The Silencing of the Hacks – Ganley Threatens Journalist With Arrest Over Tweets and Blog

A journalist and member of Politicalworld.org, 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.

Ganley likes to threaten to sue -

http://peoplekorps.blogspot.ie/2009/…o-sue-but.html

In Barrington’s case, some satirical and unfriendly tweets directed to an Irish comedian, others to the world in general, on pro-life supporters, were retweeted by Ganley and I guess it is those tweets that are subject to action, given that Ganley was mentioned in one.

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 is historical and widely published elsewhere, including this quote from the Wiesenthal Centre.

Libertas 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.

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.

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.

In the last week, another member of the Irish Right – John McGuirk – produced a “list of pro-choice journalists” in a blatant attempt to marginalise and silence pro-choice opinion in the media.  Freedom of the press and of individual journalists to speak their political minds is one of the cornerstones of democratic society.  In the present economic and political turmoil, it needs to be defended firmly.
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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.
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C. Flower  15.12.2012
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7 Responses

  1. Reblogged this on gfmurphy101 and commented:
    This will be very interesting…..whatever happened to the libel action that Ganley threatened against RTE Prime Time ???

  2. Still sitting on the back burner, I believe.

  3. What far right? There is no Irish far right. Greece is in such a extreme situation its incomparable to Ireland.

    • You must have missed out on Ganley’s exploit in pulling together a Pan European party – Libertas – right across the EU. One of the Greek neo fascist outfits, LAOS, was involved. Possibly the biggest single electoral failure ever. But that does not mean there is no danger from the extreme right both EU wide and in Ireland. With a weak left, retired trade unions, and a roaring debt crisis, Ireland is vulnerable to a rightward shift, whether by shift of the existing parties, or by emergence of new ones.

  4. I wonder will this blog be updated to show that Barrington was found to have libelled Mr Ganley and make a charitable donation at the plaintiff’s request?

    • Kevin Barrington has apologised and settled with Declan Ganley over a tweet complained of by Ganley. There was no “finding of libel” and no court case. It appears that part of the settlement involved removal of various unrelated blogs on Ganley but there was no apology for them. One bad tweet (or was it two) from Barrington, as opposed to Ganley’s history as would-be nursemaid to a far right political nightmare across Europe, does not seem to me to amount to a hill of beans. My view that the present law offers insufficient protection to people engaged in political discussion is reinforced by this whole episode. C. Flower

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