David Norris had hoped to become Ireland‘s first openly gay president — and with that, the first openly gay head of state in Europe — but his plans fell apart after his involvement in an ex-lovers’ scandal cost him dearly.It emerged at the weekend that Norris had appealed to the Jerusalem High Court 14 years ago for leniency for his former lover, Ezra Yizhak Nawi, who was on trial for the sexual abuse of a 15-year-old Palestinian boy, reports GlobalPost.
Nawi, an Israeli peace activist, was later found guilty.
The details of the letter were published at the weekend by a blogger. The letter is especially controversial as it appears to mislead the Isreali court about his relationship with the accused, reports The Daily Mail.
The revelations couldn’t have come at a worse time for Norris. After decades of silence, the Irish establishment has flown into a rage against sexual abuse committed by members of the Catholic Church.
Norris’ perceived approval of the abuse likely killed his campaign. Following the release of the letter, seven campaign members of the senator’s fifteen-strong campaign team quit, and his support network fell apart.
“I deeply regret the most recent of all the controversies concerning my former partner of 25 years ago, Ezra Nawi,” Norris, a leading scholar on James Joyce and an anti-war protester told supporters today, reports The Guardian. “The fallout from his disgraceful behaviour has now spread to me and is in danger of contaminating others close to me both in my political and personal life. It is essential that I act decisively now to halt this process.”
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