Following a statement by a Fine Gael county councillor this week, the party have confirmed that they have asked members not to support Senator David Norris in his bid to get a nomination from the County Councils. The Dublin senator gave an engaging 20 minute presentation to councillors at their monthly meeting last week, which drew a round of applause from the members at the end. It was only Senator Norris’s second presentation to a local council - his first presentation was made to members of Laois Co Council.
His bid to earn the support of councillors appeared to be running smoothly, with Fianna Fail councillors Denis Glennon and Martin Mulleady both praising Senator Norris on his presentation.
The real bombshell came from Fine Gael Cllr Paddy Belton, who delivered the news that his party has instructed party members to actively oppose Senator Norris, who was clearly taken aback by the news. Speaking afterwards to members of the Longford Women in Business Network, Senator Norris said the Co Council meeting had been very positive and had featured some interesting questions. He added that it had “thrown up some political stuff that we will be looking into carefully” particularly in terms of “ the attitudes of the parties”.
In a statement to the Leader this week, a Fine Gael party spokesperson said, “Fine Gael will be running a candidate in the Presidential election. All members of the party will be asked to actively campaign for our candidate, who will represent the ethos of the party. The party believes, therefore, that it would be inappropriate for elected Fine Gael representatives to lend their support, in whatever fashion, to any other candidate.” Full story page 7