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Gay Irish presidential frontrunner claims he is victim of ‘smear campaign’ over paedophilia comments

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  1. concerned resident E3 3 Jun 2011, 10:53am

    Norris is a good man and a long time and stallwart campaigner for gay rights. I sincerely hope this muckraking of what would otherwise be trivial comments about ancient Greek society do not damage his chance to be president.

  2. Gay Daily Mail Reader 3 Jun 2011, 11:04am

    Innocent until proven otherwise. Branding someone a pedaeophile is the 21st Century equivalent of the Medievil witch-hunt. The Catholic Church in Ireland (and other countries) have taken quite a knock recently because of pedaeophiles but that doe not mean that all Catholics, homosexuals etc, are kiddy-fiddlers.

  3. Helen Luck Burke is a known bigot.

    When I saw her name in this article I knew immediately that it is most likely a smear campaign.

    Helen Lucy Burke is the Irish equivalent of Jan Moir – a nasty piece of work with her own sorduid agenda.

    Helen Lucy Burke is a disgrace to her profession.

    1. Helen Lucy Burke should be ostracised by her profession

      1. in ireland , journalism is notoriously childlike and unsophisticated, that is why this stupid woman carries so much kudos.

  4. unfortunately people always go looking for anything to smear opponents in politics
    I can see what he means by it being beneficial to have people looking out for you

  5. …however, these were fantastically ill-advised comments and any Presidential candidate would find themselves in hot water over them.

  6. If you read the comments he made he didn’t actually say anything wrong. He made a strong statement against paedophilia. He then said that when he was a young adult he would have liked an older, more experienced boyfriend. He was naive to talk about those things in the same breath though, but this was nearly a decade ago so it seems nasty to muckrake like this. I hope people read the comments properly and realise that he said nothing inherently wrong and that some people will be disgusted by those who are trying to use this against him. He would make an excellent president.

    1. @Dromio

      I don’t even think he was naive to talk about them in the same breath – it was an academic theoretical discussion about Greek mythological sexual behaviour – hardly then draws on direct comparison with modern day sexuality. I understand he personalised his reflections but in order to understand what is happenining in a historical context we sometimes have to consider what our contemporary view would be.
      He has condemned incest, paedophilia etc – he is a man of strong principles and who is highly regarded in Ireland – the muck spreading, bigoted views of a minority should be disregarded by the moral majority in Ireland – and I hope he is elected President.

  7. Just shows they think he is a clear contender and that if they didn’t stoop to this level then the other contenders wouldn’t stand a chance.

  8. Thats a shame he’s right I have an older boyfriend who taught me about the scene and my sexuality etc etc and it deffinatly helped me with the transition into the gay world etc.
    I hope the Irish think about the comments before going with the knee jerk reaction against paedophilia

  9. Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir of Iceland is the world’s (and Europe’s) first openly gay head of government. :)

    1. She is indeed.
      But (if elected) Mr Norris would be the first openly-gay head of state – i.e., a president, not a prime minister :)

      1. Yes Pablo – you are entirely right. I made this mistake when Mr Norris anounced his candidacy for the Irish presidency.

        I think that due to the difference in approach in various nations to Presidency eg in the USA Obama is effectively head of state and head of government whereas the Irish president has a very different role.

  10. David Norris is a very decent man.

    He made some ill-advised comments, but they have nothing to do with paedophilia as we use the word today, i.e. adults wanting sexual activity with children. Norris is and will continue to be a stalwart opponent of child abuse.

    It seems implausible that such a clever man allowed himself to talk in a way that could so easily be twisted against him by the media, but Norris spent much of his career without any expectation of attaining the highest office. Even a few years ago, he was seen mostly as an eccentric but genial intellectual likely always to be confined to the fringes of political life.

    Ireland’s dramatically changing attitudes to LGBT people, along with the collapse of our economy and the discrediting of the political class, have made Norris a mainstream figure.

    It will be very sad for Ireland if the media’s obsession with soundbites and quoting out of context destroys the presidential hopes of a good and honest man.

    1. I dont agree that his comments were ill advised.
      In the context of the actual discussion they were appropriate, insightful and honest.
      He clearly did not have sights set on being head of state when he gave the interview but I would hope his honesty and integrity would mean even if he did that he would have responded with the same candour and insight that gave an articulate and intelligent commentary to a historical perspective.

  11. Norris is actually very cool and only said what any educated man would say.

  12. john sharp 3 Jun 2011, 6:11pm

    any one juging other should look at themselves ,homophobic attitudes are all over , and like pedofelia should be condemed but reality is that there are many younger looking for older .the imprtant is consent

  13. Jock S. Trap 4 Jun 2011, 9:02am

    Oh the dirty trick to someone doing well.
    The ugly side of politics.
    I hope people have the sense ot see this for what it is and nothing more.
    Good luck to him.

  14. burningworm 4 Jun 2011, 10:48am

    The reference was to an ancent culture where the boys were slaves to their masters. Where in modern times the men would be in jail and the little boys would be emancipated.

    You shouldn’t romanticse it or deem it clever (you know who you are). Is like a 14 year old boy being ‘taught’ by a 45 year old man. We all know who benefits from that sitution (it ain’t the boy). So for him to speak about that specific culture and his own preference is absurd.

    1. Yeah right 4 Jun 2011, 2:43pm

      It doesn’t sound like you know much about Ancient Greek culture or about the context in which Norris was talking. This sort of reaction is exactly why the story is harmful to his Presidential campaign. And look at the other alternatives. Right wing pro-Catholics and a couple of guys who are so old they should be embalmed.

    2. phoenix0879 4 Jun 2011, 2:53pm

      In today’s culture, yes. But the Greeks operated very differently from us. For starters, the boys weren’t slaves, they were assigned to an elder individual to learn how to “be a man” when hitting puberty. They didn’t have our concepts of things like age of consent. It was never just about sex, it was about tutoring a young man in the ways of men. And it worked – For Their Society. It would not work in our modern society (and I am glad of that). But just because it is inappropriate for us does not mean it was for the ancient Greeks.

      1. burningworm 4 Jun 2011, 4:00pm

        Yes all of that is true on the surface. If you go deeper you would would know that these boys were from landless families ie the breeding ground for slavery. You romanticise it with ‘our concepts’. You literalise it. No would-be-king, lived through that process.

        It is not that it is inappropriate, it is wicked and wrong.

        1. Yeah right 5 Jun 2011, 8:00am

          Worm, Again you demonstrate a misunderstanding of Ancient Greek Culture. I’m not even sure you understand OUR culture. You seem hell bent on continuing the smear against Norris. Are you that snidy journo in disguise?

          1. burningworm 6 Jun 2011, 2:13am

            I demo a misunder of culture…Okay. I don’t see an argument or a correction.

            No i’m not a person you make parody of.

            So let me say it in another way.

            No boy/man found himself in a situation of older learning had he been from a family of ownership or stock. If he had loot or title he wouldn’t have needed to experience this older, higher education.

            The notion that there was a place for it and that it served a certain cultural norm of the time displays a misreading or even a literal understanding of what is read and presented as absolute fact.

            We can’t agree on what was said, displayed and reported last year but you seem so certain.

        2. @ burningworm: I’d like to know your sources for this interpretation. Equating classical ‘pederasty’ with slavery seems extreme to me, since it was limited to free citizens. Furthermore, the choice – certainly in the Classical period – was with the belowed, the ‘boy’, who had to be courted.

  15. burningworm 4 Jun 2011, 4:08pm

    I agree that this story has surfaced to decrease his popularity.

    My point is about the usuage of his language.


    If i were talking about a guy i kissed last night and at the same time about two dogs that just kissed, the person listening may connect the two, or question why i’m speaking about the two.

    So for him to say he would have liked that type of older male at some point in his ‘child’hood?, I think he should be corrected. And other commentors should think outside of personal likes.

    And imagine it for those children and not liken it to some fantasy of what we might have needed.

    1. Yeah right 5 Jun 2011, 7:57am

      you seem strangely obsessed with an out of context comment from years ago.

      Are you even Irish? Do you have a vote? Is it any of your business?

      1. burningworm 6 Jun 2011, 2:07am

        Am i even Irish? Do i have a vote? Is it any of my business?

        You are hilarious. Had you asked those questions in another skin you’d be branded as a fool, but hey, such slingshots of abuse are for the weak minded.

        Ever heard of Newtons Third Law of Motion?

        It would improve your argument if you knew it.

  16. Apparently , when asked by norris that burke produce this taped interview , which she said she would on rte radio, but now she states that the tape was lost in storm damage to her home. Are irish people really that stupid to fall for this defammation/smear campaign against norris because of a ridiculous food critics homophobia. if he fails to be elected at least as an nominee , looks like the irish want to go back to being primitive again.

  17. He condemns what they say he supports and all he has done is say in a discussion maybe the Greeks had it right the men teaching boys about sex and sexuality. It doesent require them to sleep together he never said that.

    I would of liked guidance would of saved me from many problems accepting myself and in bed when young we could all use pointers haha.

    My bf is younger than me. He will be looking to me for guidance, we teach everything else the Greeks just taught that aswell.

  18. John Waters who was the editor of Magill and who dealt with concerns regarding the original inteview prior to publication has this to say –

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