Norris and Dana Edge Closer To Ballot

A number of local authorities are meeting today to consider the bids of Senator David Norris and Dana Rosemary Scallon to become Presidential candidates.

So far, Laois County Council has backed Senator Norris, while Carlow County Council has nominated Ms Scallon.

Mr Norris now has the support of two local authorities, while Ms Scallon has the backing of one.

Ms Scallon won the Carlow vote by seven to zero with the rest abstaining.

The Fine Gael Chair of Carlow County Council, Thomas Kinsella, used his casting vote against Senator Norris on a motion to support him after a vote was tied five to five.

Mr Kinsella said afterwards that he felt Mr Norris still has questions to answer about a number of issues.

This morning, Laois County Council nominated Senator Norris by a margin of seven votes to four.

“I am delighted to announce that my home county of Laois has just agreed to nominate me for the Presidential race,” Senator Norris said on Twitter.

Six Fianna Fáil councillors and one Independent voted in favour of him. Four councillors, including two Fianna Fáil and one Sinn Féin, voted against him.

All members of Fine Gael on the council abstained on the vote after a meeting with Senator Norris and Fine Gael TD Charlie Flanagan.

Leaving the meeting, Senator Norris said he was delighted to have got the support of people in a county where he had several connections.

He indicated he would not be publishing any further letters of representation he had sent in the case of his ex partner Ezra Nawi because they were all shorter versions of the original letter he had published in full.

This afternoon, Ms Scallon is expected to address a scheduled meeting of Roscommon County Council.

It is expected the former MEP will receive the backing of the council.

The Independent Councillor who had proposed nominating Mr Norris has withdrawn his proposal.

Councillor John Murphy made the announcement as the County Council prepared to meet.

Councillor Murphy said he had made the decision because it appeared unlikely that the proposal would be supported by a sufficient number of councillors.

Ms Scallon has been proposed by a Fianna Fáil councillor. This proposal will go ahead.

There are 26 members of the council in Roscommon and ten Fine Gael members are likely to abstain from the vote.

This evening, a special meeting of South Dublin County Council will be held to decide whether to nominate Senator Norris.

The meeting begins at 5.15pm and the motion to nominate Senator Norris is the only item on the agenda.

Both Ms Scallon and Senator Norris need to secure the backing of four local authorities to make it onto the ballot paper.

Around 12 county councils are to meet in the next few days to decide who they will be supporting.

Earlier, Independent TD Mattie McGrath said he personally wanted to facilitate Senator Norris’ Presidential nomination, but opted not to sign the papers after reviewing the feelings of his supporters.

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