Belfast Telegraph

Dana and Norris close to nomination

Dana Rosemary Scallon and Senator David Norris have edged closer to securing enough support from local authorities to stand in the presidential election.

Eurovision winner Dana is half way there after being backed by Carlow and Roscommon and will wait on Donegal, Waterford and Westmeath on Tuesday.

Doubts remain over Senator Norris' campaign after councillors on South Dublin County Council refused to back him.

Despite performing well in opinion polls, he narrowly missed out on the nomination with 12 votes against, 11 in favour and three abstaining.

Having secured the backing of Fingal and Laois, the Trinity Senator will have to bank on support from two councils from Cork County, Waterford City and Dublin City.

Despite the setback, an upbeat Senator Norris remained confident of getting another two local authorities on board.

"It was very close, I wish the one vote had gone the other way but that's local democracy," he said. "There will be another day. I believe I will get enough to get in."

Meanwhile, under pressure to reveal the contents of letters he sent on behalf of his ex-partner who was convicted of statutory rape of a 15-year-old Palestinian boy, the Senator suggested he would not reopen the correspondence.

Several letters were written to Israeli authorities pleading for clemency for Ezra Nawi in the late 1990s.

"All the others are very much smaller versions of the same thing. The issue has been dealt with," Senator Norris said. "I'm moving on into the real issues. I hope this isn't going to be a dirty campaign. All this stuff came out and the people of Ireland, the opinion polls have shown, are intelligent enough to make up their own mind. I'm going to allow them to make up their own mind."

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