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|Declan James Ganley|
|Chairman of Libertas|
23 July 1968 |
Declan James Ganley (born 23 July 1968) is an Irish entrepreneur, businessman and political activist. Primarily a telecommunications entrepreneur, he has built businesses across Europe, Russia, and latterly, the United States. He is currently the Chairman and CEO of Rivada Networks, a telecommunications company specialising in the efficient use and arbitrage of wireless spectrum. Rivada has recently patented groundbreaking technologies in the field of Dynamic Spectrum Arbitrage. In 2013, Ganley testified to the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce that Rivada's patents had the potential to "save the taxpayer hundreds of millions of dollars".
In addition, Ganley has founded and sold successful companies in forestry, and the online sector.
During the 2008 Irish referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon, Ganley and the Libertas Institute successfully campaigned for a No vote. He again campaigned for a No vote in the 2012 Irish European Fiscal Compact referendum. Aside from this, he has guest presented Tonight with Vincent Browne.
In 2009, he was founder and chairman of a political party, Libertas with pan-European ambitions. The party was unsuccessful in this ambition in the 2009 European Parliament Election, succeeding in getting only one of the hundreds of candidates elected, in France. Ganley was upbeat after the defeat, describing the venture as a "failed experiment".
His first book, The Fight for Democracy, was published in 2009. He is co-author, with Joseph Stiglitz and others, of the book "What if Ireland defaults", a collection of essays on the response to the Irish economic crisis.
Ganley was born in Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, of Irish parents. He returned with his parents to live in Glenamaddy, County Galway, Ireland, at the age of 13, and today lives in Abbeyknockmoy, Co Galway with his American wife Delia Mary Ganley (née Paterek from Staten Island, New York) and their four children. He is a paintball enthusiast and lives on a 40 acre Moyne Park Mansion – previously home to folk singer Donovan.
Ganley has served on the boards of the University of Limerick Foundation, The Irish Chamber Orchestra, and is a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs. He served for over twenty years with the 54th Field Artillery Regiment, Irish Army Reserve.
Ganley is a recipient of the Louisiana Distinguished Service Medal, awarded after his work during Hurricane Katrina, where Rivada's emergency deployable communications systems were credited by state and federal officials with dramatically improving communications between emergency response organisations, and saving countless lives.
Ganley served as the chairman on the Forum on Public Safety in Europe & North America 2005–2006. He was an advisor on 'technology and terrorism' to the Club De Madrid. He was awarded the Czech Republic's Michal Tosovsky Prize 2008.
Ganley makes regular TV and radio appearances in Ireland, occasionally alongside his business partner Gurdgiev. Ganley is an avowed free-marketeer, who has been repeatedly critical of what he calls "corporatism" in the Irish economy. He has been repeatedly and vocally critical of the bank bail-outs imposed by the Irish Government in 2008, saying that the debt burden has the potential to cripple the country for generations.
Ganley is the current CEO and Chairman of Rivada Networks, a US-based firm specialising in the provision of telecommunications systems to the military, police and emergency services in disaster situations. Rivada Networks recently appointed former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers to the board.
On 14 March 2013, Ganley represented Rivada Networks in testimony to the US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, for the hearing entitled "Oversight of FirstNet and Emergency Communications."
In May 2011, Ganley set up a Swiss finance fund St. Columbanus AG with businessman and academic Constantin Gurdgiev and Andrew Jamieson. The effort was billed as a "safe haven" for Irish funds from European banks.
Early Life and rise to prominence
After leaving school in 1987, Ganley initially worked on building sites in London but soon found a job as a tea boy at an insurance company. His business life started soon afterwards when he moved to the Soviet Union. He traded in Soviet aluminium which he shipped to Rotterdam via Latvia. He has been involved in business ventures selling Russian aluminium and in the Latvian forestry sector.
In the early 1990s Ganley founded Kipelova Forestry Enterprises which became one of the largest forestry companies in the Russian Federation. He sold the company in 1997. In 1996, his company Ganley International founded the Anglo-Adriatic Investment Fund, an Albanian financial fund formed to collect and invest privatisation vouchers. Following political upheaval and several changes of government, the Albanian Government ceased it's planned privatisation programmes, and the fund became dormant.
Ganley formed a company called Liberty Mobile that made two unsuccessful bids, in partnership with Qualcomm, to obtain mobile telecoms operator licenses in Iraq from the Coalition Provisional Authority.
Ganley has investments in joint ventures with Nana Pacific, an Alaskan Native Corporation with special US Government contracting access. This joint venture was structured with the help of Jack Shaw and mutual business partner Don DeMarino. The partnership eventually led to the creation of Ganley's current company, Rivada Networks, and the joint venture company Rivada Pacific formed 49%/51% with Nana Pacific. John Kneuer, at the time the Bush appointed head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, resigned his post to join Rivada. Rivada Pacific's bidding efforts were assisted by Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. Rivada Pacific has contracts worth $240 million with US Public Safety Organisations. As of March 2013, Rivada had 6 contracts with the US Government.
Views on the European Union
Ganley advocates a Federal Europe, with directly elected office holders representing the people and holding the currently unelected EU Commission to account. He has called the current European Union a "cartel of unelected elites".
In June 2012, he outlined his vision for the European Union in a speech to the Royal United Service Institute (RUSI). This was an expansion and deepening of remarks he made in Vienna in 2009. In October 2011, he expanded further on his views in a speech to University of London's New College of the Humanities.
Ganley has described himself as "avowedly pro-life", and actively supports pro-life causes in Ireland. In July 2013, he delivered the keynote speech to the All-Ireland Rally for Life.
Ganley was the founder and Chairman of the pan-European political party Libertas and was a candidate for Libertas in the European Parliament election, 2009 in North-West Ireland. Libertas started in 2006 as a lobby group campaigning for a No-vote to the Lisbon Treaty in the Irish Referendum 12 June 2008, and evolved into a pan-European political movement. Libertas ran candidates in 20 European countries for the European Parliament election, 2009. In Rome on 1 May 2009 Libertas held its first Party Congress.
The Danish Frode Jakobsen prize of 2008 ('for unusual personal courage') was awarded to Ganley, because of his tireless campaign in the "face of unconscionable smears".
Libertas's political policies called for greater levels of democracy, transparency, and accountability within the EU, as well as a twenty-five-page alternative to the Lisbon Treaty. The origin of the party's funding has been questioned. Ganley announced that he personally loaned the party €200,000 for the Lisbon Treaty Campaign. In 2008, the European Union was reported to ask US Congress about Libertas funding. Gay Mitchell, Irish Member of the European Parliament, questioned whether the Libertas's €1.3 million budget was backed by the CIA or the US military - a claim which Ganley and many others openly mocked. Ganley has never provided exact details on the source of funding.
In May 2009, Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTE) ran a Prime Time profile of Ganley. In response, Ganley stated that he would launch "significant and extensive leagal action against RTE and Prime Time". Ganley started legal proceedings in December 2011. An opinion piece published by Bruce Arnold in the Irish Independent stated that Ganley was the victim of a government organised smear campaign. In May 2009, Bruce Arnold produced a 156-page book with Ganley and 100,000 copies in various languages were to be subsequently distributed across Europe by Ganley. In January 2013, Ganley received an apology and a €50 donation to a charity in an out of court settlement over a defamatory Twitter comment made about him.
Organisers of the Libertas parties in different member states have complained that Ganley seemed unwilling to pay them the money he promised, even though they spent a considerable part of this money on their election campaigns. In January 2013, Ganley agreed to pay expenses of failed Libertas candidate Raymond O'Malley.
Candidacy to the European Parliament
On 14 March 2009 at a press interview Ganley announced his candidacy to the European Parliament, for Libertas in the North-West constituency. Until 1 May 2009, Ganley travelled all over Europe to campaign against the Lisbon Treaty, and helped local Libertas branches. On 1 May 2009 Libertas held their first Party Congress and afterwards he focused his campaign on the North-West constituency, canvassing, attending public speeches and debates and appearing on radio and TV. One week after he launched his election campaign, incumbent MEP Jim Higgins branded Ganley as a 'puppet of the US military'. In a pre-election opinion poll Ganley polled 9% of first preference votes in the North-West Constituency. On 8 June 2009 he polled over 13% but did not gain a seat in the European Parliament. Ganley then announced his withdrawal from politics.
Second Lisbon Treaty referendum
In September 2009, Ganley announced he would campaign against the second referendum to ratify the Lisbon Treaty. He took part in a televised debate, where he argued with the head of Ryanair, Michael O'Leary who was campaigning in favour of the treaty. During the launch of its posters for the campaign, Ganley was ambushed by a group of young Fianna Fáil members who disrupted the launch. The Irish electorate ratified the Lisbon Treaty and Ganley announced that he would take some time to consider his future in politics.
- Libertas Party
- Libertas Institute Limited
- Broadnet Holdings BV
- Anglo Adriatic Investment Fund SA
- Rivada Networks
- Hennessy, Mark (22 September 2008). "Nationality of Libertas founder was listed as British in UK records". Irish Times. "I am an Irishman, and I resent anybody trying to tell me that I am not."
- Hawkins, Ross; Wheeler, Brian (8 May 2009). "Libertas chief sets out Euro stall". BBC News Online.
- Webster, Ben (25 May 2008). "Profile: Declan Ganley". Sunday Times (London).
- "Anti-Lisbon treaty campaign is launched". RTÉ News. 12 March 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2009.
- U.S. House of Representatives, Witness Disclosure Requirement, , 11 March 2013
- 'What will international man of mystery Declan Ganley do next?' Sunday Tribune. June 15, 2008. Retrieved 15 March 2009.
- The naïve child who became Mr No, , The Independent, 26 May 2012
- "Declan Ganley". www.rivada.com. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- de Bréadún, Deaglán (11 March 2009). "Ganley appoints defence industry figures to communications company". Irish Times.
- Rivada Networks Website Key Personnel
- Oversight of FirstNet and Emergency Communications, pp 107, , One Hundred Thirteenth Congress, First Session, 14 March 2013
- Donal O'Donovan, Ganley firm to help clients put money in Swiss banks, , The Independent, 11 May 2011
- Daly, Gavin (19 March 2006). "US magazine claims Ganley set to become billionaire". The Sunday Business Post.
-  CNBC Profile of Declan Ganley retrieved 2 November 2008
- Declan Ganley – The King of 45 000 Albanian ShareHolders, Albanian Canadian League Information Service
- T. Christian Miller, Iraq Cellular Project Leads to U.S. Inquiry,   , Los Angeles Times, 29 April 2004
- Keena, Colm (22 October 2008). "Accounts detail Ganley's stake in US firm". Irish Times.
- Declan Ganley's Alaskan Pals, , The Phoenix, 5 September 2008
- Heather Greenfield, John Kneuer Keeps Interoperability Focus, , Technology Daily, 18 December 2007
- Fed Spending Rivada Contracts
- Keena, Colm (29 October 2008). "Ganley's US contracts could be worth €240m". Irish Times.
- About Libertas, http://libertas.eu/en/about-us/origins
- "Why secrecy over Libertas funding?". Irish Independent. 8 September 2008.
- Keena, Colm (6 December 2008). "Ganley fails to provide clarity on Libertas loan". Irish Times.
- Rivada Networks not funding Libertas 'no' campaign, , The Independent, 20 May 2008
- Smyth, Jamie (23 September 2008). "MEPs seeking source of Libertas funding". Irish Times.
- Keena, Colm; Hennessy, Mark (25 September 2008). "More information on funding of Libertas given by Ganley". Irish Times.
- Crosbie, Judith (26 September 2008). "EU set to ask US Congress about Libertas fundraising". Irish Times.
- Fionnan Sheahan, Anti-treaty group denies getting funding through US military linksHead of anti-Lisbon Treaty campaign group Libertas, Declan Ganley denies any CIA link to the source of his €1.3m funding., , The Independent, 3 June 2008
- Declan Ganley plans to sue RTÉ, , RTE News, 21 May 2009
- Niamh Horan, Ganley takes legal action over RTE's Prime Time report, The Independent, 18 December 2011
- Bruce Arnold, Declan Ganley is the victim of a shameful smear campaign, , The Independent, 14 February 2009
- John Drennan, Ganley to publish his 'vision' in new book, , The Independent, 3 May 2009
- Declan Ganley receives apology after reaching settlement over defamatory tweet, , RTE News, 8 January 2013
- Dirks, Bart; Anneke Verbraeken (11 June 2009). "Europese partij Libertas zit zonder geld" (in Dutch). de Volkskrant. Retrieved 11 June 2009.
- Ray Managh, Declan Ganley forced to pay €35,000 expenses after being sued by failed Libertas candidate, , The Independent, 16 January 2013
- Declan Ganley announces EP candidacy
- Guidera, Anita (23 March 2009). "Ganley is branded a 'puppet of US military'". Irish Independent.
- Loscher, Damian (16 May 2009). "Drop in support for FF may not benefit FG". Irish Times.
- "Ganley bows out of politics as Kelly sees off Sinnott". The Irish Times. 6 June 2009.
- Ganley attacks Yes campaign's 'half-truths', Deaglán de Bréadún and Eithne Donnellan, The Irish Times, 14 September 2009, retrieved 16 September 2009
- Libertas.eu homepage[dead link]
- ACLIS: Declan J. Ganley
- RTE Irish National TV Primetime Special Investigates "Profile Declan Ganley" Broadcast 27 November 2008
- Some contracts awarded to Rivada Pacific by U.S. Government
- Irische EU-Kritiker rüsten sich für die Europawahl
- TanPortal News: Declan J. Ganley & Albania