Libertas chief Ganley brings former military chiefs on board
Tuesday March 10 2009
LIBERTAS founder Declan Ganley has appointed four defence industry heavy- hitters to the board of his company.
The new additions to the board of Rivada Networks include General Richard Myers, a former chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff during the invasion of Iraq, and Lord Charles Guthrie, a former chief of the defence staff in Britain.
Rivada Networks provides communications systems to the military, police and emergency services in disaster situations and has secured US military contracts worth up to $240m (€190m).
Mr Ganley has said he will quit his role as chief executive of Rivada Networks, his communications technology company, to concentrate on campaigning in the European elections.
He is expected to declare next week that he will run in the North West constituency under the Libertas banner.
Speaking yesterday about the appointments, Fine Gael European Affairs spokeswoman Lucinda Creighton said: "It further underlines the business interest he has in the US military, and the obvious link between his views on the Lisbon Treaty and the future integration of the European Union, and his personal interest in making that happen."
During the Lisbon Treaty campaign last year, Ms Creighton claimed that Mr Ganley's opposition to the treaty was partly based on his connections with the US military -- who felt threatened by the concept of a stronger EU common defence policy.
A spokesman for Rivada Networks said: "All four of them have hugely long and distinguished careers in public service in terms of saving lives. Rivada is in the business of helping people in the military and police to save lives in disaster situations."
Lord Guthrie, who served in the SAS, was described as Tony Blair's most trusted military commander when he was Chief of the Defence Staff in Britain between 1997 and 2001.
General Myers was the highest-ranking military officer in the US under former president George Bush from 2001 to 2005 and presided over the US invasion of Iraq.
Mr Jackson is a former deputy secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security, and Mr Forseman was the department's under-secretary for Preparedness until 2007.
The spokesman said that contrary to Ms Creighton's claims, Mr Ganley wanted a strong, united and democratic Europe that worked in partnership with the US.
"In terms of her constant attempts to throw mud, I think it shows an inability to debate the issues," he said.
He said Mr Ganley would be playing a far less active role in Rivada as chairman, rather than as chief executive currently.
- MICHAEL BRENNAN
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