A MAN OF THE PEOPLE
The Boy from Watford who bankrolled the 'NO' voters.
The man hailed as the real victor of the campaign against the
is an English-born millionaire.
Entrepreneur Declan Ganley set up the free-market
which was the prominent force behind the 'N' vote.
He was born in Watford in 1969 to Irish parents who decided to return to their home land 13 years ago. That simple action has ended up having a profound effect across the whole of Europe...
Mr Ganley, a devout Catholic teetotaller who describes his only vice as Cuban cigars, is famous for his work ethic.
Just like that other famous opponent of European integration, Margaret Thatcher, he claims to need just four hours of sleep a night.
His capacity for hard work has made him very rich. He now lives in the west of Ireland, drives a Rolls Royce and a Mercedes, and flies in a private helicopter.
But the father had to scrimp and save to return to Galway in the early 1980s, and when Mr Ganley arrived, he found it hard to fit in.
He had an English accent which did not make him popular in this nationalist part of Ireland where Gaelic is often spoken. The bullying made him something of a loner, which has had long-lasting effects.
During the Europe debate, he was confident enough to stand up for his principles when almost the whole of the business community was ranged against him. His entrepreneurial spirit first came to light at the age of 14 when he amazed classmates by spending weekends cutting up turf and selling it.
Soon he was investing on the stock market, and he left school as soon as he could to go into business.
He began at the bottom, working on a building site and as a tea boy at an insurance firm. His first wheezes often misfired -particularly one to sell Soviet space rockets to the West.
His first success was shipping Russian aluminium to Rotterdam at a time when the value of the rouble had plummeted.
In the years following the fall of the Berlin Wall he travelled to Eastern Europe, making millions from forestry and telecommunications businesses,
It was during this time, he says that he saw the damage a monolithic super-state can do to a country -an impression that years later caused him to turn against Europe.
After the September 11 attacks in 2001-where his wife's brother-in-law, a fireman nearly died -the serial entrepreneur turned his attention to America.
His links across the Atlantic led to a smear campaign in recent weeks, with him being painted as a stooge for the U.S. which wants to prevent European integration.
But Mr Ganley was not always anti-European -in 2001 he voted in favour of the Nice Treaty which Irish voters rejected.
And even now he says he does not want to see Ireland pull out of the EU
But his victory has frustrated the efforts of Brussels to increase
ITS CONTROL OVER IRELAND
-AND THE REST OF EUROPE.
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