Ganley says he will not take part in a second anti-Lisbon Treaty campaign

Tue, Jun 9, 2009, 01:00

LIBERTAS:LIBERTAS LEADER Declan Ganley says he will not be involved in a campaign against the second Lisbon Treaty referendum.

Mr Ganley made the announcement after he conceded that he could not take a seat in the North West constituency shortly before 7.30pm yesterday, as the European election count continued in Castlebar.

“I have said that I would seek a mandate. It’s pretty clear, I think, that I did not get that. So I can take No for an answer,” he said.

“I sought a democratic mandate and I didn’t get one, and that’s how democracy works. And as I said I can take No for an answer.”

Mr Ganley said the majority of voters in the constituency had voted for “pretty much the incumbent situation” and he respected that and wished them well. He polled 67,638 first-preferences in the 11-county constituency.

He came fourth on first preferences, behind sitting Independent MEP Marian Harkin, Fianna Fáil’s Pat “The Cope” Gallagher TD and MEP Jim Higgins of Fine Gael.

On Sunday night, returning officer Kieran McDermott announced that Mr Ganley had polled 70,638 number one votes. However, after a recheck of votes yesterday, this figure was reduced by 3,000. Asked if he was bowing out of politics, Mr Ganley said: “I think so, yeah. I mean, I have to go back to work. I have a family, I’ve a wife, I’ve four children.”

He confirmed that he would not be involved in a campaign against a second Lisbon Treaty referendum. “I will not be involved in the second Lisbon campaign, I’ve said that upfront,” he said.

Mr Ganley was also asked if Libertas would continue. He said: “Libertas isn’t about me. Libertas is a pan-European movement. Now it is in most of the 27 member states of the European Union. We didn’t run candidates in all of the 27 member states but there is a presence in almost all of them at this point.

“And obviously that is something that I will confer with the members and supporters of Libertas all across the European Union and discuss what it is that they want to do next.”

In response to a reporter’s question, Mr Ganley said he did not know how much he had spent on his campaign. He thanked people who gave him first-preference votes and Libertas volunteers.

Yesterday morning, before the re-check was completed, Mr Ganley was interview by Myles Dungan on RTÉ Radio One and was asked what his position would be in relation to a campaign against a second Lisbon Treaty referendum.

“I don’t know, I mean . . . hasty decisions aren’t my stock in trade. The thing is, you know, we’ll take some time to think about it and decide what to do next,” he said.

It was put to Mr Ganley that he had already given an indication that he would not lead such a campaign. “That was my feeling at the time and I still feel that way but let’s see what happens.”