Senator David Norris, a gay independent candidate for the Irish presidency, says his campaign has been destroyed after opponents drew attention to controversial quotes in a nine-year-old interview.The interview was conducted by restaurant critic Helen Lucy Burke and appeared in the Magill Irish current affairs magazine. Norris is quoted as saying on the topic of paedophilia:
“I haven’t the slightest interest in children, or in people who are considerably younger than me.
“I cannot understand how anybody could find children of either sex in the slightest bit attractive sexually… but in terms of classic paedophilia, as practised by the Greeks, for example, where it is an older man introducing a younger man to adult life, there can be something said for it. Now, again, this is not something that appeals to me.
“Although when I was younger I would have greatly relished the prospect of an older, attractive, mature man taking me under his wing, lovingly introducing me to sexual realities, treating me with affection, teaching me about life.”
Norris is adamant that his comments have been taken out of turn, calling the accusations the “greatest insults” that anyone could possibly receive.
As an independent, Norris’s place on the election slate requires the endorsement of 20 TDs (Teachta Dálas, members of the House of Representatives) and senators or the backing of four city and county councils. He now fears he may not reach this target.