Monday, February 2, 2009

Has Declan Ganley threatened to sue you?

Has Declan Ganley or Libertas threatened to sue you? The Phoenix article published below details the threats of Libretas's David Cochrane's bulletin board to sue a poster who published details of Ganley's Iraq adventures.

Photo: David Cochrane
of Libertas and

Do you have other examples of Ganley using litigation as a threat?
If so email
Earlier post on this

Here are some examples published before and some additions to my last post.

LABOUR EUROPEAN affairs spokesman Joe Costello confirmed yesterday that Libertas leader Declan Ganley has threatened to sue him.

Speaking at his party's conference, Mr Costello claimed that Mr Ganley had told "porkies" during the European Affairs Committee's hearings on the Lisbon Treaty. "He sent me a solicitor's letter during the week," Mr Costello added.

Mr Ganley has threatened to sue Mr Costello for substantial damages, following Mr Costello's charge that the Libertas founder has "a subversive foreign agenda".

The declaration was made by the Dublin Central TD in a statement on October 3rd, but it has only now led to a legal challenge by Mr Ganley.

Then, Mr Costello said: "Until Mr Ganley comes clean on his business links, details his Lisbon Treaty expenditure and the source of his donations, clarifies the conditions and origins of the €200,000 personal loan, explains why his business and political employees overlap, there remains the appalling vista that the most sacred power in Irish democracy, namely the citizens' right to change their Constitution can be usurped by a single wealthy businessman with a foreign subversive agenda.

"Thus Mr Ganley's close business connections with the US military, the absence of business activities in Ireland, his sudden arrival on the Irish political scene, his expenditure of vast sums of money to defeat the Lisbon Treaty, his refusal to reveal the source of his spending and the fact that many of the principals in his US Rivada Networks business company are the same as the principals in his Irish political Libertas organisation - all raise questions that need to be answered," he said.

In a letter sent on Monday, Mr Ganley's Dublin-based solicitors, O'Rourke Reid said the allegation was "an unlawful, unjustified and gross slur on our client's good name and character". Similar, or nearly-similar charges were made by others during and after the campaign without a legal letter issuing from Mr Ganley.

Mr Costello's accusation, the solicitors went on, had "exposed our client to contempt and ridicule and has caused our client considerable personal upset, distress and significant injury to his reputation and good name".

Demanding a public apology within seven days, O'Rourke Reid said Mr Ganley requires that Mr Costello also make a substantial donation to a charity of Mr Ganley's choosing.

If such an apology is not tendered, the solicitors said that they had instructions to take "the necessary proceedings" and seek "substantial damages" in court.

Mr Costello's statement was issued in the wake of a report in The Irish Times which showed that Mr Ganley had loaned €200,000 to Libertas for its campaign.

© 2008 The Irish Times

Western People

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Ganley begins defamation action against Jim Higgins

Libertas founder Declan Ganley is taking legal action against Ballyhaunis based MEP Jim Higgins over alleged defamatory comments he made in an interview.

Lawyers for Mr Ganley will begin proceeding with the defamation action this week. This has brought to a head a row which has been brewing between the two men in recent weeks.

Just over a week ago, Mr Ganley sent a letter to Mr Higgins taking issue with comments the Fine Gael MEP made on local radio, which claimed that the Libertas chief “likes war and likes military action”.

The lengthy legal letter sent by Mr Ganley’s legal team stated that Mr Higgins’ comments constituted an “unlawful, unjustified and gross slur on our client’s good name and character”. Speaking to the Western People, a spokesperson for Mr Ganley said:

“Yes, we sent the letter and it is part of a series of letters being sent out, not only to politicians, but to people who have made inaccurate and libellous comments about Mr Ganley.”

The letter asked that the MEP withdraw the “grossly defamatory” comments in a medium or media agreed by Mr Ganley and to pay a “substantial donation to a charity of his choosing”. “We gave Mr Higgins seven days to apologise and we have not heard from him. So, yes, we are pursuing with the defamation action at this stage.

“We were expecting an apology, it was the least he could do. He said that Mr Ganley profits from war and death and that he openly profits from the murdering of other people. This is taking it too far.”

The legal action centres around an interview given by Mr Higgins, broadcast last September, which included comments that “He (Mr Ganley) supplies particular pieces of equipment to the United States military and the more war there is, the more money there is, the more dollars that will pour into Mr Ganley’s private bank account”.

Ganley warns he will sue RTE

Irish Indo Friday December 05 2008

LIBERTAS chief Declan Ganley yesterday claimed the contents of an RTE programme broadcast last week were "actionable".

In a statement yesterday, Mr Ganley said that following a detailed review of RTE's 'Prime Time' programme last Thursday, his legal team had advised that the programme is "actionable".

"A detailed file is being prepared for what is expected to be a significant and extensive legal action against RTE/Prime Time," Mr Ganley said.

Last night, a spokeswoman for RTE said it had not yet received any communication from Libertas or Mr Ganley.

"We can't make any comment but we fully stand over the programme," the spokeswoman said.

Lawyers acting on behalf of Mr Ganley have recently sent legal letters to Fine Gael MEP Jim Higgins and Labour TD Joe Costello about comments they claim are "unlawful, unjustified and a gross slur on our client's good name and character".

The letters advised both politicians that they should offer a public apology within seven days and also make a substantial donation to a charity of Mr Ganley's choosing.

At the time, Mr Higgins told the Irish Independent that he was determined to defend himself.

Given that Libertas is now registered as a political party, the MEP said that the organisation should recognise that "much of what happens in the political sphere invariably involves political charges and counter charges".

"If Mr Ganley pursues this matter any further, I am determined to steadfastly defend myself," he said.

- Aine Kerr Political Correspondent

'Businessman wrecked my Dail campaign'

By Michael Brennan
Monday February 04 2008

A GREEN Party general election candidate has accused millionaire businessman Declan Ganley of deliberately undermining his campaign.

Former Galway Lord Mayor Niall O Brolchain said that Mr Ganley, the founder of the Libertas anti-Lisbon treaty group, threatened him with legal action during the campaign over his use of mayoral notepaper to file an objection to the Galway outer city bypass.

"It's a very underhand tactic to use at that point in time. We should be fighting it out over the issues not over silly technicalities."

He said that Mr Ganley had sent a solicitors' representative to his house in Galway in a "black SUV with tinted windows" to serve him with the High Court summons.

"I was out canvassing at the time and it was very intimidating for my family. They didn't know what it was about," said Mr O Brolchain.

He added he had never met nor heard of Mr Ganley before.

But he claims the legal threat had distracted him from his unsuccessful campaign for a seat in Galway West.

He was forced to hire a legal team. However, the High Court action was dropped shortly before polling day.

"The problem was if I'd ignored it, I would have been in awful trouble because you can't ignore a High Court summons.

"If that's the way Irish politics is going to go, it could get very awkward for people, because anybody can do that."

The Phoenix April 18,2008

David Cochrane, Declan Ganley’s campaign director for Libertas, has been crying foul over what he describes as harassment of him by Fianna Fail’s solicitors over allegedly libellous comments about Bertie Ahern on his website. But Cochrane has threatened heavy handed tactics himself and was swift to erase all trace of questions about Ganley’s activities in Iraq on the same website.

Early this year, one of’s users made reference to Blood Money, Wasted Billions, Lost Lives and Corporate Greed in Iraq, a book on the reconstruction of Iraq by the American Coalition Provisional Authority, which outlined the wheeling and dealing during the bidding for contracts by such companies as Halliburton, of which vice president Dick Cheney used to be ceo. The book also outlined in detail how Ganley’s Liberty Mobile had unsuccessfully tried to get a slice of the reconstruction pie in 2004.

Ganley has extensive connections to the neo-con Republican administration in the US. As Goldhawk pointed out (see The Phoenix, 25/01/08), one of Ganley’s advisors in his Rivada Networks is a former Assistant Secretary of Commerce John Kneuer, while Ganley counts Admiral Timothy J Keating, head of the US Pacific Command, as one of his pals. However, Ganley’s most important trans-Atlantic relationship is with long-time business partner Don DeMarino, with whom
he had bid for a mobile phone licence here in Ireland back in 1998.

Ganley, in a consortium with US phone company Qualcomm, had made two attempts in 2003 to get a contract to build a cellular phone network in Iraq. Neither was successful, with the contracts going to European companies instead. While Ganley was licking his wounds over the failures, a row broke out over the two types of cellular phone systems; one of the systems, GSM, predominantly used in Europe and the other, CDMA, mainly used in the USA. That the European system was chosen greatly hacked off American companies, who saw their country’s hard work in ‘liberating’ Iraq not being rewarded with the spoils of war. One of those who was most annoyed was John A Shaw, deputy undersecretary in the Department of Defence, who just happened to be a lifelong pal of Ganley’s friend, DeMarino.

Shaw had a novel wheeze to help get American companies in on the mobile phone action in Iraq. The contract for Baghdad’s first responder network (that is, the communication system between the police, fire and ambulance services in the city) was up for grabs. Shaw suggested using a piece of positive discrimination legislation written up in the 80s (designed to promote the business interests of Alaskan Eskimos) which allowed companies with Eskimos on their board to bid for no-competition contracts. Crucially, those companies could then sub-contract the work out to whomever they liked.

According to Blood Money, in late 2003, Shaw introduced Ganley to the directors of NANA Pacific, an Alaskan company, with whom he formed a consortium including a new business entity, Guardian Net (which consisted of a couple of old business pals of Ganley’s, including DeMarino).

So far, so good for Ganley, and all perfectly legal. Unfortunately, the NANA/Guardian consortium pushed their luck too far and in their bid for the first responder contract in early 2004 they suggested in discussions with officials in the coalition authority that the network would form a footprint for a commercial network based on the American cellular system. This would, of course, give US companies a chance to avail of the billions of dollars on offer to mobile phone companies in a future, peaceful Iraq. The coalition authority, though, needed a first responder network, not another mobile phone system and in March 2004 they threw out NANA’s bid and started the whole process again. And there ended Ganley’s interest in Iraq’s mobile phone network.

Unfortunately, it was not the end of Ganley’s new pal John Shaw’s interest, and he lambasted the officials who had rejected the bid, suggested massive corruption in the bidding process, and generally made a nuisance of himself. This led to the resignation of two senior officials and delayed even further the process of setting up the first responder network. In October 2004, the wacky Shaw publicly claimed that the infamous WMDs in Iraq had been spirited out of the country by Russian special-forces, a claim that so embarrassed senior White House Officials that they sacked him.

Los Angeles Times journalist T Christian Miller wrote extensively about the entire debacle, which didn’t please Ganley (who had spoken on-the-record to Miller in 2004), and the angry millionaire threatened the hack with legal action, though he never actually filed any writs. Ganley is clearly still sore about the whole affair, though, and when a contributor to Cochrane’s website posted a link to the book, Cochrane deleted the post, cancelled the contributor’s account, and sent an email to his personal email account threatening him and his company (from whose computer the contributor had accessed with legal action.
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