Libertas continues despite mounting debts

Latest accounts for Declan Ganley’s lobbying firm shows deficit of €817,859 in 2011

Declan Ganley, speaking in Dublin earlier this year.Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Declan Ganley, speaking in Dublin earlier this year.Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times


Declan Ganley’s Libertas Institute, the legal entity he used in campaigns against a number of EU treaty changes, has said it is to continue trying to influence political debate despite having a cumulative deficit of €3.67 million at the end of 2011, according to accounts just filed.

The accounts show that during 2011 the company incurred a deficit of €817,859, demonstrating the extent to which the body is dependent on loans.

In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors, Declan and Seán Ganley, say the institute intends to continue to lobby to influence public opinion into the future. Contacted this week, Mr Ganley said he did not wish to comment about the accounts.

The Libertas Institute is separate from other corporate bodies using the Libertas name that were established by Mr Ganley at the time he set up the Libertas Party and which are now dissolved. The accounts say donations form part of its income. Donors are not identified.

The institute campaigned for a No vote in the 2012 EU fiscal treaty referendum, which was won by the Yes side.

In 2009, the year of the second Lisbon referendum, it spent €5.65 million and had an income of €3.2 million.

The notes to the 2011 accounts say the company has secured third-party loans of €1.7 million of which €1.4 million has been personally guaranteed by Declan Ganley.

The accounts are prepared on a going concern basis as the directors say they are confident of the creditors’ continued support for the company. Declan Ganley’s loans to the company are at an interest rate of 11 per cent, according to the accounts.

The accounts show that directors’ loans at the end of the period were €173,712 and that the figure for “other creditors” had jumped to €3.2 million from €1.7 million at the end of 2010. Debtors dropped by €804,359, to zero.

Notes to the accounts say that the company spent €118,370 on other election and referendum materials and wrote off €633,930 in “European referendum irrecoverable costs”.

Mr Ganley is a Galway- based businessman with an interest in a telecommunications venture in the US. At a public meeting he organised in Dublin during the debate on the abortion legislation, he said a new political movement should be established that respected the conscience of legislators on issues such as abortion.