1. When the room was booked, there was no indication given that it would be used for the Libertas launch.
2. Because it did not agree with SIPTU's policies (I haven't read what SIPTU's policies exactly are in this area).
“This extraordinary and last-minute U-turn by the authorities at Liberty Hall raises very interesting questions. Caroline Simons spent a large portion of her career working with the trade union movement to secure equality for women. She adopted the same position on the Lisbon Treaty as an overwhelming majority of trade union members.”
For SIPTU's part, it suspects that the whole thing was a stunt, and claims that the purpose of the booking was not given to them:
"The union said the room was booked by a person who was a Siptu shop steward, but who gave no indication that it would be used by Libertas for the launch of Ms Simons’s campaign.
If it had known the purpose of the meeting, permission would never have been granted. “We suspect that this was a stunt from the beginning,” said a spokesman."
Which makes me wonder... It must be hard being populist with tax-cutting rhetoric in a country that is facing a big deficit and needs to raise taxes (indeed, the public discussion is on how to make tax hikes fairer rather than questioning the need for more taxation), so could this be an attempt to set up a situation to make Libertas seem like the underdogs? Either that or they or utterly incompetent when it comes to filling out forms or communicating their intentions to others - they've failed to get enough support to be eligible for EU funding, they've failed to get enough signatures in time to be registered for the elections in Germany, and now they've failed to properly go about booking a venue for their campaign launch...? Of course, SIPTU would have denied them access anyway, but surely they should have told SIPTU what they were planning. Unless SIPTU didn't make it clear what information it required for room bookings - though you'd think that union members would know what would be permitted.
And Caroline Simons?
She launched her campaign by (from the article) criticising the EU for:
1. generating 80% of Ireland's laws (this figure seems to get bigger every time, does anyone know where I can find information on this?).
2. Costing €130 billion each year.
3. The threat to Ireland's corporation tax - for proof of this threat, Angela Merkel's comment that Ireland's corporation tax needs to be revisited was cited (though, my impression was that this would have been part of any bail-out of Ireland by Germany. And I thought the citation for the comment was just a German official, though Simons may have been referring to something else - can anyone point me anything that backs up her point? Anyway, if Germany wants it changed, then that's Germany's policy towards Ireland, not an EU policy - and in any case, Ireland retains a veto under the Lisbon Treaty in such matters). Simons is reported to view this as: "the greatest threat to Ireland’s independence".
4. The institutions waste money - the money the EP has spent on upgrading their fitness facilities, etc. was highlighted.
Though it was repeated that Libertas is not Eurosceptic, no alternative vision of the EU was put forward (or reported), and there was no reason given why they think the EU is necessary. I'm not sure how well their rhetoric will go down - they seem to be running a very British-style anti-Brussels campaign about footing the bill and not getting anything in return ("What do we get here? The bill."). I don't think that that line of argument will be very successful when everywhere you look there are billboards saying that "This [infrastructure project] was jointly funded by the EU", and the general consensus is (and the fact is), that Ireland has been a net beneficiary of the EU.
If the money is being misspent (and I mean the overall EU budget here), then does Libertas have a budget policy? Or will it have one?