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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 15 October, 2019

TCD's Historical Society has changed its mind on giving Nigel Farage a gold medal

The Hist said it may be seen as an endorsement of Farage.

Nigel Farage stepped down as Ukip leader after the Brexit vote.
Nigel Farage stepped down as Ukip leader after the Brexit vote.
Image: MichaelKappeler/PA Images

TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN’s Historical Society has rescinded the proposed award of a medal to former Ukip leader Nigel Farage.

The Hist had announced that Farage would be invited to the society to be conferred with their “gold medal for outstanding contribution to public discourse”.

The visit was to take place in early 2018 and the medal was to be presented to Farage for his role in the UK’s Brexit vote, something the Hist described to Trinity News as “one of the biggest developments in post-war European foreign relations”.

In a Facebook post this evening however, the Hist’s auditor Paul Molloy said that a decision has been taken to roll back on that decision.

Molloy explained that, while the awarding of the medal did not express approval of a recipient’s views, it became clear that it would be seen by some as an endorsement of Farage.

“As a debating society, it has never been the intention of the Hist to confer the Gold Medal on individuals as a way to endorse any particular viewpoint individuals may hold, but rather to recognise the impact which they have made which has them stand out as people the society looks to invite,” Molly said in the post.

He continued:

While it is vital the Society remains a platform of free enquiry and debate, it is clear in retrospect both to myself and the General Committee that the conferral of the medal would be received by many as an endorsement of the views which Nigel Farage holds. It was never my intention in extending this invitation for that to be the case.

Trinity News reports that the issue of whether Farage’s visit will still take place will be discussed at the next meeting of the Hist’s committee.

Read: Ukip elects a new leader, its fourth in just over a year >

Read: Nigel Farage accuses EU of being “only barrier” to open border with Northern Ireland >

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Rónán Duffy

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