Voters know Mitchell very well -- after a quick Google search
Gay Mitchell knows Ballina. The question was whether Ballina would want to know Gay Mitchell.
As the opinion polls make clear, the Fine Gael candidate's campaign is going up in flames, and there is rising fear among the party hierarchy that the damage caused by the conflagration could spread -- incinerating anyone who comes in contact with it.
Mitchell himself remains outwardly calm, apparently confident that he can mount a fightback, salvaging his own dignity and that of his party.