Gay senator David Norris ‘could re-enter race for Irish presidency’

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Openly gay independent senator David Norris could re-enter the race for the Irish presidency, it has been reported.

The Sunday Independent reported that he is considering whether to stand again, following a “consistent outpouring of public support”.

Mr Norris, 67, pulled out of the race last month over controversy surrounding a letter of support he had written for a former partner who was convicted of raping a 15-year-old boy.

He had an almost 30-year relationship with Ezra Yizhak Nawi who was convicted in 1997 of the statutory rape of the Palestinian 15-year-old.

In 1998, Mr Norris wrote a letter to Israeli authorities on Seanad-headed paper pleading for clemency for Nawi.

The letter was released in July and Mr Norris said he had made a “human error” when trying to help someone he once loved.

He said he regretted appearing not to show “compassion” for the victim of Nawi’s “terrible” crime.

According to the Sunday Independent, Mr Norris may announce his re-entry to the race on Friday, when he appears on The Late, Late Show.

If he does decide to stand, he has just two weeks to secure the support of TDs, or four county councils. If elected, he will become the world’s first openly gay head of state.

Mr Norris is popular in Ireland and a senior Fianna Fail figure told the newspaper: “We haven’t got our own candidate and given the level of public support for Norris I think it would play well to nominate him.

“I think the party leadership would turn a blind eye if some TDs or senators signed his papers.”