Gay Mitchell and the Commonwealth

Gay Mitchell may be no stranger to Slugger, but for those unfamiliar with the other candidates in the presidential election, Cormac McQuinn’s critical piece in the Daily Mail back in July provides a useful introduction to the Dublin MEP.

That Slugger piece from 2006 links back to Mitchell’s address to the annual Fine Gael Collins-Griffith memorial in August 2006 on the Fine Gael website, an item which is no longer accessible (or archived) although some quotes and more comments can be read here and here. It reprised a recurring Mitchell theme of the Republic rejoining the [British] Commonwealth, which may or not help him displace Dana as the potential Unionist candidate of choice.

Mitchell authored a piece that appeared in The Irish Times entitled Northern Ireland: self-determination once again.’ which was published on the 15th August 1991 (and reputedly reprinted by Mitchell as election literature). It gives an earlier variation on the same theme (originally can be accessed via paywall on proquest.com or similar). A brief flavour is given by the direct quotes below:

It is clear that a substantial part of the Irish nation gives its allegiance to Britain and the British crown, for whatever reasons. The creation of an Irish nation-state is neither feasible or desireable at this time. It may never be.

…A new Anglo-Irish treaty could address the question of defence and security as well as economic co-operation, and could reopen the way for all Irish representation at the Commonwealth. This in turn might have significant economic consequences for the island…

It was only last year that a Fine Gael TD was recommending handing the Republic of Ireland back to the British crown with an apology, so, it will be interesting to see what platform Mitchell actually campaigns on …

You can check out more here… or view my history blog here