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Mitchell seethes at radio quizzing over his gangster cousin

PRESIDENTIAL hopeful Gay Mitchell has reacted furiously to questions about his family links to a major criminal.

The Fine Gael candidate has disowned the exiled drug dealing gangster George 'The Penguin' Mitchell, who is his cousin.

Mr Mitchell appeared rattled when asked about his relative on radio yesterday, describing it as an unfair question.

Earlier in the campaign he was criticised for appealing for clemency in the case of convicted double murderer Paul Hill in the United States.

On the Pat Kenny Show, hosted by Myles Dungan, a phone-in session gave a caller the opportunity of raising the family link.

Mr Mitchell hit back: "I am the first cousin of an ambassador... I am the first cousin of people who have been involved in security forces of the State.

"I have cousins who play international rugby for Ireland, none of them have anything to do with me."

He added that he should not have been asked the question.

George Mitchell is an international drugs dealer who has been living abroad since the mid-Nineties after a crackdown on drug gangs followed the murder of Veronica Guerin.