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Appeals court rejects bid by O'Doherty and Waters to challenge COVID-19 laws

Gemma O’Doherty and John Waters have failed to overturn a decision not to allow them to bring a...
Frank Greaney
Frank Greaney

15.00 2 Mar 2021


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Appeals court rejects bid by O...

Appeals court rejects bid by O'Doherty and Waters to challenge COVID-19 laws

Frank Greaney
Frank Greaney

15.00 2 Mar 2021


Share this article


Gemma O’Doherty and John Waters have failed to overturn a decision not to allow them to bring a legal challenge to COVID-19 emergency legislation.

Last May, they failed to convince the High Court to give them permission to bring an action aimed at having the laws declared unconstitutional.

As part of their attempt to have their case heard last May, John Waters argued that COVID-19 restrictions were repugnant to people’s constitutional rights.

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Gemma O’Doherty questioned the death rates and claimed the lockdown was based on “fraudulent science”. She also accused gardaí of harassing people on the streets.

Mr Justice Meenan dismissed their case after deciding they hadn’t reached the threshold required for a judicial review. He said their claims weren’t arguable.

They appealed his decision, but have now fallen at the second hurdle with all three judges of the Court of Appeal today rejecting their arguments, which they said failed to raise issues of substance.

The President of the Court of Appeal, Mr Justice George Birmingham, said they had "chosen rhetoric over substance and fiction and distortion over fact".

He adds: "In my view, they have singularly failed to meet the threshold of establishing an arguable case.

"I am quite satisfied that the approach in the High Court was the correct one and that this is an appeal that should be dismissed."

Main image: File photo of Gemma O'Doherty and John Waters. Photograph: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie

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