Government’s Supreme Court appeal will not be heard until the new year

The Government's Supreme Court appeal against the High Court finding of its “inordinate delay” in moving the writ for the Donegal South West byelection will not be heard until the new year.

Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty, who succeeded in his High Court challenge to the byelection delay and subsequently won the byelection, has brought a motion to have the Government’s appeal against the High Court ruling dismissed, arguing the appeal is pointless because the by-election is over.

When the came before Chief Justice John Murray at the Supreme Court, lawyers for all sides accepted there would be no hearing before the next law term opened in January.

Maurice Collins SC, for the Government, said the appeal was not quite ready for hearing and Mr Doherty’s legal submissions had been a bit late. Mr Doherty also had a motion to strike out the appeal and have it dismissed, and affidavits had been exchanged. No dates have been set for hearings in the new year.

Because of the Government’s appeal against the High Court decision upholding Mr Doherty’s challenge, another challenge by two Fine Gael politicians over delays in holding the Dublin South and Waterford byelections has been deferred to January 17th.