Ganley appoints defence industry figures to communications company


LIBERTAS FOUNDER and chairman Declan Ganley has appointed four high-profile defence industry figures to the board of Rivada Networks, his communications technology company.

The news comes as he prepares to declare formally his candidacy for the June 5th elections to the European Parliament in Ireland North-West, a move expected to come next week.

Mr Ganley is to quit his role as chief executive of Rivada and take over as chairman, which will allow him more time to concentrate on the European elections. John Kelly, a former president of Bell Aerospace and a current Rivada director, is to take over the post of chief executive.

All four newcomers to the board are linked to the international defence industry. They include a former chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff during the Iraqi invasion, Gen Richard Myers; former chief of the UK defence staff, Lord Charles Guthrie; and two former senior officials in the US department of homeland security, Michael Jackson and George Forseman.

Rivada Networks is a US-based defence contracting firm specialising in the provision of telecommunications systems to the military, police and emergency services in disaster situations and has secured US military contracts worth up to $240million (€190 million). Lord Guthrie, who has served in the SAS, was chief of the UK general staff between 1997 and 2001. He is a cross-bench member of the House of Lords. He was created a life peer after retiring as chief of the defence staff.

Gen Myers is a former four-star general in the United States air force and served as the 15th chairman of the joint chiefs of staff.

He was the principal military adviser to George Bush for  the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Mr Jackson is a former deputy secretary of the US department of homeland security. Mr Forseman was the department’s under-secretary for preparedness until 2007.

The appointments are likely to fuel claims by Mr Ganley’s political opponents that his opposition to the Lisbon Treaty reflects his close links with the US military-industrial complex.

The 40-year-old businessman has been recruiting support throughout the European Union in advance of the elections to the parliament.

Mr Ganley would be seeking to take one of the three seats currently held by Seán Ó Neachtáin of Fianna Fáil, Jim Higgins of Fine Gael and Independent MEP Marian Harkin.