Norris has always done write thing


Campaign Trail: CIAN NIHILL's sideways look at the presidential election

ONE THING voters could probably be guaranteed from electing Independent candidate David Norris would be a president who would respond to your mail, whatever the topic.

While his fondness for letter writing has caused the Senator a considerable amount of trouble recently, it appears he has always been willing to turn scribe on almost any issue.

In a letter dated June 1998 seen by The Irish Times, Mr Norris politely responded, on official Seanad paper, to Neil Horan – commonly referred to as the “dancing priest” and best known for attacking the Brazilian runner leading the marathon at the 2004 Summer Olympics.

Mr Norris thanked “Fr Horan” for his pamphlet on “various Messianic prophecies”.

“To be honest I haven’t really read it in detail yet,” he went on to admit, before reassuring Mr Horan that he would put his “feet up and read it with great interest” when he returned from a trip to Berlin. “I will then pass it on to my aunt who is just 100 and has always taken a keen interest in this kind of material,” wrote Mr Norris.

The Senator went on to write that he had read about Mr Horan in a book and that while he didn’t necessarily agree with his views, his “essential humanity and decency” came out “even through the lines of journalists”.

Candidates learn the lingo ahead of TV debate

WITH THE October 18th date for the TG4 debate looming ever closer, several of the presidential candidates are doing their best to appeal to “Gaeilgeoirí”.

Mary Davis’s Twitter account yesterday posted a link to her new poster bearing her campaign slogan in Irish or “Mo phóstaer as Gaeilge”, as it was so fluently put.

Michael D Higgins already has posters up “as Gaeilge”, while Seán Gallagher has said that he earned an honour in his Leaving Certificate Irish exam before forgetting much of the language through lack of use, something he has pledged to remedy should he be elected.

Last Friday in Galway, Martin McGuinness candidly admitted “níl mé líofa [fluent] fós” after a rather stumbling attempt to announce, in Irish, his pleasure at attending an event there.

In today’s paper, the Tuarascáil column quotes McGuinness as saying that he “loves the Irish language but it is an unrequited love”.

Wary that an evening of stuttering from the five other participants (Dana is not taking part and Michael D is fluent) might not make for the best viewing, candidates will make a short statement in Irish at the beginning and the debate proper will then take place in English with subtitles.

Harsh note in presidential song

THE CORRIGAN Brothers, most famous for penning There’s No One as Irish as Barack O’Bama, have turned their efforts to the presidential race.

They have written a cutting verse on each candidate.

The song describes Mary Davis’s poster as “like an ad for Special K now, put the airbrush kit away”, while it says David Norris “likes to write the odd old letter, time to put that pen away”.

The brothers say Seán Gallagher “had a Fianna Fáil pedigree, let’s erase it from our memory”, while Dana Rosemary Scallon “loves the Constitution, all kinds of everything inclusion”.

Martin McGuinness “met Mandela, when he meets the queen he’ll tell her”, and Gay Mitchell is described unkindly as looking “a bit like Dracula’s younger brother”.

Only Michael D Higgins gets off lightly. Michael D “just sits politely, in the background nice and quietly, he’s transfer friendly or he might be”.

The full song can be found at

YouTube clips

Doing the rounds on Twitter this week is the debate between Father Ted and Father Dougal on the relevance of Dana.

In an appeal to gain Facebook followers, Mary Davis’s awkward grip on a laptop, precariously wobbling in her hands, suggests she is not as comfortable with the device as her social media campaign might wish to suggest.