Current Affairs Politics

Gay ‘The Christian’ Mitchell

Gay Mitchell, Alvida King, Enda Kenny

With the departure of Senator David Norris from the electoral field, it’s time to have another look at Fine Gael’s candidate for the office of Uachtarán na hÉireann, Gay Mitchell MEP. As I outlined earlier, Mitchell has some interesting friends. Firstly there is Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, who is a conservative Christian preacher with links to America’s right-wing Tea Party and several controversial figures in the US. Including the former TV rabble-rouser Glenn Beck. As ABC News described her involvement in the 2010 rally organised by Beck in Washington DC:

‘King, the niece of civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. and daughter of his brother activist A. D. King, is currently the director of African-American outreach at the pro-life group Priests for Life and has recently stepped into the spotlight after several appearances on Beck’s radio program.

“I am attending this rally to help reclaim America,” she told “Good Morning America’s” Ron Claiborne today from Capitol Hill. “I’m joining Glenn to talk about faith, hope, charity, honor. Those are things that America needs to reclaim. Our children need to remember to love each other how to honor each other, their parents, God and their neighbors. I agree with Glenn on all of those principles. So that’s why I’m here. For me it’s principles over politics.”’

Mitchell invited King to Ireland in June 2010 where she met senior members of Fine Gael, including our present Taoiseach Enda Kenny, as outlined on the (American-based) PNCI anti-abortion site:

‘Dr. Alveda King took the message that the civil rights movement of today is the pro-life movement to Dublin at the invitation of Gay Mitchell, Member of the European Parliament from Ireland. Mr. Mitchell warmly welcomed Dr. King and introduced her to members of the Irish Parliament, including Enda Kenny, leader of the Fine Gael party.’

One wonders if Gay and Enda discussed with Alveda King her views on homosexuality, described in the ABC News report above?

‘Earlier this month King grabbed headlines when she equated gay marriage with genocide.

“It is statistically proven that the strongest institution that guarantees procreation and continuity of the generations is marriage between one man and one woman,” King said at an Atlanta rally. “We don’t want genocide. We don’t want to destroy the sacred institution of marriage.”’

Certainly the FG MEP had plenty of time to do so when he was chatting to Alveda, as you can hear in this interview from the radio station near98fm where:

‘Gay Mitchell MEP introduces Dr. Alveda King and shares with the audience his concerns at the lack of willingness within the European Parliament to address the issue of pregnancy terminations and the impact it is having in distorting the balance in genders, particularly where it is being used to ensure sex selection.

He outlines his contributions to this debate both, in An Dáil and the European Parliament, and calls for an Irish debate on the matter that is inclusive and based on respect for human dignity.’

Aspects of King’s Christian fundamentalist agenda are examined further on the Grio:

‘Alveda King has been on the campaign circuit for more than a decade pushing a discriminatory, anti-gay marriage, anti-abortion, hard right family values message. In 1998, she barnstormed the country speaking at rallies against gay rights legislation. Alveda wasn’t the only King family member to stump for a hard right agenda in opposition to abortion and gay rights. Her cousin, Bernice King, MLK’s daughter, has preached the hell and damnation line against what she considers heathens. In her view, that’s liberals, progressives, feminists, gay rights advocates, and modern day civil rights leaders. In case anyone missed the King family connection, her group was named “King for America.”

Gay rights groups everywhere countered King’s “repent and save yourself” message to gays by citing public statements by King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, in which she said that her husband would be a champion of gay rights if he were alive.

Alveda and Bernice, and other black evangelicals have marched, protested, written letters and petitions denouncing gay marriage and abortion. Some polls even show that black evangelicals’ hostility to gay marriage is much stronger than that of white evangelicals.’

King of course was far more explicit in 1998:

‘”God hates racism and God hates homosexuality,” Alveda King told the group in a speech after leading them in prayer.’

Well… that says it all really, doesn’t it?

Now on to the right-wing Italian MEP Rocco Buttiglione. It has been claimed that several leading figures in the European Parliament defended Buttiglione after his extreme views were aired in the legislature, the ripples from which continued to plague EU affairs:

‘Europe’s outgoing Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs tonight backed anti-gay Italian Rocco Buttiglione to take over the job as planned and not step down because of his personal views.

Portuguese Socialist Antonio Vitorino said he did not agree with the anti-gay opinions of the staunch Catholic Italian right-winger, but said personal moral beliefs should not interfere with the Commission’s handling of issues of fundamental rights and civil liberties.

The support came after Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso moved to quell a European Parliament rebellion against his new Commission team because of Mr Buttiglione’s views.

The Italian has condemned homosexuality as a “sin”, described women’s primary role as having children and being protected by the male, and attacked single mothers as “not very good people”.

But centre-right MEPs said they would vote “solidly” for Mr Barroso’s selected Commissioner, including the outspoken Italian.

The fact that Mr Buttiglione predecessor has now thrown his weight behind Mr Buttiglione may discourage some centre-left MEPs from taking drastic action in next Wednesday’s vote.’

Another interesting facet of Gay Mitchell’s career is his membership of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, an influential but little known Catholic lay organisation whose origins are described by the sympathetic American-based media outlet Zenit:

‘As Christianophobia continues to spread and Church teaching threatens to become taboo in Western politics, how can Christian politicians best be encouraged to speak out in defense of the faith?

The answer may lie in the Dignitatis Humanae Institute. Founded exactly two years ago by a small group of Catholic European parliamentarians and politicians, the body is made up of working groups in several parliaments with a view to spreading worldwide.

Its aim, according to Benjamin Harnwell, the institute’s founding chairman, is to be a platform through which Christian politicians can better present coherent, moderate and mainstream responses to the growing number of radical and extremist secularists in public life.’

The report continues:

‘”The way militant secularists work is by picking off key people through a mixture of character assassination, intimidation and bullying, so we’re bringing together people who feel self-consciously part of this convoy, in order not to leave them so isolated and open to such sniper attacks.”

The institute is currently setting up an international office in Rome — in addition to its base in the European Parliament — which will help coordinate these working groups. The basic principles of the institute are set out in its “Universal Declaration of Human Dignity,” originally devised by Harnwell, and Irish Member of Parliament Gay Mitchell, and British Member of Parliament Nirj Deva.’

Okay. Not in the least bit paranoid then. But at least there is our Gay (Mitchell, that is) and his role as one of the key authors in the creation of the principles adopted by the organisation – apparently.

‘The institute’s chairman also laments that governments are, for instance, at pains to speak about the positive contribution Muslims make to society, but rarely the good that Christians have to offer. And he argues that this huge degree of ideological intolerance, explicitly against Christians, is growing. He cited in particular the recent prosecution of two Christian owners of a Bed and Breakfast business who declined to give a room to a homosexual couple. “That would never have happened 10 years ago,” says Harnwell, a native of Leicestershire, England. “These test cases start off being on the periphery of a bell curve and within a generation, they are within its very center.”’

Ah. So now we begin to see some of the Institute’s agenda. But it gets worse, with a flash of déjà vu:

‘Harnwell originally came up with the idea of creating the institute after the Italian politician Rocco Buttiglione was forced in 2004 to withdraw his nomination as the European Union’s new commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security because of his Catholic views on homosexuality and women.’

Sounds familiar.

‘”This is when my boss, Nirj Deva, suggested I go to speak to Gay Mitchell, former Europe Minister and hugely respected Irish Member of Parliament, with whom we had both worked on the Development Committee, to ask him to take political leadership of this concept,” he says. Together with Mitchell and Deva, he formulated a charter for the European Parliament’s working group on human dignity that would later become the institute’s declaration.’

Oh dear. Are you saying that Gay Mitchell helped create a charter later co-opted by a Christian group operating within the European Parliament some of whose members have, um, dubious views on homosexuality? Surely not!

‘A number of senior Christian politicians have been happy to put their name to the new venture: Cardinal Renato Martino, retired president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, is the institute’s honorary president. Rocco Buttiglione and Otto von Habsburg are patrons.

Meanwhile, working groups are already under way in several countries and institutions including Italy and the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. The respected pro-life campaigner Lord Alton of Liverpool launched the UK working group, at which Alveda King was guest speaker…’

Would that be Alveda King, well known conservative homophobe and friend of Gay Mitchell? And Rocco Buttiglione, equally well known conservative homophobe and also a friend of Gay Mitchell?

And just in case you’re wondering who Otto von Hapsburg is, that would be the late Archduke Otto von Hapsburg, described here:

‘The death has been announced of Archduke Otto von Hapsburg, eldest son of the Blessed Charles of Austria, at the age of 98.

Archduke Otto was Patron of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute. Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, Honorary President of the Institute, has said, “It is with profound sadness that we mourn the passing of one of the Twentieth Century’s greatest defenders of the Catholic faith and human dignity. Even well into his 90s, Otto von Habsburg campaigned tirelessly to uphold Europe’s Christian values and the sanctity of all human life. Indeed it is a testimony to his deep sense of purpose and conviction that, despite his increasing frailty, he agreed to become a patron of the Institute last year.

As the head of one of Europe’s most influential families, he became particularly disturbed by the rise of the great totalitarian ideologies, and fought equally against both National Socialism and International Socialism at significant risk to his own life.

Otto von Habsburg’s father, (Emperor) Blessed Karl of Austria, instilled in him from an early age that the office of a ruler is one of holy service and selfless sacrifice for the good of the peoples entrusted to him. It was a philosophy that would influence him all his life. He will be greatly missed.

Our thoughts and prayers at this time are turned towards the repose of Otto’s soul, the consolation of his family, and loss of the people of Austria; and we trust in the mercy of God that today this holy, humble man beholds the face of Jesus Christ, now into eternity.”’

Wow. It seems that Gay Mitchell may mix in some fairly exclusive circles, well above us mere mortals, among the old Roman Catholic aristocracy of Western Europe. The Independent describes the funeral of von Habsburg:

‘Lederhosen-clad Tyrollean guardsmen hoisted the coffin of Archduke Otto von Habsburg on to their shoulders yesterday, and laid the eldest son of Austria’s last emperor to rest in a pomp-filled ceremony evocative of the country’s past grandeur when it ruled over much of Europe.

Three times the master of ceremonies knocked on the crypt’s doors and twice the coffin was denied entry – first when the Archduke was named as emperor and holder of dozens of other royal titles, then when his academic and political achievements and other accomplishments were listed. “We do not know him!” was the response from the Capuchin friars within. The doors only opened after he was described as “Otto – a mortal and a sinner”.

The crypt was the last stop for the crowd of mourners packing the 2.4km route from the Gothic cathedral where he was eulogised earlier in the day. Police estimated that 10,000 spectators lined the route. Austrian Army units in slow funeral march step were followed by a gurney carrying the coffin, covered with the yellow-black Habsburg flag and flanked by the Tyrollean home guardsmen. Next came close family members, then crowned heads from Europe, Austrian government leaders, clergymen in fanciful Habsburg regimental colours.

The elaborate ceremony in Vienna’s St Stephen’s Cathedral also evoked the grandeur of the 640-year Habsburg dynasty. The Gothic church was packed. In another symbolic bow to the Habsburgs, seven bishops from nations of the former Austro-Hungarian empire – seven countries plus parts of modern-day Montenegro, Italy, Poland, Romania and Serbia and Ukraine – assisted the Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn.’

Erm. Okay, this getting a little bit Dan Brown. Time to move on, methinks.

So let’s go to the Iona Institute, this time a home-grown conservative Christian organisation, and one which regularly mentions Mitchell:

‘While Christian Democrat parties across Europe had a good election, in Ireland, the results from a pro-religion, pro-family perspective were distinctly mixed. Gay Mitchell and Brian Crowley have strong pro-life and pro-family track records.

Fine Gael’s Mairead McGuinness and Fianna Fáil’s Liam Aylward have been generally reliable on such issues, with Ms McGuinness standing up for the right of Rocco Buttiglione to be appointed as a European Commissioner after the last Euro elections.’

Oh God, not that Italian again… Mitchell is mentioned in another Iona document, which I highlighted before:

‘Summary: A number of weeks ago we sent out an e-letter detailing how the European People’s Party’s draft election manifesto for next month’s European elections looked set to weaken the EPP’s commitment to the right to life and the family based on marriage. The good news is that the final version of the manifesto is greatly improved over the draft and basically reinstates those commitments. Please read on for more detail.

EPP election manifesto is now fully pro-family, pro-life and pro-religion.

The European People’s Party is the group of parties in the European Parliament that comprises mainly of Christian Democratic parties from throughout the EU. Fine Gael is a member. Ahead of next month’s elections to the European Parliament it debated its election manifesto. The draft manifesto represented a significant step backwards from a pro-life and family viewpoint compared with the 2004 manifesto.

After further debate, culminating in an EPP meeting in Warsaw at the end of April, the final version of the manifesto has been agreed and it is far better than the original draft. For example, it drops the ‘family diversity’ language contained in the draft and in a nod to Judeo-Christian values says that we must be “intolerant of intolerance of our own value system and beliefs”.

The most significant addition to the final version of the manifesto is a reference to a document called ‘A Union of Values’ agreed by the EPP at a meeting in Berlin in 2001. In its opposition to abortion, destructive research on embryos and euthanasia, it is thoroughly pro life document. In addition, it contains the statement that “families where fathers and mothers take responsibility for their children are the foundation of society.”

In fact, the Berlin statement of values is more emphatically pro-life than anything produced by any of the mainstream parties in Ireland in recent year.

We understand that Gay Mitchell MEP (gay.mitchell@europarl.europa.eu) and Lucinda Creighton (Lucinda.creighton@oireachtas.ie) played a significant part in getting the draft manifesto changed for the better.’

And finally in this wee overview, a look at Gay Mitchell’s pleas in 2003 for clemency on behalf of a convicted murderer in the United States who was facing imminent execution, as reported by RTÉ:

‘Fine Gael’s Spokesman on Foreign Affairs, Gay Mitchell, has written to the Governor of Florida in the US, asking him to take anti-abortionist Paul Hill off death row.

A former Presbyterian Minister, Hill was convicted of the murder of two people outside an abortion clinic in 1994.

He is due to be executed today by lethal injection. Gay Mitchell says that Hill committed a senseless crime, but that executing him only perpetuates the cycle of taking life.

For his part, Hill says that the state is making him a martyr and he is looking forward to dying for his cause.’

Paul Hill, a right-wing Christian fundamentalist, is described here:

‘Hill rose to prominence in the early 1990′s as a fire-eating abortion foe, who openly preached the righteousness of defending unborn life by force — a divisive position among anti-abortion activists that got him excommunicated from the Presbyterian church.

On July 29, 1994, in the abortion conflict’s ground-zero of Pensacola, Fla., Hill put his theology into action by gunning down Dr. John Britton and his septuagenarian escort, along with Britton’s wife (who survived the shooting).

Hill left a plentiful documentary record — like this manifesto, among the pro-Hill documents collected on the Army of God website:

I knew that [killing an abortion provider] would uphold the truths of the gospel at the precise point of Satan’s current attack (the abortionist’s knife). While most Christians firmly profess the duty to defend born children with force (which is not yet being disputed by the government) most of these professors have neglected the duty to similarly defend the unborn. They are steady all along the battleline except at the point where the enemy has broken through. I was certain that if I took my stand at this point, others would join with me, and the Lord would eventually bring about a great victory.

Okay. That all sounds rather too familiar to me but you can judge for yourself. And so finishes my look at Fine Gael candidate Gay ‘The Christian’ Mitchell. Thank God!

15 comments on “Gay ‘The Christian’ Mitchell

  1. Martin Luther King, as a believing Baptist, was anti-abortion but favoured racial equality and worked hard for the cause. Other black civil rights campaigners like Andrew Young and Ralph Abernathy also opposed abortion. The US Jesuit peace campaigner Daniel Berrigan, who once called himself a traditionalist, has also spoken against the abortion culture. It is quite possible for cultural conservatives, which may include Catholics and evangelical Protestants, to be progressive on peace, civil rights and economic issues. After all, Dr. Luther King was assassinated only a few days after marching in solidarity with striking garbage disposal workers. Some pro-choice Republicans in the USA favour welfare cuts and US hegemonic policies in the Middle East. Whether someone is pro-choice or anti-abortion is not a reliable measure of their right- or leftward stance on a range of social and economic issues.

  2. Thanks for the Comment, Gerald, and I quiet agree. Being Pro-Choice or Anti-Abortion cuts across political lines, though I would point out that the left-wing tends to be Pro- and the right-wing Anti-.

    But there are many exceptions.

    And yes, of course, many committed Christians can be liberal in their attitudes in all sorts of political or social areas. Senator David Norris would prove that.

    But the fact remains, Gay Mitchell, in his own words, is a self-identifying Christian Democratic politician, with links to very conservative Christian and Roman Catholic organisations and individuals, one of which is active in the heart of power in the European Union.

    That, for an increasingly secular and a-religious Irish nation, is something to be noted and discussed if he has the potential to be our next head of state.

  3. Conservative, Christian, and links to the European and american religious right. I want to live in an Ireland that is a republic not a theocracy. Haven’t we had enough of that for two centuries? Mitchell’s membership of a strange organisation of Roman Catholic ex-nobility, cardinals and eurocrat politicians who are trying to influence the workings of the european parliament and other legislatures worries me. Talk about a Da Vinci Code moment! Nor more Church power in Ireland!

  4. I am grateful for this information. However, you are guilty of one misnomer: Gay Mitchell is NOT the ‘Christian’ candidate but the Roman Catholic candidate. There is some distinction between the abusive dogmas of the Vatican and the teachings of Christ. In particular on the care of children.

    My instinctive reaction to Mitchell’s sudden(?) and somewhat arrogant presumption of ‘right’ to the position of President was suspicion. This article has proved the validity of that ‘instinct’.

    The power exercised by a variety of secretive, extreme right Catholic institutions in Ireland throughout, not just the decades but centuries, has meant for the majority of Irish people abject submission, interference in every aspect of their political, social, personal, educational and religious lives. It is shocking, after the revelations of Ferns, Ryan, Murphy and Cloyne that Fine Gael (for whatever reason) should choose a man who is “Catholic first and Irish second”.

    Finally, any friend, colleague or supporter of David Quinn’s medieval Catholicism seeks to maintain a pre-Vatican II status quo. Their agenda is a continuation of the clerical facism that has destroyed the dignity, self-esteem and mental health of hundreds of thousands of Irish people.

    I will never vote for a candidate that is a member of the Iona Institute or any other Vatican supremacy organisation.

  5. Fair point, Kate. There are many different Christian sects and it would be unfair to tar them all with the same brush.

    However that does not diminish Gay Mitchell’s links to broader, conservative Christian groups and individuals.

    Perhaps the reported dismay of Enda Kenny at seeing Mitchell taking the Fine Gael candidacy has some truth in it? What else remains to be discovered?

    Thanks for the Comment.

  6. Was the Trilateral Commission, with which Mary Robinson had some involvement several years before she was elected president, another example of a ‘secretive’ organization, Kate?

    • Absolutely. Why would you imagine otherwise? I am not a particular admirer of Mary Robinson. Like everybody else she is overtly flawed, dogmatic, ambitious and convinced of the rightness of her own position on every topic under the sun.

      The Trilateral Commision is, in my humble opinion, an organisation of strictly capitalist interests and a danger to democracy in nation states. I’m a bit old-fashioned; best described as a 1798 Republican; I believe in Nation States AND in the essential obligation of the government of that nation to work ceaslessly for the Good of All the people of the Nation.

      Members of the Trilateral Commission are distinguished by being so far up their own fundamentals they appear to believe they have some sort of ‘divine right’ to a directive influence in world affairs.

      A bit like David Norris trumpeting his double-first and identifying himself as a person of some consequence in Ireland; ergo claiming the ‘right’ to pontificate on the laws of the democratic nation state of Israel. The IRONY of that pontification, particularly the comparison with Irish Law on ‘statutory rape’, is supreme.

      Although I disagree with him on other matters, I am with Noam Chomsky on this one; he has written that the institution (Trilateral Commission) is an attempt by people with capital and/or influence (political, corporate, academic, religious) to restrict democracy, I think he designated them “the liberal wing of the state capitalist ruling elite”.

  7. What a candid and detailed answer, Kate. In Irish society we’ve had two ‘secretive’ organizations, Opus Dei and the Freemasons. We’ve also had a more open organization called the Knights of Columbanus, an organization that has lost a lot of its allure for young professionals and seems to be shrinking. The Knights, although Open, have been known to do lots of furtive whispering and lobbying behind the scenes. I cannot guess how frequent or effective their furtiveness may be nowadays. There have also been secretive groups of business interests, some of whose members have had links to the brown baggers. We’ve also had secretive banned organizations with focus on the “national question”. And in the political-religious sphere Dana Rosemary Brown is a one-woman Open Secret who likes to sing and wow ’em. I couldn’t get paranoid about Dana. Actually I’m not taken by her songs either.

    It’s easy to fear the unknown, and this seems to be part of the alleged power mystique of organizations so elitist that the general run of citizens don’t get to be invited into their jealously guarded ranks. So of course the Trilateralists, the Knights, the Freemasons and the Opus people give us the shudders if we think about them.

    But does their attitude to abortion, nonviolence, the environment, civil rights, family values, pop music and all the rest of it determine how the great unwashed should think about such issues? To think rationally and independently about issues of the day IMHP means to be able to reach conclusions irrespective of, not necessarily in spite of, what certain organizations think and say about the issues.

    • Thank you Gerald. What a refreshing, enquiring perspective. Curiosity is the essence of intelligence. My great disappointment with the euphemistically named ‘Republic of Ireland’ is the profound absence of intelligent curiosity.

      My grandfather who left Sligo for a better life in the 1920s, was a self-designated Parnellite. My late father, who fought in WWII, was a self-designated “Christian Socialist”. A mainly self-educated man, he read widely and shared his experience and conclusions on the inherent dangers of secret organisations e.g. the National Socialists of Germany, with his children.

      Ergo my suspicion of institutions so ‘superior’ that they must hide their agendas from we ‘lesser orders’. OF COURSE we must be free to “think rationally and independently” but, having spent 35 years teaching elsewhere, I have been disheartened and not a little frightened by the number of unselfconscious religious fascists I have listened to since returning to Ireland 10 years ago.

      Once a researcher, always a researcher. My small projects have revealed conformity of thought, chronic insularity, patent disinterest in (and ignorance of) world affairs, not to
      mention addiction to sport, ‘entertainment’ (mainly soaps, reality TV, X-factor, gambling, ‘de pub’ and craic …). ‘Baby, baby you’re out of time’ (the Stones). I feel that I am not only out of time but out of place here – that the intellectual liberation of the last 40 years missed Ireland.

      I can only conclude that critical or ‘original’ thinking is not encouraged. Too many complacent and narrowly focussed educators of my acquaintance appear content with a tradition of unquestioning obedience to authority. Bad news for the ‘stay at home’ Irish of future generations methinks.

  8. Thanks for the Comments, some interesting points. My latest post examines the relationship between Dana Rosemary Scallon and Rocco Buttiglione, who is also a close friend of Gay Mitchell. Circles within circles at the heart of the EU. Enough for a Dan Brown novel! 🙂

    https://ansionnachfionn.wordpress.com/2011/08/05/the-power-of-the-vatican-in-aras-an-uachtaran/

  9. Dan Brown novel, eh? Fictive conspiracy fodder. No independent thinking there, just something to read on a long haul flight between Paris and Osaka.

    • I’m no fan of Dan Brown (others do the historical conspiracy and occult genre far better) so I’d agree. Give me Umberto Eco any day 🙂

  10. Umberto Eco, agreed. Intelligent well-constructed prose not masquerading as fact, but based on lots of background research.

  11. So basically what your saying is that religion should have no place in politics, except when wooly jumper types like you find the candidate’s private views objectionable? You describe Mitchell as “right wing” and “conservative” and “Christian” – yet you have not shown how any of his policies (as opposed to private views) are outside the mainstream of Irish society. I await a similar [copy+paste] hatchet job on the steadfast pederast defender Norris. Good thing you’re too lazy to write anything that you haven’t sourced on another site.

    BTW I await your dissection of Martin McGuiness’s religious views, he’s not a Wet Brit so he gets a Pass? (even if he is an MI6 tout?).

    Typical “Is mise” Irish Times letter writer – can’t write a full article in Irish just the token effort,

    • Thanks for the Comment, Paul, though I’m not sure what has you so angry.

      Yes, religion has no place in politics. No exceptions. And this particular candidate’s views are not “private”. They are part and parcel of his political beliefs and very publicly so. If he repeatedly espouses faith-based political policies he can hardly object to having them examined, and on those terms.

      I believe you’ll find that mainstream Irish society has moved on considerably in the last two decades (for good and for ill) and fundamentalist Christian or Roman Catholic views do not reflect the view of the majority. However that is merely my opinion. I may be wrong. But certainly many in Fine Gael were unhappy with or opposed to Mitchell’s candidacy. Including party leader Enda Kenny.

      How is presenting a series of relatively little known facts about Gay Mitchell’s politics and associations to the wider public a “hatchet job”? And why is providing sources for the information collated in this (and other) articles a bad thing? You’d prefer unsourced statements rather than the facts to back them up?

      I’ve written widely about Norris here, and not without criticism.

      Is Gay Mitchell a “West Brit”? Odd that someone who is an apparent supporter of his candidacy makes that connection.

      I write in English here, Irish elsewhere. So? As for the Irish Times, I don’t believe I fit their demographic. Nor would they want me to.

      Finally, I seriously doubt that Gay Mitchell has anything to fear from the articles and commentary of one online writer. And if he does then his candidacy is in far more trouble than anyone else has realised.

      Perhaps that’s why Fine Gael have taken to rigging phone-in radio polls? And online ones too? Very democratic…

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