A journalist and member here, Kevin Barrington, has been threatened with arrest and is being sued by Declan Ganley for remarks made in recent tweets and also for a blog post on the right wing groupings gathered under the Libertas eu umbrella. The blog post was made last May on Barrington's personal blog.
There is nothing unusual in this, as Ganley has a history of threatening legal action against critics. Anyone raising his history in Iraq, his extensive involvement with the US military, his Eastern European business interests and the very toxic collection of far right traditionalists, near-nazis, anti-semites and Hitler-saluting nationalists who he attempted to weld together into a pan European party may expect some kind of hostile attention.
Barrington, as well as a journalist, is also a poet. Anyone interested in reading his work will find a couple of examples on our writing blog "itsapoeticalworld." Recommended
The blog post complained of by Ganley appears to have contained material about Ganley that historical and widely published elsewhere, including this quote from the Wiesenthal Centre.
Since Ganley first appeared on the political scene, he has managed to espouse the US military, "disaster capitalism," successive business failures, spectacular electoral failure across Europe, Swiss "refuge" banking, and the European far right, abroad, while at home maintaining, by hook or by crook, an image of an "open and transparent" successful entrepreneur on the side of the people. Going so far as to attach himself to the coat tails of the fine people of Ballyhea, who in my opinion deserve much better company. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/87311Libertas is running some 600 candidates in over 20 of the elections in the 27 member-states. Some of those standing are known antisemites, homophobes and anti-migrant racists. These include:
- Ryszard Bender and Anna Sobecka of the Polish League of Families. Both are supporters of the widely criticized antisemitic Radio Maryja, where Bender was recorded as stating that Auschwitz was 'not a death camp but a labour camp where Jews and Gypsies were killed by hard labour – not so hard, not always killed."
" Georgios Georgiou, of the Greek LAOS party which was described by the United States State Department as antisemitic, racist and xenophobic. Uschi Winkelsett, head of the German extreme right Republikaner party, claimed to have received congratulations from Libertas upon her election. There are also press reports of Libertas' outreach to the Austrian BZO party of the late Hitler admirer, Jörg Haider."
In the past, Ganley has threatened critical journalists with being sued. This time, he additionally threatened to have the journalist arrested, under the "Non-fatal Offences Against the Person Act" which carries the threat of a large fine and a jail term of up to 6 years. This is a new and disturbing legal approach when used in the arena of political commentary.
I'm making no comments on Barrington's tweets or the content of the blog article, (other than items quoted in it from published sources), as these matters may come up in Court and should not be prejudiced.
Everyone has a right to their good name. Factual reportage of, and freedom to oppose political viewpoints is also a right of great social importance.
The far right, when Ganley first came on the political scene, was a dim and microscopic entity. Now we have seen what has happened in Greece, when social fabric is strained by poverty and struggle over diminishing resources, it is more important than ever that it is reported on. If Ganley wants to disassociate himself from his past connections with far right groups, it is open for him to do that through his own political actions and statements, rather than by silencing critics.