"I think the UEN has worked well for Ireland and for Fianna Fáil, we've been able to deliver policy at a European level, partly because I'm the leader"
What policy exactly? The UEN doesn't stand for much, if anything - it's a random collection of parties grouped together to benefit from the group perks (you could say this of the other groups, but it goes more so for the UEN than it does for the big 3). Perhaps someone could point out these policy gains he has achieved? I think the reason for his support for UEN can simply be cut down to: "because I'm the leader".
As for his preference for Lisbon II to be held ASAP, I would be strongly against. The Irish public may accept Lisbon when it comes with the guarantees, but you need to show you've the guarantees in the bag first. Also, it'd be a bad idea turning Lisbon into a bigger issue in the run up to the EP elections because it would give Libertas a platform without making them do the leg-work in an election which will be dominated by the economy.
Fine Gael MEP Colm Burke is also advocating a sooner referendum.