Monday, November 2, 2009

Libertas loses

Ganley's Libertas had €340,000 shortfall in 2008
Monday, November 2, 2009 Ganley's Libertas had €340,000 shortfall in 2008 Irish Times

Colm KEENA Public Affairs CorrespondentDECLAN GANLEY’S Libertas organisation had income of €1.4 million in 2008, but spent €1.74 million, according to accounts filed in the Companies Registration Office.

The accounts, for the calendar year 2008, show that The Libertas Institute Ltd owed Mr Ganley €243,456 at the end of the period.

The amount owed to him included accrued interest of €23,915.

The accounts state the total interest incurred by Libertas during the year was €23,936, and so indicate no other substantial loans existed.

There is no information in the accounts as to the source of the Libertas funding, other than the mention of the funds loaned from Mr Ganley.

In September of last year Mr Ganley said he had given Libertas a loan of €200,000.

He told The Irish Times that a number of people had given loans, but did not give any figures. He said the remaining money came from donations.

The first Lisbon Treaty referendum was held in June 2008. The Libertas accounts show that it spent €712,947 on advertising during 2008, a further €148,843 on publicity, a further €177,162 on “election/referendum posters, and €79,219 on “other election/referendum material”. These figures total €1,118,171.

In September of last year Mr Ganley told The Irish Times that Libertas had spent “about €800,000” on its referendum campaign against the treaty.

The accounts show that during 2008 Libertas spent €148,368 on consultancy fees, €42,638 on market research, €17,134 on entertaining, €58,650 on transport and travel, €17,134 on legal fees, and €112,294 on office and stationary.

Wages and salaries for the year were €143,581.

Creditors at year’s end were owed €498,724.

The accounts show that Libertas acquired tangible assets with a value of €146,235 during 2008. Depreciation of the fixed assets, which are described as fixtures and fittings and equipment, is given as €54,376.

The accounts for the same company in 2007 showed essentially no activity and no money. The directors of the company are Mr Ganley and Chris Coughlan.

There was extensive correspondence between Libertas and the Standards in Public Office Commission in the wake of the 2008 referendum in relation to the source of the Libertas funding.

The commission sought evidence from Libertas about Mr Ganley’s loan and was supplied with a copy of a loan agreement document which was signed by Mr Ganley’s brother, Seán, on behalf of Libertas, and by Mr Ganley.

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