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Gay Mitchell in 2009. Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images
Race for the Áras

Calls for Mitchell to explain letter seeking clemency for double murderer

A Fine Gael TD is calling on the party’s presidential candidate to explain a letter he sent eight years ago.

A FINE GAEL TD has called on the party’s presidential nominee Gay Mitchell to explain a letter he sent seeking clemency for a convicted double-murderer who was on death row in the US eight years ago.

The Irish Daily Mirror quotes Aine Collins, the Fine Gael TD for Cork North West, as calling for Mitchell to explain his letter to Florida governer Jeb Bush asking for anti-abortionist Paul Hill to be taken off death row.

Hill was convicted of murdering two people at an abortion clinic in 1994 and later said that he did not regret the killings adding later that in order to stop abortions  you have to “do what you have to do to stop it.”

In 2003, Mitchell wrote a letter to Bush, brother of former US president George W, asking him to take the former Presbyterian minister off death row, arguing it only perpetuates the cycle of taking life.

Hill was executed by lethal injection on 3 September 2003.

Collins told the Mirror: “We heard what David Norris had to say, he did the right thing. I think Mr Mitchell absolutely [has questions to answer] he should come out and speak about that.”

A spokesperson for Mitchell said that the appeal did not bear any resemblance to Norris’ appeal on behalf of his former partner who was convicted of statutory rape, an appeal which has ended the Senator’s presidential hopes.

Read more from Sarah Bardon in today’s Irish Daily Mirror (print edition) >

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