McGrath won't support Norris nomination bid

Wednesday 19 October 2011 15.11
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Norris has the support of 18 senators and TDs
Norris has the support of 18 senators and TDs
Shane Ross has confirmed he will sign papers
Shane Ross has confirmed he will sign papers

Mattie McGrath will not be supporting Senator David Norris’ bid to be nominated to run in the presidential election.

A "core group" of Mr McGrath's supporters voted 75% against the South Tipperary TD signing Mr Norris' nomination papers at a special meeting in the constituency tonight.

Speaking to RTÉ, South Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath said: “I put the question to my supporters tonight 'Should Mattie nominate David Norris?’ and then I put it to a vote. 71 people voted and of that 71 people, 75% of them said no.”

“120 people were invited to the meeting and 71 people attended. They are my core group that run my campaign so I had to listen to them.”

Dublin South Independent TD Shane Ross earlier confirmed he would sign Senator Norris' nomination papers for the election.

Mr Ross said he will be supporting Michael D Higgins for the presidency, but signed the nomination papers because he did not want to be “one of the instruments that obstructs democracy”.

The move means Senator Norris now has the support of 18 Oireachtas members.

He needs 20 to ensure he is on the ticket for the October contest or he could secure the backing of four local authorities.

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

Squabbles

Meanwhile, Independent Presidential candidate Seán Gallagher has called on voters to focus on the big issues facing the country and not on party political squabbles.

Mr Gallagher said that the Presidency should be above party politics.

He said: "We have had the general election now let us focus on who is the individual most suited to provide a fresh vision for Ireland over the coming seven years."