Angela Kerins awarded two-thirds of legal costs

Ms Kerins claimed the PAC acted outside its powers

Angela Kerins awarded two-thirds of legal costs

Angela Kerins leaving the Four Courts, Dublin in 2016 | Image:

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will have to pay most of Angela Kerins' legal costs for her failed High Court action against it.

It was decided the former CEO of the Rehab Group raised issues of "public importance" and should not be left to foot the entire bill.

Ms Kerins lost her case in January following a 10-day hearing, during which she accused members of the 2014 PAC of subjecting her to a "witch-hunt" through two hearings that year.

She revealed she was so overwhelmed after the first that she tried to take her own life, and was unable to attend the one that followed.

The court accepted that much of what was said to her was "damaging to her reputation both personally and professionally" but ruled against her after deciding the utterances made were protected by privilege.

On the issue of costs, the court decided it appropriate to depart from the normal rule whereby the loser pays because she had raised issues of special and general public
importance - including questions of freedom of speech in parliament and the separation of powers.

As a result, she only has to pay one-third of her legal costs and PAC has to pick up the rest of the bill.

A stay was put on the order in case there is an appeal.