David Norris Lecture at IT Carlow
David Norris was in IT Carlow on Thursday afternoon to give a public lecture on the Civil Partnership Act 2010 and take some questions from the audience. The lecture is part of a series of public lectures hosted by IT Carlow’s Humanities Department.
Senator David Norris is an Irish civil rights campaigner and independent politician, who is currently seeking the Labour Party nomination to run for President. Norris made legal history by successfully taking the Attorney General and Ireland to the European Court of Human Rights over the criminalisation of homosexuality.
Senator Norris met with his audience in IT Carlow’s large lecture theatre, introducing himself through our native language, noting that from a young age ‘he fell in love with the language’ and also congratulating the IT as a ‘terrific environment for education’. Within moments it was clear he held the attention of the audience through sheer charm, wit and goodwill. He spoke firstly of his education, involvement in human rights activism and from being defined as a criminal due to his sexual orientation to becoming a viable candidate for Presidency of Ireland.
Senator Norris dealt with and thoroughly discussed all issues relevant to the Civil Partnership Act, including rights of marriage and the absence of rights for Irish children in the Irish Constitution. Finally he spoke on his role as a possible candidate for Presidency of Ireland commenting, ‘Yes, I do think I am the best person for this position, if I didn’t it would be outrageous to put myself forward’.
The talk concluded with a questions and answer session whereby no member of the audience was left with a question unanswered. One question put to the visitor by our International Coordinator(Non-EU), Donal Mc Ailster, was that if Senator Norris was elected, what would be the theme of his Presidency. Mr. Norris stated that his theme would not only be a voice for people, a celebration of diversity but that he would endeavour to showcase Ireland internationally. He continued to say that through nomination he would at the least ‘like the right to present myself to the Irish people’.
As an Independent candidate Senator Norris faces an uphill battle to fund and run his campaign without the backing of a large political party. He is appealing for volunteers to help in the campaign and for supporters to donation through his website www.norrisforpresident.ie.