The Gay Mitchell campaign, Fine Gael's candidate for a run for the Irish presidency, ran into a serious snag this morning: a Facebook page opposing his run started in Ireland yesterday evening and has already attracted 715 members in its first 12 hours.

In these days of social media reflecting trends in the electorate, that's an awful lot of negative attention in a remarkably short time.

Claiming that he didn't want Gay Mitchell for president (or former Eurovision songbird Dana Rosemary Scallon, who is now rumored to be considering a run) one irate Facebook poster spoke of 'Dana with her twee 1960’s John Hind postcard Ireland with a priest behind every ditch. We are only getting away from that crowd in Rome who socially subjugated us for years and now these moral crusaders want to bring us back to the dark ages. 'Christian' and 'Democracy' do no belong in the same sentence!'

Other posters included links to article calling on Mitchell to fully explain why he wrote a letter seeking clemency for a double murderer.

Another poster wrote: 'Now that Senator David Norris was forced out of the Presidential race, this Gay Mitchell is a perfect example and definition of our Irish Government and how this country has always been run, run by crooked scum sucking ---------! This is what we have to look forward too, great!'

Looking for a quid pro quo for the recent public pillaring of David Norris, another poster wrote: 'Really a page should be set up demanding that all candidates dirty laundry get's the same going over as David Norris' has!'

But it was Micthell's close association with far right Christian evangelist leaders in the United States and his controversial decision to call for clemency for a man who murdered two people outside an abortion clinic in Florida that most incensed the posters to the new Facebook page.

It seems that the Pandoras box that Norris' opponents threw open may now have horrors to visit on every participant in the race.