Norris speaks of depression after Presidential election

Former independent candidate accused media of being ‘terribly cruel and heartless’

Senator David Norris speaking at an event to mark World MS Day today.

Senator David Norris speaking at an event to mark World MS Day today.



Senator David Norris said he was treated for severe depression and had a nervous breakdown after the Presidential election.

Mr Norris, who was at one point frontrunner in the race for the Aras, said his treatment at the hands of the media had been “cruel and heartless” and had caused him depression and a series of related illnesses.

“I’m better than that now, but it makes me much more angry now when I see what these terribly cruel and heartless people did to somebody who is not a monster eventhough they tried to monster me. It had a devastating effect on me,” he said.

Mr Norris said he was now involved in seven separate libel actions arising out of the Presidential election.

He first withdrew from the race when it was revealed he had written a letter pleading for clemency for his former Israeli partner Ezra Nawi who was convicted of the statutory rape of a 15-year-old boy in 1997.

His difficulties were compounded when an interview conducted in 2002 resurfaced in which he appeared to endorsed sexual relations between an older and younger man.

He later went on to state his abhorrence of the abuse of children.

“I don’t think people can quite realise what it is like to wake up day after day to hear your name on the headlines and to hear downright lies,” he said. “Some of them pose as Christians but don’t have an atom of mercy or a feeling of how vulnerable people are and how they can be devastated.”

Mr Norris spoke this afternoon at a Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Ireland event to mark World MS Day.

The day has been themed around the subject of mottos. Among those who contributed their motto was the actor Chris O’Dowd: “The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer someone else up”, Ireland rugby captain Jamie Heaslip “talent is nothing without discipline” and the blind adventurer Mark Pollack “Sometimes we choose our challenges, sometimes they choose us. What we decide to do about it is what counts.”

Mr Norris said he was inspired by the tale of many of the 7,000 people in Ireland who have MS and praised their “nobility and the courage”. His own personal motto was “Judge not another until you have stood in his shoes”

Ms Ireland’s policy and information officer Emma Rogan, who was diagnosed with the condition six years ago, said it was an opportunity to show people that the illness did not define the person.

“This year’s theme is about what inspires us all and gets us through difficult times,” she said. “My own motto is about courage: ‘Face your full potential and be brave. For unless you challenge yourself you will never know how great you can be’.”