Doherty decision to take High Court challenge vindicated
Speaking after a decision on costs was announced by the High Court in Pearse Doherty TD’s case against the Referendum Commission, the Donegal South West TD said that “my decision to take the case was vindicated by the court today.”
Deputy Doherty said:
“I took this matter to court in good faith and because I believed it to be an issue of central importance to the referendum. I believe that both the substantive judgement on the case and the decision today on costs vindicate my decision to pursue this course of action.
“Judge Hogan's substantive ruling stated that the case ‘raised profound and very difficult questions, which at their heart involved complex and intricate issues’, that it was ‘impossible for me at this juncture to express a definitive view on the ultimate question raised’.
“On the central matter in dispute between the Referendum Commission and myself, Judge Hogan said that ‘there is unquestionably room for legitimate legal and political debate on this issue.’
“I welcome today’s determination by Judge Hogan on the issue of costs. I believe it vindicates my decision to take this challenge.
“Despite accusations from some quarters that this was ‘nothing more than a stunt’, the judge said today that this was ‘a serious, worthy and bona fide case that raised legitimate important issues which were crucial to the referendum debate.’
“It is also significant that though my legal team did not seek costs against the Attorney General the judge indicated that he would have awarded costs against them measured at €7,500.”