Green Party junior minister Trevor Sargent has resigned his junior ministerial post following allegations that he attempted to influence legislative proceedings in favour of one of his constituents.
The resignation will come as a further blow to the government, following the recent resignation of former Minister of Defence Willie O'Dea.
The Willie O’Dea controversy underlines the infantile nature of our politics.
For the first time in years, a minister has been forced from office because of an absence of contrition over a sordid smear he perpetrated against a political opponent.
There were questions about perjury underlying that smear, but the available evidence suggested that there had been no perjury.
This essentially was a matter of style and decorum, of ‘letting down politics’ and of ‘damaging the political system’.
“Resigning his position in Cabinet must have been very difficult for Willie O’Dea and a very trying event for his family. However, Willie O'Dea's resignation was an inevitable consequence of his swearing of a false affidavit before the High Court."
“The refusal of the Taoiseach and his colleagues in government to demand any accountability for this behaviour was the reason that I tabled a motion of no confidence in Deputy O'Dea on Tuesday night."
"Yesterday afternoon I met Willie O’Dea and he assured me that an article in today’s Limerick Leader would vindicate him. The article published today does not do that. In fact it does the opposite.
"At the very conclusion of yesterday’s Dail debate Mr O’Dea said his original actions in the matter were based on information given to him by An Garda Siochana. We were very concerned by this behaviour by a member of Government.
Statement by an Taoiseach Brian Cowen on the resignation of Willie O'Dea
The Taoiseach wishes to announce that Mr Willie O’Dea TD has this evening tendered his resignation as Minister for Defence and the President has accepted it.
In tendering his resignation, Mr O’Dea said: “I have come to the regrettable conclusion that my continuing in office will only serve to distract from the important and vital work of Government in addressing the serious challenges that the country continues to face at this time.”
Green Party compliance has allowed Fianna Fáil to get away with doing whatever it likes.
Willie O'Dea has nothing to fear over that perjury matter. If Fianna Fáil were in partnership with, say, the late, unlamented PDs or the Labour Party, maybe even Sinn Féin, yes, problems.
But since Fianna Fáil is in government on its own, pas de problème. Nobody will be asking for heads, not even for an apology. If Willie doesn’t want to explain himself, that’s okay too.
Deirdra de Burca resigned from the Green Party this morning. In a letter to party leader John Gormley, Senator de Burca said that she could no longer support the party because it had "abandoned [its] political values... and become no more than an extension of the Fianna Fail party". De Burca said that the party leadership was unwilling to captitalise on Fianna Fail's reliance on Green Party support in the Dail.
George Lee’s problem was not the lack of a platform or a role – it was the absence of a political philosophy. By Vincent Browne.
George Lee's impulsive exit from politics highlights a certain malaise common in the Irish public sphere; namely, the cosiness between the political and media elites writes Joseph Galvin
Prominent political journalists are well known to mingle in the Dail bar with the politicians they are supposed to be critiquing, often counting these same people as personal friends. Indeed, a cursory glance at the Irish media exposes plainly many associations between media and politics.