Norris writes to Independent TDs seeking presidency support


INDEPENDENT SENATOR David Norris has formally written to all Independent TDs seeking their support for a nomination to run for president.

Mr Norris then plans to write to all Independent members of the Seanad once the Taoiseach nominates the remaining 11 Senators to the Upper House shortly.

The former college lecturer needs the support of 20 members of the Oireachtas, or four local authorities, to be able to run for the presidency next November.

At present, four independent TDs – Finian McGrath, Catherine Murphy, Mick Wallace and Maureen O’Sullivan – have declared their willingness to give him a nomination.

Fingal County Council is the only local authority so far which has said it will give him a nomination.

A spokeswoman for Mr Norris said yesterday he was still pursuing both avenues as a means of obtaining the required support, but his preference was to get the backing of local authorities.

She said he was “favourably received” when he spoke to members of Meath County Council last week.

The council will meet next month to decide whether to support the Senator’s nomination.

Mr Norris is due to step up his campaign next month when he intends addressing three local authorities – Carlow, Wexford and Wicklow – on the same day.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has ruled that his party’s councillors are free to vote for whomever they wish in the nomination of presidential candidates.

However, Fine Gael has instructed its councillors to block the nomination of Mr Norris.

Councils cannot pass a resolution nominating a candidate before the order is made for a presidential election in September. However, there is nothing to stop them passing a motion of intent to do so, as happened in the case of Fingal County Council.