Ganley tells 'unhelpful' British MEP to pack his tent and go
LIBERTAS leader Declan Ganley told the British MEP Nigel Farage last night to go back home and stop interfering in the Lisbon Treaty debate.
Mr Farage, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) arrived in Ireland to launch an anti-Lisbon Treaty leaflet and became embroiled in a blazing row with the Government and pro-treaty TDs.
Mr Ganley told the British MEP and his party last night to "pack up its tent and go home".
"We do not need a foreign political party to tell us that our politicians are a bunch of arrogant clowns who won't take no for an answer," he said.
He said that Mr Farage's entry to the Lisbon debate was unwarranted, unwelcome, unhelpful and unnecessary.
Mr Ganley's comments came as a blow to the 'No' side and signalled a serious split in the anti-treaty campaign.
In a scathing attack in Dublin yesterday, Mr Farage accused the Government of telling lies and "ramming through" a treaty that would make Ireland lose its independence.
The Irish political classes, including European Affairs Minister Dick Roche, had descended to the gutter, he said.
"The EU wants to be a global superpower, both economically and militarily . . . and to pretend to people that it's different to that is nonsense."
Mr Farage's entry to the Lisbon debate has also infuriated the 'Yes' side. Angry members of pro-treaty groups Generation Yes and Labour Youth protested outside the Dublin city hotel yesterday where he held a press conference.
They shouted slogans and carried placards telling Mr Farage to mind his own business and accused him and his party of being racist.
Labour TD Joan Burton was furious over a reference to her name in a leaflet that is to be distributed by Mr Farage's political group in Europe to 1.5 million homes in Ireland.
She said a quote from a NAMA debate was used out of context and she labelled the UKIP as an "unpleasant bunch of extreme right-wingers".
Mr Farage insists his campaign is not organised by UKIP but by its political grouping in Brussels, Europe for Freedom and Democracy.
Sinn Fein, meanwhile, launched its 'Alternative Guide to Lisbon' yesterday. Party leader Gerry Adams said yesterday that we should not "roll over" and accept the treaty.