Speculation grows on Ganley return


Speculation is mounting today that Irish businessman and Libertas founder Declan Ganley is about to launch a fresh campaign against the second Lisbon Treaty referendum.

Mr Ganley, who had said he would not be involved in another No campaign after failing to win a seat to the European Parliament in June, said in an interview to the Wall Street Journalthat it was “profoundly undemocratic” to hold a second vote on the treaty.

When contacted by The Irish Timestoday, Mr Ganley declined to confirm the reports, saying he was in meetings at the moment and would be available for comment on Monday.

His brother Sean, who helped him campaign for the European Parliament, also declined to comment on the speculation.

The possible re-emergence of Mr Ganley in the Lisbon debate comes after the latest Irish Times/TNS mrbi poll showed a dramatic drop in support for the Treaty.

The Tuam-based businessman is described by the Wall Street Journalas the man the Brussels establishment blamed most for the last Lisbon No vote. “He was one of the driving forces behind the No campaign the last time around, and he’s back to do it again,” it said.

In the interview, Mr Ganley said: “The Irish people had a vote on the Lisbon Treaty. They voted no. A higher percentage of the electorate voted no than voted for Barack Obama in the United States of America. No one’s suggesting he should run for re-election next month”.

He also claimed Ireland was “almost literally being held hostage, with a gun pointed to our head, and being told, if you don't sign this thing, unspecified bad things will happen. But what they're asking us to do is to sell out the rest of the people of Europe."

When asked about Mr Ganley’s possible return to the Lisbon campaign trail today, Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan said: "Mr Ganley is free to campaign. I have no information about his intentions, that's a matter for himself."

Mr Lenihan said he had understood Mr Ganley had 'welcomed the fact that we’d secured the Commissionership' over the summer.

“So if there’s some fresh issue he wants to raise let’s see what the issue is and we’ll deal with it," he said.

Following his defeat in the North West constituency in the June European Parliament elections, Mr Ganley said 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.