Norris got TCD disability pay

Wed, Oct 5, 2011, 01:00

Presidential candidate Senator David Norris has said he received disability payments from Trinity College Dublin for 16 years, while continuing to serve as a Senator, after contracting hepatitis.

Speaking at the launch of his campaign in Dublin today, Mr Norris said he fell ill with hepatitis and spent a number of weeks in hospital in 1994 after drinking contaminated water during a visit to Europe.

He said he felt drained of energy as a result of the illness and that despite previously being capable of carrying out both jobs, he was medically advised to no longer take on the stress of his lecturing duties.

Mr Norris said the situation continued for about a year and at that point the university told him his situation was “untenable” and advised that he go on permanent disability. A lecturer was hired as his replacement and Mr Norris was compelled not to lecture elsewhere under the agreement, he said.

Asked how much he received in payments, Mr Norris said he was “not very good with arithmetic” but that his pension now was approximately €2,500 per month, which was paid by Trinity College and not the State.

“I think it would be dishonest of me to pretend that I could give you an exact figure…if you wish to find it out you have my permission,” he said. “Might I say this, those were different times. That’s 1994. I think in the present circumstances I would have possibly had some hesitations.”

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