Ganley critical of former aide who now backs Lisbon


LIBERTAS FOUNDER Declan Ganley has sharply criticised a former aide who helped to mastermind his organisation’s campaign against the Lisbon Treaty.

Libertas’s ex-executive director Naoise Nunn told The Irish Timesthis week that he now believed Ireland does not have the luxury of a second No vote because of the global economic crisis.

Mr Ganley claimed the former aide was “now working for Fianna Fáil as a consultant”. Mr Nunn is, in fact, doing work for former minister of state John McGuinness, and not directly for Fianna Fáil.

Responding on Newstalk’s Lunchtime with Eamon Keaneto his former employee’s declaration that both sides had scaremongered during the referendum campaign, Mr Ganley said: “We certainly did not scaremonger . . . That is Fianna Fáil language if I ever heard it . . . We pointed out the facts.”

Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin yesterday welcomed Mr Nunn’s change of heart on the treaty.

“I think it is significant that a person who was very much involved in the No campaign on the last occasion has come forward to say he believes it is in the best interests of Ireland now to ratify Lisbon when it comes before the people again.”

Meanwhile, Libertas has been formally registered as a political party in Ireland, following the passage without challenge of a 21-day period for an appeal to its inclusion on the Register of Political Parties.

Libertas’s headquarters is given as Mr Ganley’s Tuam, Co Galway, home, Moyne Park, and it can contest Dáil, European and local elections, though the focus now is on the European contest, said Libertas official John McGuirk.

“We intend to be an Irish political party and play a role in Irish political life, if we are successful. But at this stage we want to contest the Europeans. We don’t want to spread ourselves too thin,” he told The Irish Times.

Meanwhile, former GAA president and chief executive of Galway Vocational Education Committee Joe McDonagh has confirmed that he will not seek to run for Fianna Fáil against Mr Ganley and others in the North-West constituency.

“I won’t be doing that. I have enough to do here with the cutbacks, and everything else,” he said.