Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I told David Norris to be Quiet!

As a graduate of the University of Dublin, Trinity College - I am a member of the elite who get to vote in the Senate elections for the three representatives from Trinity that are in the Senate. I have voted for David Norris (#1) for as long as I can remember - I think he has been a Senator for 100 years or more (was he in the Roman Senate too?). David Norris is one of those people who make Irish people feel better about themselves, and I am happy to say that I have been a voter for him in several Senate elections.

Photo from senatordavidnorris.ie
Senate election ballot papers arrived today and I am delighted to say that I hardly had the papers open when I had already placed my #1 vote for Senator Norris. But Gosh (as he might say!) - there were 19 other people on the ballot paper. I gave my #2 to Fiona O'Malley (daughter of Des O'Malley) - I once spent a very pleasant evening sitting beside her at a 40th birthday party dinner. She is a bright and feisty candidate, and may well come through the very crowded list to do well. After that - well I didn't know who to choose next! Senate candidates don't get on TV debates, so it is very much based on name recognition (so much election literature went straight to the recycle bin). Karen Dubsky is a graduate of Zoology (as I am) - so I gave her #3. When I think of it - voting for her because I once met her and that she is a fellow graduate is a pretty shitty reason to vote for her. She did not send any election material to me. Having sealed the ballot envelope, I was already embarrassed by this blatant "vote for someone you met once" selection method.

Most of the others were names that I did not recognize - shame on them for their shitty campaigns. No votes for them.

I wish Senator Norris well in the Presidential election later this year - though he is certain to lose, particularly if Michael D. Higgins gets to Government's nomination. I do have the distinction of once telling him to be quiet. In the mid 1980's when I was a postgraduate student in Trinity, I used to invigilate exams. One day I invigilated an exam in the Arts Block in Trinity in one of the rooms which could only accommodate about 20 students -a small exam. Mid way through the exam the Lecturer in the next room started to started to speak quite loudly - many students in the exam looked at me in a way that they wanted me to do something about the noise. So I went outside and stood outside the room where I could recognize the voice of David Norris in full flow (well known then as now). He was telling his class about a "cultured thief" who had stolen some of his James Joyce notes from his car! I knocked on the door and explained that there was an exam next door - David was very apologetic and polite - he instantly lowered his voice. How many people can claim to have successfully asked him to be quiet???

Good luck to David Norris - I have no doubt that he will top the poll in Trinity. Politics in Ireland is the better for his entertaining, witty, and incisive contributions to debate in this country.


  1. Love the blog post Dr. O'Loughlin but I wouldn't be too sure about David Norris not getting the Presidency in November even if Michael D. Higgin's gets Labours nomination. There is a genuine wave of support for the Senator which can be seen online - For example nearly 20,000 people are members of a Facebook page supporting the Senators bid: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Senator-David-Norris-for-President/318973847746 and considering the last election there was a real shift for Independent candidates and the fact that the Senator is running as an Independent I think the general public will see that as a pro rather than a con. Politics is changing more because of the lack of any accountable leadership until now but I think the last election and the Presidential election show people are talking with their feet not following the traditional route of voting for who the family voted for. Not a bad thing either in my opinion!

  2. You must be unique in silencing David Norris :-)

    Our former zoology colleague, Karin Dubsky, has withdrawn from the race as she belatedly discovered that as a German national (albeit one who has spent all or nearly all her life in Ireland) she is ineligible for election