No doubt the endlessly energetic, self-confident Ganley could hardly believe his luck. He had no idea whether his campaign would get off the ground at all and when it went stratospheric it seemed to defy all logic. The main political parties, initially sleepy and taken up mainly with scoring points off one another, grew more and more incensed as Ganley very visibly began to make ground on them. That establishment pillar, the Irish Times, become apoplectic. Its rage at this interloper knew no bounds. Late in the campaign, when it became apparent that the "Yes" campaign could lose, it declared the Irish people mad.
When Lisbon was rejected by a margin of six per cent the shock-waves spread out across Europe. Eurosceptics, whether mild or militant, were delighted. The political class was outraged. Brian Cowen, the new Taoiseach, had been humiliated by his own people and in front of his political peer group across Europe. Ireland, with its tiny population of 4.2 million people, was accused of defying the will, nay the destiny, of an entire continent. In fact, it was merely defying the will of Europe's ruling class. Had Lisbon been put to the vote again in France and Holland, not to mention Britain, it would doubtless have been defeated in those countries as well. Ireland's vote was a proxy vote on behalf of the hundreds of millions of disenfranchised voters across the continent.
It would be an exaggeration to say that Declan Ganley single-handedly defeated the Lisbon Treaty. Fringe groups of the Left and the Right played their part and so did voter anger at politicians. But Ganley received most of the credit, and the blame. It catapulted him to a sort of stardom not just in Ireland but in much of the EU as well. This is exactly what he wanted because all along his aim appears to have been to make Libertas a force in Europe, and his part in defeating Lisbon gave him the equivalent of years' worth of painstakingly building a political movement from scratch.
He has been extraordinarily busy since the defeat of the Lisbon Treaty, dividing his time between his business in America and his nascent party, the first pan-European party since the foundation of the EU. He has addressed meeting after meeting of groups and organisations that are almost consistently on the right of the political spectrum, for example, the Margaret Thatcher Centre for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC.
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