Sargent resigns

Trevor Sargent at the Green Party convention i...
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The Statement:

Statement by Trevor Sargent TD

A Ceann Chomhairle, I thank you for the opportunity to explain to the House the circumstances of the clinic enquiry I received in June 2008 relating to an assault in September 2007 which were partially reported in the media this afternoon.

A victim of an assault came to me to voice his frustration at the slow progress being made with a case where he alleged he had been head-butted when he told me he had reported vandalism to parents of a child he had seen trying to remove a road sign in their housing estate.

My intention was to ensure the Gardaí were aware I had received a representation from a victim in an alleged assault and that the full preparation of the case would benefit from witnesses not yet interviewed being interviewed before proceeding further. The victim was afraid for his safety, meanwhile.

I accept however that although my actions in contacting An Garda Siochána were not a criminal offence, under Section 6 of the Prosecutions of Offences Act 1974 such a communication could be deemed not lawful. In this regard, I accept I made an error of judgement. Accordingly I hereby tender my resignation forthwith as Minister of State for Food and Horticulture.

Green Party Leader, John Gormley also issued a statement:

“I am greatly saddened by Trevor Sargent’s decision to resign as Minister of State.

“There is nobody in Leinster House – or in Irish politics generally – whom I admire more than Trevor. He has brought a unique mix of ability and talent, decency and honesty to Irish public life.

“Trevor’s departure is all the more difficult because he is more than just a colleague, he is a trusted friend and confidant.

“I note that in tendering his resignation he has acted promptly and without any self interest. That is totally in keeping with his approach to politics and the contribution he has made across the past four decades.

“Trevor will continue to serve the people of Dublin North as their TD with the same total dedication he has shown since June 1992. He will be missed from the Green Party team in government but he will continue to work closely with his parliamentary party colleagues.”

I didn’t see that coming… I think he was set up. But it doesn’t reflect well on a government which is obviously at war with itself!

How long more will it last?

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Sargent in trouble now

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So now Trevor Sargent is accused of acting improperly in a criminal case. The Minister of State is the latest in a long line of accusations to have hit the Government. The latest of course being the resignation of Willie O’Dea.

While many would have assumed the Green Party were above all this type of stuff but it turns out, being in Government with Fianna Fail may have taught them some bad habits.

If Sargent was still the Leader of the Green Party there would be calls for his resignation, but as he isn’t I don’t think there will be that much pressure. Of course FF may ask for his resignation to get back at the Greens for forcing O’Dea out, but then that would be hypocritical in the extreme!!

Fine Gael’s Charlie Flanagan has called for his resignation, and the Green Party Chairman, Dan Boyle,  is defending him saying

“I know he’s a decent and honourable man and he’ll act accordingly.”
So there will be no tweet looking for his resignation!
Trever Sargent will make an statement on the matter this evening in the Dáil.
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