On his website Norris lists his concerns as “Human Rights Issues, Foreign Policy, Immigration/Asylum, European Union, Luas/Metro”.
He owns a Georgian house in North Great George’s Street in Dublin, he is a member of the Irish Georgian Society and is an active campaigner for the preservation of Georgian buildings in the Republic of Ireland. He has spent many of his own earnings on restoring his own home “room by room”. He has campaigned for the transfer of the Abbey Theatre (National Theatre of Ireland) to the GPO in the centre of O’Connell Street. Norris is also a well-known Joycean scholar, and plays a large part in Dublin’s annual Bloomsday celebrations.
“I am the kind of Christian who believes that the most important theological principle is the principle of positive doubt. Even Christ doubted, on the cross. And I think if people say they hear the voice of God all the time and say they know what to do, then impose that on you, politically, it is theological tyranny. Whereas if you have doubt, it stops you from abusing your religious belief. Religion can be so abused in the interests of power, especially on behalf of institutions and governments.”
Norris believes himself to be an “outsider” of “accepted society” and claims this gives him a heightened awareness of other minority or “outsider” groups. He says he wishes society to become more accepting of diversity. He has campaigned on mental health and child abuse issues.
Norris has spoken in favour of Ireland rejoining the Commonwealth of Nations, which it left when it became a republic in 1949. He dismissed the position of the British monarch as Head of the Commonwealth as “largely titular”.
When questioned on drug legalisation he said:
“The blunt instrument of criminalisation is not working because of the vast profits it generates for organised crime … my view is that the welfare of the community, including the victims of drug abuse, may be better served by having access to quality controlled, legally prescribed drugs.”
On 31 July 2014, he delivered a speech at the Senate of Ireland about the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict to denounce the violations of human rights by the State of Israel. The video clip of the speech attracted more than 300,000 views on YouTube making Norris most successful Irish politician to appear on YouTube. He said:
“[…] I am in favour of human rights, whether one is Israeli, gay, a woman or black. I am not changing my position. I am not anti-Israel or anti-Semitic, but I am pro-human rights for every human being.”