Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Libertas founder and former Election Director Naoise Nunn recommends a Yes vote to Lisbon II in Ireland

Naoise Nunn who was director of elections for Ganley's Libertas and who was employed first by Rivada Networks and then by Libertas to brand Mr Ganley's party has made a public declaration that is bound to throw cold water on Declan Ganley's election chances. Many people who knew and respected Mr. Nunn were amazed by his association with Mr. Ganley. However in today's Irish Times he stresses that he was an employee of Ganley's while declaring that a? he would not wash Libertas's dirty linen in public (confirming that there is dirty linen) and b/ that people should Vote Yes to Lisbon II.

Nunn has previously embarrassed Ganley by remaining truthful about his being employed (i.e. his pay checks came from) Mr Ganley's US Defence contracting firm Rivada. When Ganley tried to deflect from this Naoise Nunn stuck to the truth earning the admiration of many people including this blogger.

This volte face has been coming for sometime. This blogger can now report that close associates of Mr Nunn's spoke of his unease towards the end of last summer and shortly thereafter Mr. Nunn resigned from Libertas.

Mr. Nunn stating that people should vote Yes for the Lisbon Treaty is a signal to the thirty somethings of Ireland's chattering classes that Mr. Ganley's vision is dead and we must move on.

It will also mark something of a rehabilitation of Naoise Nunn's reputation amongst many who had deeply respected him prior to his working for Mr. Ganley. You can keep up to date with Leviathan events on their official website http://www.leviathan.ie/

Ex-Libertas director now backs Lisbon

MARK HENNESSY, Political CorrespondentIRELAND

DOES not have the luxury of a second No vote in the Lisbon Treaty referendum and voters should vote Yes, one of the architects of last year’s Libertas campaign has said.

Naoise Nunn, who resigned as executive director of Libertas last September said: “The circumstances have changed: internationally, economically, financially and domestically.

“We don’t have the luxury of doing anything else. I am glad that we had a referendum. We were the only member state to do so, to have a proper debate, or something like a proper debate,” Mr Nunn told The Irish Times .

His public declaration will come as an embarrassment for Libertas founder, Declan Ganley, who is running for the organisation in the European Parliament elections in the North-West constituency.

Both sides were guilty, he said, of “scare-mongering and misinformation” during the referendum campaign. Mr Nunn, who was one of the central figures in Libertas’s campaign last year, is understood to have written a detailed critique of Libertas’s performance last year for Mr Ganley’s attention before his departure last year.

However, Mr Nunn declined to reveal its contents yesterday: “I am not into washing dirty linen in public. I did work for Libertas. I was an employee. I was doing my job. I put the arguments out.”

A No vote in the referendum, which is expected to take place in October, would be “dangerous for the country, but I don’t think frankly that that is going to happen”. However, he said he had not changed his view that the EU is “disconnected” from its citizens, though he raised questions about “much vaunted” efforts to communicate a clear message to them.

Asked why he had referred to Libertas as having “dirty linen”, Mr Nunn said: “I don’t want to be specific about that. They are people I worked with. They are people I don’t want to hurl abuse at.”

Questioned about his attitude to his former boss, Mr Nunn, who now runs Leviathan, a political forum, said he had always “got on” with Mr Ganley: “He is a very personable guy.”

He went on: “He is a very driven guy, who is extremely ambitious. He feels he has a role to play in European politics. He is fascinated by all of it. He devours history books. He is absolutely fascinated by all of it.”

Mr Nunn is believed to have been behind Libertas’s successful billboard campaign, which focused on the dangers for Ireland if it lost a permanent place at the European Commission.

While he accepted that commissioners act in the European and not the national interest, he said there is a public perception that it is “almost like a senate of the EU”; and “a lot of people felt the loss of that disconnection.

“But it appears that that issue has been resolved, or, at least, there is a serious will to resolve it,” said Mr Nunn, pointing to an agreement last December among EU leaders that all member states will continue to be represented.

He said he had changed his mind on the treaty before he left Libertas last September: “My opinions evolved. Political views do evolve over time.”

Libertas spin doctor advised McGuinness on 'Late Late'

By Aine Kerr Irish Independent

Tuesday April 28 2009

NAOISE Nunn has been busily tweeting on his 'Twitter' site amid the continued fall-out from the junior ministerial reshuffle.

In advance of the controversial 'Late Late Show' appearance of John McGuinness, his 'Twitter' site was telling its 131 followers that it would be "interesting" to hear what the scorned junior minister would have to say about the Government.

Since then, visitors have been invited to examine a poll on another political website showing that 95.5pc don't believe Tanaiste Mary Coughlan is up to the job and to log onto another site where they can discuss the "blunders of Mary".

When not tweeting, Dublin-born Mr Nunn (37) runs a very active and successful "political consultancy and events" business from his base in Galway.

The list of past activities is long and varied. He is the founder and producer of the political cabaret 'Leviathan' show, director of the 'Spoken Word' area at the Electric Picnic Festival, line producer of 'I, Keano: The Musical' and manager of the comedy group 'Apres Match'.

Between 2001 and 2005, he was one of the editorial staff in Leinster House, before joining Libertas in October 2006 as its executive director.

Last year, as the Lisbon Treaty campaign raged on, Mr Nunn found himself at the centre of some controversy when it emerged that he was an employee of Declan Ganley's company Rivada Network which has links with the US military.

The revelation prompted Libertas to come out and insist that Rivada was not funding Libertas and that any employees working with the anti-Lisbon Treaty organisation did so in a strictly voluntary capacity.

Mr Nunn confirmed last night that he would switch sides in the forthcoming Lisbon Treaty re-run and support a 'Yes' vote. He said Ireland had "completely transformed" since the treaty was rejected last June and the changed circumstances meant that Ireland, more than ever, needed to be a strong member of the EU.

- Aine Kerr

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