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Journalist sues Libertas founder Ganley for libel


Declan Ganley, Photo: Damien Eagers

Declan Ganley, Photo: Damien Eagers

Declan Ganley, Photo: Damien Eagers

A COURT reporter is set to sue the founder of the Libertas party, Declan Ganley.

Journalist Ray Managh has lodged a libel action against Mr Ganley, saying the Libertas founder had called the accuracy of his reporting into question.

Mr Managh had reported on a Circuit Court action taken against Mr Ganley by former European candidate for Libertas Raymond O'Malley in which he was seeking €35,000 in electoral expenses that he had incurred during the 2009 European elections.

On March 6, Mr Managh filed a report to news organisations about a hearing of the case.

But in a letter of complaint sent to Mr Ganley, Mr Managh's solictor alleges that the reporter started to receive phone calls from news desks expressing concern because Mr Ganley had personally phoned several media organisations and claimed Mr Managh's report was inaccurate.

Mr Managh claims that because of Mr Ganley's actions the news report was not carried in a number of newspapers.

The reporter also claims that Mr Ganley's actions resulted in his accuracy, honesty and professional integrity being called into question. Mr Ganley has said he will defend the action.

Mr Managh has engaged Robert Dore to represent him – the solicitor who represented Fr Kevin Reynolds, the priest who received an estimated €1m settlement from RTE following the broadcast of a defamatory Prime Time Investigates.

Galway-based businessman Mr Ganley was the former leader of the Libertas political party. He led Libertas in the 2009 European elections, but only a single candidate won a seat.

He sought a second 'No' vote on Lisbon in October 2009, but this referendum was passed.

Meanwhile, Mr Ganley has held his third rally to gauge support for a new political party which will contest local and European elections next year.

Mr Ganley confirmed that a core group, including some household names and members from other political parties, is on the verge of founding a new party if it thinks there is enough grassroots support.

"There is no time frame. We are not there yet," he said.



Mr Ganley said any serious political alternative for Ireland is "going to need to run candidates at every stage of elected office" but added that he did not necessarily see himself as the heading up a new political party.

Mr Ganley's three meetings in Dublin, Castlebar, Co Mayo, and in Cork, attracted huge crowds, but he admitted that at least half were broadly of the pro-life movement, who "have been abandoned and betrayed by everyone else".

He said there was a core group of people behind the initiative.