Anti-slavery campaigner Aidan McQuade is leading the charge for the removal of a statue commemorating John Mitchel in Newry and also believes that GAA clubs around the country should consider renaming their clubs after what he terms “the pro-slavery advocate”.

One of Mayo’s most successful GAA clubs, Castlebar Mitchels, is named after the nationalist who denied it was wrong to buy or hold slaves or to “flog” them.

John Mitchel was born in 1815, and is revered as an Irish revolutionary and was famous for his newspaper The United Irishman.

Newry native Aidan McQuade, has launched a petition for the removal of their city’s monument to a man whose views on slavery, he argues, even in the 19th century were not accepted by many of his colleagues.

Protests by the Black Lives Matter movement in America and across the world over the death of George Floyd in recent weeks have led to calls for so-called ‘racist’ historical monuments to be removed from public places.

A spokesperson for Castlebar Mitchel’s  said “no comment” when contacted by Midwest News this morning.

Aidan has been telling Midwest News today why he believes John Mitchel is not an acceptable exemplary figure in 21st century Ireland.



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