| 6.8°C Dublin

Sargent letters probe like Watergate -- Little

FORMER RTE presenter Mark Little has waded into the controversy over the decision to call in the gardai to prove the Herald's revelation about Trevor Sargent.

The ex-Primetime presenter compared the Trevor Sargent debacle to US political scandal Watergate.

He said on his Twitter page that questions being raised about the source of the letters that led to the Minister's resignation reminded him of a gag about "Deep Throat".

The former Washington correspondent joked that "Nixon would still be in power" if Watergate happened here, while the source of the story would be exposed.

In a Tweet posted two days ago, Little said: "Focus on leaks reminds me of old joke: if Watergate happened in Ireland, Nixon would still be in power but we'd all know who Deep Throat was."

Meanwhile, Trevor Sargent said he would co-operate fully with the garda investigation into the leaked letters which brought about his resignation from government.

Last night, he maintained he would be "very hopeful" that another member of the Green Party would be appointed as his replacement.

Speaking at a public meeting on environmental issues in his North Dublin constituency, he said he would be co-operating fully with the investigation launched by the Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy.

He added he has had no contact from the gardai as yet, apart from good wishes from individual members of the force.

It emerged previously that Mr Sargent would be giving his €47,000 ministerial severance payment to the St Vincent de Paul.

He said he had decided to do this "because I didn't expect the money and I knew from my constituency work it is going to be needed by other people more than me".

His comments came at a public meeting in Malahide, which focused on "future proofing" the area.

Mr Sargent refused to speculate on where the leaked documents which led to his resignation came from.

When the position is filled, he said he would be hopeful one of his Green Party colleagues would get the position. Deputy leader Mary White is the rumoured frontrunner.