DECLAN GANLEY’S Libertas Institute spent over €5.6 million in the year of the second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, new accounts has shown.
New spending records for the institute – a private limited company – filed with the Companies Registration Office show that the institute boasted an income of just over €3.2 million for the year, but staff costs of just under €480,000 and operating charges of over €5.2 million.
The company ran an operating loss of over €2.4 million, the documents show, while it had debts of €2.02 million which were due to materialise within a year and another €1.6 million falling due in later years.
The accounts for 2010, however, show almost no change in either figure – and note that Declan Ganley, the company secretary and one of its two directors, signed a personal guarantee for €1.4 million to back loans from third parties.
It is not clear from where the company received other funding, as the Libertas Institute – which was never registered as a political party – was not required to make public disclosures about its political donations.
The company was owed just over €800,000 at the end of 2010, of which Ganley was owed €82,474.
Libertas Institute Ltd lost €53,720 in 2010, with income of €19,234 but depreciation of over €4,500, operating charges of just under €11,000 and interest of €55,908.
An independent auditor’s report furnished with the accounts outlines that the company’s liabilities are over €1.21 million greater than its assets – which would “indicate a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”
The company’s stated goal in the accounts is to “lobby to influence public opinion into the future”.
The significant spending in 2009 – in which Libertas campaigned unsuccessfully against the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty in a second referendum, and ran three candidates in the European Parliament elections – would more than match the similar spending of other parties.
Neither Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael nor Labour disclosed party donations in 2009; while each party did disclose donations to its election candidates, each party’s aggregate donations were in the tens of thousands.