SENATOR DAVID NORRIS is undergoing medical treatment for a serious cancer, he revealed today.
The Dublin-based politician issued a statement in response to a number of media inquiries concerning his health and well-being.
He thanked the team of consultants at St. Vincent’s Private Hospital for the “superb treatment” he has received and confirmed that the illness appears to be related to an initial incidence of viral hepatitis contracted in eastern Europe in the mid-1990s.
The 68-year-old said he will return to work in the coming days.
The statement in full:
My office has been contacted in recent days by sections of the press making inquiries concerning my state of health and general medical condition. The following statement will I hope provide an adequate response.
I am currently undergoing medical management for a serious cancer condition. I am extremely grateful for the superb treatment I have received from the team of consultants at St. Vincent’s Private Hospital as well as the nursing and general hospital staff.
The cancer appears to be related to the initial incidence of viral hepatitis which I contracted from tainted drinking water while I was on unpaid Government business in Eastern Europe in 1994.
I have no difficulty in making this information public in response to press queries because I believe that there should be no stigma attaching to cancer as a disease. I continue to enjoy life and am looking forward to returning to my duties in Seanad Eireann over the next few days.
Senator David Norris.
The Man who nearly became Ireland’s first Gay President
The move to make homosexual acts no longer illegal followed a 16-year-old legal battle which began in 1977, when Senator David Norris began a case against Ireland’s draconian laws. Norris’s case came before the High Court in 1980, where it was rejected, and before the Supreme Court in 1983, where it was also rejected by five judges who found that the laws which made homosexual acts a crime did not contravene the Constitution.
Norris then took the case to the European Court of Human Rights, with the help of Mary Robinson, where judges finally ruled that Irish laws contravened the Convention on Human Rights. Five years later, the laws were changed.
“The passage of the Bill was one of the most important steps in the liberation of gay people in Ireland,” said Rose. “It led to new generations of lesbian and gay people able to live their lives more openly.”
Mr Gilmore was speaking after a meeting with a group of retired international leaders, The Elders.
Former US President Jimmy Carter said he was encouraged by a meeting this morning.
Mr Carter was at a meeting at the Department of Foreign Affairs with representatives of 20 EU states, who unanimously supported the labelling move.
Former President Mary Robinson, another member of The Elders, said they were not happy that the EU just “talks the talk” and said they wanted to see practical steps.
Mr Gilmore said work was under way at EU level to introduce labelling, and it would clearly be more effective if it was done at European level.
However, he said the Government had a process in train to do it unilaterally if necessary.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela is an Honorary Elder.