Norris caught in ‘friendly fire’ over earnings

PRESIDENTIAL candidate Senator David Norris claims he’s been caught in “friendly fire” between candidates in relation to the publication of earnings and expenses.

Canvassing in Cork yesterday, Senator Norris said he would release the information as soon as he could assemble it and said he has nothing to hide: “I’ve no problem at all [with disclosure].

“There is a spat going on between the candidates so I’m caught in friendly fire.

“Nobody can accuse me of concealing anything.”

He said much of his earnings over the years went to restoring his Georgian home on Dublin’s North Great George’s Street “room by room”. He also owns a Jaguar XA6 which he bought for €6,500 but rarely uses as he walks to work.

“I have to campaign, but whatever records are there they are welcome to them. As far as I know they are out on the record anyway. I’m an open book,” said Mr Norris.

Speaking to journalists at the English Market in Cork, he denied reports that he was going blind and drinking excessively.

“Am I blind, am I wearing glasses? Have I got bloodshot eyes? Am I stumbling or slurred? There’s your answer.

“Papers never refuse ink, these are people out to sell a story, maybe they have an agenda, I don’t know, that’s their problem. But they would be very foolish to second guess the people of Ireland,” he said.

Mr Norris said he is not afraid of future controversy during the presidential campaign, claiming he adopts a mask to disguise pain and hurt but said “it does not conceal fear”.

“I have never been afraid. I will take whatever is coming on the chin, but I do not like collateral damage.”

He expressed delight about how his campaign was progressing and claimed to be the “greatest comeback kid in Irish political history”.

He said controversial topics that have dominated his campaign such as letters he wrote pleading clemency for former partner Ezra Nawi were not an issue yesterday.

“I’ve met hundreds of people here in Cork and not a single person asked about any of those issues. I’m delighted because I love meeting people, they raise my spirits. I knew there would be a great attempt to force me out of the race. But I’m back, I’m the greatest comeback kid in Irish political history and If I take the Park that will be redoubled,” he said.

Mr Norris visited the Knocknaheeny Youth Music Initiative and Cork Chamber early yesterday before departing to prepare for last night’s second televised presidential debate.

Picture: Senator David Norris at the Knocknaheeney Youth Music Initiative in Cork yesterday. Picture: Kenneth O’Halloran

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