Resignation puts spotlight on ‘parish pump’ politics

Campaigning for constituents is far from taboo in Irish politics, yet the formality and tone of Trevor Sargent’s enquiry were his downfall, writes Niamh Connolly

27th February, 2010

The resignation of Green Party junior minister Trevor Sargent has revealed the nature of private contacts between TDs and gardaí on behalf of constituents. Section 6 of the 1974 Prosecutions of Offences Act states that it is unlawful to communicate with gardaí to influence a decision on either withdrawing a charge or not initiating criminal proceedings.

TDs who spoke to this newspaper agreed that the former Green minister had overstepped the mark by telling a...

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