Doherty says costs ruling vindicates Referendum Commission case

Donegal South West TD Pearse Doherty says his decision to take a case against the Referendum Commission ahead of last month's EU Fiscal Treaty poll has been vindicated in a High Court decision on costs.

The case centred on statements made by the commission about whether Ireland has a veto over the establishment of the European Stability Mechanism.

Judge Gerard Hogan dismissed the case at the time, but said it raised profound and very difficult questions.

Deputy Doherty says he went to the court last month in good faith, because he believed it to be an issue of central importance to the referendum.

While he lost the case, he says both the substantive judgement, and yesterday's decision today on costs vindicates the decision to pursue it.

In his substantive judgement, Judge Hogan said that ‘there is unquestionably room for legitimate legal and political debate on this issue.’

Deputy Doherty says despite accusations from some quarters that this was ‘nothing more than a stunt’, the judge said that this was ‘a serious, worthy and bona fide case that raised legitimate important issues which were crucial to the referendum debate.’

He says it is also significant that though his legal team did not seek costs against the Attorney General, the judge indicated that he would have awarded costs measured at €7,500.