no pleasure to see David Norris depart from the Presidential race. His upbeat personality might have been just the medicine the Irish people needed to put a smile on our faces, and to believe things weren't quite so bad as we thought, or at least would not be in the future. (Even though I personally would not have contemplated voting for him). Nevertheless i'm sure those inclined to be firm supporters of Israel and homophobes were left rubbing their hands together in glee as they saw him bow out of the race, in such a way that anyone with any sense of dignity might have felt a little bit sorry for the man. Norris was a divisive figure, he seems to scare the right much like Dana frightens the left. Norris of course is an individual who has in the past done good work for various human rights initiatives, especially on behalf of minority communities, not only in Ireland but abroad (Speaking up for the plight of Palestinians and his successful effort of decriminalizing homosexuality here in 1993) But few could argue his decision to withdraw was not the right thing for him to do, and that his judgement to do so in that case was certainly the correct one (all the while rightfully questioning his judgement which had lead up to the probable inevitability). The Irish public should be grateful that the controversies surrounding Norris's former partner came out at the time they did, rather then during his term as President, that would have been utterly embarrassing, not only for Norris but for the Irish public. Had it not been for the controversy surrounding his former party engaging in an illegal activity with a minor, to my mind it would have been close to a guarantee that he would have strolled into the Phoenix Park and the Aras. The polls as we recall had shown he had a commanding lead.
But if we are to be consistent in our outrage when children are abused by priests, or when bishops willingly transfer priests who have abused children to a different parish, we must also demand firm detailed answers from Senator David Norris, which at least to my mind he has yet to do, conclusively. We would rightfully demand a priest be removed from his position if he were to have written a letter in defense of someone who to put in bluntly,raped a child, regardless of whether it was consensual or not, it is illegal. (Well at least i would). Try to keep your political ideology aside, presumably some self described liberals who might still be inclined to find some way to defend the man and his actions, might be apprehensive to do so since he is regarded as not only a Gay icon but a liberal one. Plain and simple what Nawi did was wrong and Norris's actions, no matter how well intentioned he was, were also wrong. I believe it is time that Norris, once he returns from his vacation, seriously considers his position as a sitting Senator. He also needs questions put him over his support for doing away with the age of consent, and to put it mildly, his questionable opinions as regards peadophilla. If Norris asks for forgiveness and reiterates what he did was wrong, I believe any honorable person will forgive him. I honestly believe on the whole David Norris is a good man, even though certainly his judgement and possibly a semblance of his character is in question.