Appeal adjourned for man at centre of Sargent resignation

A man appealing his conviction for an assault that was at the centre of a dispute which ultimately led to the resignation of former Junior Minister Trevor Sargent has had his case adjourned again today.

A man appealing his conviction for an assault that was at the centre of a dispute which ultimately led to the resignation of former Junior Minister Trevor Sargent has had his case adjourned again today.

Travel agency worker Dominic McGowan (aged 31), a constituent of Mr Sargent in north Co Dublin, became embroiled in a row with neighbour Stephen Mulvany (aged 35) in September 2007.

McGowan claimed he witnessed a child trying to remove a road sign in his estate, Cardy Rock Close in Balbriggan

He went to report the alleged act of vandalism to the child's parents but claimed he ended up being assaulted and headbutted by Mulvany, who lived a few hundred metres away in Cardy Rock Square.

In March last year, McGowan was convicted of threatening and abusive behaviour contrary to Section 6 of the Public Order Act, leading to him being fined E500 at Balbriggan District Court.

Mulvany, a father-of-three, was also convicted of threatening and abusive behaviour and of the more serious charge of assault contrary to Section 2 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.

He received a €500 fine and a four-month prison sentence but is now seeking to have his conviction overturned.

Today Mulvany was before the Circuit Court in Dublin for his appeal date to be set. However, the State applied for a further adjournment of the case which was put back until April 26 next for mention.

Dominic McGowan had told Green Party TD Trevor Sargent, then Minister of State in the Department of Agriculture, at a constituency clinic in June 2008 he was unhappy at also being summonsed to appear in court on a charge in relation to the incident.

Mr Sargent subsequently wrote to the prosecuting Garda, saying he believed it was "wholly inappropriate" for a summons to be proceeded with as witnesses for McGowan had yet to be interviewed.

The former Green Party leader stepped down as Minister of State in the Department of Agriculture on February 23 after accepting that he made “an error of judgement” in contacting gardaí about the case involving his constituent, Dominic McGowan.

The revelation has also triggered a Garda probe into the leaking of the information to a newspaper, which led to Sargent's resignation.

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