ENG: Declan James Ganley (born 23 July 1968) is a British-born entrepreneur, businessman and political activist. He is founder and chairman of a political party, Libertas with pan-European ambitions. The party was unsuccessful in this ambition in the 2009 European Parliament Election, succeeding in getting only one of the hundreds of candidates elected, in France. Ganley himself was unsuccessful in this election, securing less than 10% of the valid poll. Ganley has started companies in forestry, telecommunications and the Internet and is currently serving as chairman of the board of Rivada Networks. During the 2008 Irish referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon, Ganley and the Libertas Institute campaigned for a No vote.
Ganley was born in Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, of Irish parents.
He returned with his parents to live in Glenamaddy, County Galway, Ireland, at the age of 13, and today lives in Abbeyknockmoy, County Galway with his American wife Delia and their four young children.
After leaving school, he initially worked on building sites in London but soon found a job as a tea boy at an insurance company. His business life started soon afterwards when he moved to the Soviet Union. He traded in Soviet aluminium which he shipped to Rotterdam via Latvia.
Ganley is former CEO and current Chairman of Rivada Networks, a US-based firm specialising in the provision of telecommunications systems to the military, police and emergency services in disaster situations. In the past, he has been involved in business ventures selling Russian aluminium and in the Latvian forestry sector. In the early 1990s Mr Ganley founded Kipelova Forestry Enterprises which became one of the largest forestry companies in the Russian Federation.
He sold the company in 1997. In 1996, his company Ganley International founded the Anglo-Adriatic Investment Fund, an Albanian financial fund formed to collect and invest privatisation vouchers. It was unsuccessful in its attempts to reinvest these vouchers, and collapsed. Back in Ireland, Ganley had owned the high-profile jewellery website, Adornis.com, which collapsed after the downturn in the technology sector. A 2006 interview in CNBC’s European Business magazine suggested Ganley had a personal worth of €300 million. Declan Ganley also has investments in a joint venture with Nana Pacific called Rivada Pacific. Rivada Päcific has contracts worth $240 million with the US Military. He is Chairman of Rivada Networks and recently appointed former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Meyers to the board.
Declan Ganley is the founder and current Chairman of the pan-European political party Libertas and candidate for Libertas in the European Parliament election, 2009 in North West Ireland. Libertas started in 2006 as a lobby group campaigning for a No-vote to the Lisbon Treaty in the Irish Referendum 12 June 2008, and has evolved into a pan-European political movement. Libertas are running for the European Parliament election, 2009.
in 20 European countries. In Rome 1 May 2009 Libertas held its first Party Congress.
Libertas' political policies call for greater levels of democracy, transparency, and accountability within the EU, as well as a twenty five page alternative to the Lisbon Treaty. The origin of the party's funding has been questioned. It is reported that Ganley personally loaned the party €200,000 for the Lisbon Treaty Campaign. The European Union is set to ask US Congress about Libertas funding.
Organizers of the Libertas parties in different member states are now complaining that Declan Ganley seems unwilling to pay them the money he promised, even though they spent a considerable part of this money on their election campaigns.
Candidacy to the European Parliament
On 14 March 2009 at a press interview Ganley announced his candidacy to the European Parliament, for Libertas in the North–West constituency.
Until 1 May 2009 Ganley travelled all over Europe to campaign against the Lisbon Treaty, and helped local Libertas branches. On 1 May 2009 Libertas held their first Party Congress and afterwards he focused his campaign on the North–West constituency, canvassing, attending public speeches and debates and appearing on radio and TV. One week after he launched his election campaign, incumbent MEP Jim Higgins branded Ganley as a 'puppet of the US military'. In a pre-election opinion poll Ganley polled 9% of first preference votes in the North–West Constituency. On 8 June 2009 he polled over 13% but did not gain a seat in the European Parliament. Ganley then announced his withdrawal from politics.
Second Lisbon Treaty Referendum
In September 2009 Declan Ganley announced he would campaign against the second referendum to ratify the Lisbon Treaty. He took part in a televised debate, where he argued with the head of Ryanair, Michael O'Leary who was campaigning in favour of the treaty. During the launch of its posters for the campaign, Ganley was ambushed by a group of young Fianna Fáil members who disrup. ed the launch. The Irish electorate ratified the Lisbon Treaty and Ganley announced that he would take some time to consider his future in politics.