Lisbon Outtakes


Compiled by CARL O’BRIEN

The real reason Ganley  would not 'go quietly'

SO, JUST what was behind Declan Ganley’s soaring and effusive praise of Brian Cowen?

Even by his own standards of hyperbole, his exaltation of Fianna Fáil and Cowen was a tad bizarre.

“I’d like to congratulate the Taoiseach on what was politically a masterful campaign,” Ganley gushed. “He is a masterful politician who has made absolute glove puppets of the Opposition. This reminds us all why Fianna Fáil is the national party of Government in this country.”

Some observers wondered whether he was angling for an unlikely Fianna Fáil nomination. A few cynics suggested he might need Cowen for some business favours down the line.

The reality, sadly, is more prosaic. Earlier in the day Ganley received a text message from a senior Fine Gael apparatchik telling him to “go quietly”. The message rankled with him, say Libertas insiders. What sweeter form of revenge than to give all the credit for the Yes vote to the Fianna Fáil leader?

Harney gets wrapped up in it all

WRAP THE Green Flag Around Me, Boysprobably isn’t one of Mary Harney’s party pieces.

But it seemed as apt a tune as any when she stood alongside Brian Cowen on the steps of Government Buildings during a press conference to welcome the Yes vote. As Cowen’s pro-European rhetoric soared, so too did a blue and yellow EU flag which unfurled in the wind and, in a moment of almost poetic grace, wrapped itself around the Minister for Health. She discreetly batted the flag away and resumed her stately pose, with just the thinnest of smirks.

A good campaign for Micheál Martin

WHO DO you think was the biggest winner out of the Lisbon Yes vote? Brian Cowen? Nope. Michael O’Leary? Wrong again. If the bookies are to believed, it’s Fianna Fáil’s Lisbon campaign boss Micheál Martin, who has shot up the betting odds as the next leader of Fianna Fáil.

He’s now joint favourite at 6/4 with Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern to take over the reigns of the Soldiers of Destiny, according to Paddy Power bookmakers. Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan lags behind at just 10/1, followed by Mary Hanafin at 14/1.

Deputy leader Mary Coughlan is even further down the pecking order at 18/1.

Nuns' voting habit grabs global attention

THE REAL stars of the Lisbon campaign weren’t politicians, civil society leaders or celebrities. It was the Carmelite nuns of Drumcondra who grabbed the international spotlight. Images of them voting in their black and white habits featured in international newspapers and websites.

“We’re an enclosed order, so we haven’t been aware of all the publicity,” explained Sr Attracta yesterday, one of seven Carmelite nuns based in Drumcondra. “We read up on all the literature and we made up our own minds. We headed off to the polling centre in two carloads. We always vote and make sure to express our civil rights.”

UKIP's Farage changes his tune

A YEAR ago Nigel Farage, the UK Independence Party leader, warmly welcomed Ireland’s rejection of the Lisbon Treaty and congratulated voters for their noble “strength of character”.

Yesterday, he had changed his tune, somewhat.

“I think the whole thing has been an absolute travesty of democracy.

“The way this thing has been conducted is more akin to Zimbabwe or Afghanistan.”

Gardaí, however, say they have yet to receive any reports of club-wielding Zanu PF militia members or Taliban death squads threatening civilians to vote Yes.

What they said

We will return to domestic politics with a vengeance on Monday– Enda Kenny signals that the entente cordiale with Fianna Fáil is over.

Many people were biting their lips voting Yes . . . the next political business we have to address is to work together to get Fianna Fáil out of government as fast as possible– Eamon Gilmore wasting little time in returning to party politics

This was a pea-shooter up against a massive military barrage. The Yes side outspent the No side by at least 10 to one– UKIP leader Nigel Farage defending the €170,000 spent by his party and its European colleagues on No campaign leaflets

By the way, if this was a football match, it would be 1:1 draw– Socialist MEP Joe Higgins notes the aggregate result of the two Lisbon Treaty referendums.

The political establishment has promised us jobs. I’ve suggested I’ll come back here next year with those Yes for jobs posters and see how we’re doing. – Declan Ganley on how the Yes campaign will need to deliver on its promises.