At The High Court


From top: Four Courts in Dublin; John Waters; Gemma O’Doherty

Last night.

It was reported that Gemma O’Doherty and John Waters, representing themselves, went before Mr Justice Mark Sanfey in the High Court yesterday to challenge laws brought in by the State amid the pandemic.

In judicial review proceedings against the State and the Minister for Health they want recently enacted legislation to be declared null and void.

Aodhan O’Faolain, in The Irish Examiner, reported:

Mr Waters told the court that the legislation was “unconstitutional“, “improperly enacted,” and “very flawed“.

He said the challenge was brought on grounds including that the laws were brought in by a caretaker Government, by a Dail where the number of TD’s present in the chamber when the vote took places was limited.

He said he was further concerned that the legislation was enacted by the outgoing rather than the incoming Senate, which he says it should have been.

…The judge, who said that the court was only concerned about the legality of the legislation challenged and not about any policy taken by government, directed that the journalists’ application for permission to bring the challenge be made on notice to the State respondents.

The judge adjourned the matter for a week, when it is to be mentioned before the court.

Gemma O’Doherty and John Waters bring court challenge to Covid-19 restrictions (The Irish Examiner)

Covid-19 restrictions challenged in High Court (RTÉ)

Journalists tell High Court coronavirus laws ‘unconstitutional’ (The Irish Times)

Previously: Locking Down Our Civil Liberties


30 thoughts on “At The High Court

  1. edrof

    Did anyone see the video of the lovely Gemma attacking a Garda for doing his job on the frontline and putting himself in harms way to ensure idiots aren’t breaking isolation/lockdown rules?

    The woman has gone five alarm crazy.

    1. Scundered

      Am no health professional but everytime I see her I feel it’s like witnessing someone’s mental health declining to the point where they need to be sectioned.

      1. edrof

        She was absolutely disgraceful to the guard! Basically telling him she was his boss
        She is absolutely on a downward spiral

        1. Scundered

          Yes it was a ludicrous outburst and I can’t imagine anyone being in support of her except criminals. Hopefully it will have cost her a lot of supporters.

  2. phil

    John and Gemma are just annoyed with us because they have been in isolation for years , and they think we are stealing their thunder..

  3. Joe cool

    What or why is the reason for this? why do they want to do it? what is the reasoning and what outcome do they want?

  4. newsjustin

    Everything’s a conspiracy if you look hard enough or imagine long enough.

    While I respect anyone’s right to bring a legal challenge, if they genuinely think there’s been illegality, and you could, in theory, say that the precedent is the problem here (i.e. once a Govt have done it once they could be minded to do it again for trivial reasons), I can’t see who this challenge really serves….other than those who think COVID-19 is caused by using Microsoft Excel.

    1. scottser

      you might be on to something there. having to unfreeze panes and then freeze the top row again and again is enough to drive anyone spare.

    2. Cormac

      On March 23rd Simon Harris announced that the new legislation would be enacted which would roll forward until Nov 9th (I think).
      Yesterday on April 16th the same announcement but with the added caveat that a new government was now technically in place.
      Is it possible that the government did not consider the constitutional issues at stake and know that this legislation can be challenged until they are in power again?
      FYI The two idiots whose name I shall not mention are undoubtedly taking this case as a personal grudge case against anyone who has crossed them which at this stage is the entire country.

    3. f_lawless

      @newsjustin Alternatively, anybody with enough awareness to grasp the dire consequences that the lockdown is setting into motion for Irish society and genuinely feels that the measures imposed by the state are disproportional and should be held up to scrutiny and challenged, can easily be dismissed as “conspiracy theorists” and ridiculed if you don’t want to think hard enough and are psychologically inclined to disassociate with those who question authority.

        1. f_lawless

          @DC well there’s various inter-connected facets to the whole thing that I’m not going to pretend I appreciate fully – eg social, health, human rights, financial , economic consequences – nor do I have a crystal ball of course, but just looking from an economic perspective, it’s clear that the shutdown of the economy – which has led to a huge rise in those on social welfare and a drastic reduction in income tax returns – is bringing the State to the point of insolvency. This is happening in the context of an emerging global financial crisis. Mitigating the fallout as much as possible is imperative.

          I think Eddie Hobbs is on the right track in this article:

          “we deserve to hear the truth…there is no V-shaped recovery. It is a long fat ‘U’ with a lot happening at the bottom. We are only at the onset and counter-measures phase of this crisis..The flood and fractures are yet to come in the deep valley before recovery…

          ..The first thing is to psychologically prepare for what is coming, the moments when the oxygen masks fall.

          There is no quick fix.

          The safety nets from State debt, reliefs and the ECB, all of it has a limit. “

      1. Nigel

        The people who are actually warning about security state and industrial and financial opportunism in the face of crisis are actually easily distinguishable from the cranks etc. Pandemic truthers, however, remain cranks and/or right-wing apologists for goverments that bungled the response.

      2. Hansel

        What are you actually saying there, though f_lawless?
        If you would be so kind as to put it in baby-speak for me, because the way I read it sounds great theoretically, but is ethically very questionable during a pandemic.

        If you “grasp the dire consequences that the lockdown is setting into motion for Irish society” you surely also grasp the dire consequences that no lockdown would set into motion for Irish society? Namely, approx. 30,000 additional deaths.

        If you genuinely feel that the measures imposed by the state are disproportionate, what would you propose as a more suitable solution?
        I don’t mean this as a jibe: if you have a better solution, I’ll be 100% supportive of it. Because being quarantined for weeks on end is pretty crappy for me too. But I sadly don’t know of a better solution than a temporary “stay at home” law with the associated Garda powers to enforce it.

        When we didn’t have such measures in place, people congregated and spread the virus.
        If the Gardai can’t enforce it, people are still effectively free to congregate and spread the virus.

        You call this line of thinking “psychologically inclined to disassociate with those who question authority”. I call it “accepting the crappy reality we find ourselves in”.

        We’ve already got the poop on our shoes: it’s too late to argue about the best shoes to have been wearing under the circumstances. We gotta just try and clean the mess with anything we have to hand in the moment.

        It’s definitely not perfect, but what else is there?

  5. Gaz

    Seeing G’OD’s or John Waters’ names on the article is enough to induce a collective eye-roll from 99% of the Irish Public.

    1. Mick

      99% of the online Irish Public. Lots of my friends/ work colleagues had never heard of G*mm* *’D*h*rty until that video verbally abusing the garda came out.
      Now they know who she is, and are rolling their eyes, but lots of people still don’t know who she is (I’d say she hates that fact!)

  6. some old queen

    There is a trend with the right wingers doing this- Katie Hopkins got a garden centre into trouble recently for publishing that they were open. I can see the point about how unhealthy it is to keep people cooked up but it is not house arrest, you can still go for a walk etc- just hang local.

    But in this case, GO’D and JW do not believe CoVid-19 is a thing at all- so that is the real motivation. And if the legislation is over turned, from their perspective it is great exposure- they freed the people etc.

      1. Janet, I ate my avatar

        well it’s working, it’s night and day out there, last year a garden shed was 1200 a month in Maynooth now it’s a beautiful (very obvs ex Airbnb) one bed apartment
        as I have mentioned on here before screaming child downstairs driving me nuts, it’s the perfect time to move, people are almost throwing the keys at you

        1. some old queen

          Problem there is Janet, when this all settles down, they’ll likely to want to go back to the Air bnb. I know you’ll have a lease but there are ways that a sharp practice landlord can make a tenant feel uncomfortable.

          I would be more inclined to watch for one which was not in that market as all rentals will be coming down in price.

          1. Janet, I ate my avatar

            oh definitely, but it does make the others even out :) plus I only need a year lease max

          2. Otis Blue

            I’m not so sure that it will play out like that. The 11m overseas visitors we had last year won’t be seen for many a year yet.

  7. Art Vandelay

    What exactly happened G O’D? . She wasn’t always this way when she was a standard journo was she?

    1. Janet, I ate my avatar

      she’s very unwell and it’s sad to see her not getting the help she needs

      1. Al Jeers

        Yeah I used think that way too Janet but then on hearing her bilge I wondered if it was fair to justify that via her being unwell; it must have been at minimum latent but present all the same, regardless of her mental health.

      2. scottser

        she’s not unwell, she just has weird views. i had a quick scan over her twitter feed and to be fair there’s a lot worse out there than her. but they all feed into the same whackery.

  8. Verbatim

    Journalists John Waters and Gemma O’Doherty have launched a High Court action challenging laws brought in by the state arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic, what could be possibly wrong with this?

    Go’D is called crazy by the very same who harp on about mental health days… the woke sort…

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