'All he did was contact gardai'
Alleged assault victim asks Cowen to reconsider resignation
Published 24/02/2010 | 05:00
THE man at the centre of the Trevor Sargent resignation controversy last night denied that there had been any "interference" in the course of justice.
Dominic McGowan, standing outside his apartment in Cardy Rock Close, Balbriggan, north Co Dublin, said he believed Taoiseach Brian Cowen should reconsider the "honourable" resignation by the junior minister.
The former Minister for State at the Department of Agriculture yesterday told how he had contacted gardai in relation to an alleged assault on Mr McGowan in September 2007.
The former Green Party leader handed in his resignation just hours after the matter became public knowledge, stating he accepted "an error of judgment" had been made in contacting gardai over the case.
Mr McGowan said the north Dublin TD penned a letter on his behalf after he was allegedly attacked by a neighbour.
"All he did was contact the gardai, I was attacked," the travel agency worker said.
Mr McGowan said he never had "any run in with the gardai" and had full respect for the force.
"I have no connections whatsoever with the Green Party. But again I contacted numerous amounts of politicians about the situation that took place, it was just that Mr Sargent was one of the few that got back to me.
"He is the most decent, honourable politician in this country," he added.
"I think the country should get behind Mr Sargent. He sticks up for his constituents."
Mr McGowan said that the TD was acting on behalf of his constituency rather than his office at the Department of Agriculture when he penned the letter.
Mr McGowan denied that it was "an interference" in the course of justice.
"I think Brian Cowen should get involved and reconsider Mr Sargent's honourable resignation, only just to keep the ball rolling. The man that he is, he is more concerned about the country than his own personal agenda," he said.
He denied the situation had similarities to the resignation of Defence Minister Willie O'Dea.
"This is just a simple case that has gotten blown out of proportion. It is not a scandal," he said.
A notice pinned up in the hallway of his apartment block urges residents who witness any damage being done to report it to the gardai.
Last night, Mr McGowan spoke about the alleged assault which led to Mr Sargent sending a letter on his behalf.
He told how he came in from work one evening to witness two young children knocking down a street sign in the estate which read 'Cardy Rock Close'.
Mr McGowan said he called the youths' "bluff" and went down to tell their parents what happened. He said he wishes he had never approached them.
"The other parent came out and headbutted me, knocked me back for six. Broke my nose, busted my nose open. Blood everywhere.
"Gardai never turned up that night at all. I was in hospital all night so that didn't make any difference."