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16.12 7 Sep 2018


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The Supreme Court has refused to hear a Dublin woman's challenge to May’s abortion referendum result.

Joanna Jordan from Dún Laoghaire had taken the case in the lower courts, alleging the register of electors was overstated.

She also raised concerns over the participation of members of the Government in the Yes campaign.

The High Court had already rejected her application, and the Supreme Court won’t allow her to appeal that decision.

In a determination published today, the Supreme Court found it was "not satisfied that the constitutional threshold for leave to appeal has been met and refuses leave".

On the subject of alleged irregularities in the register of voters, the court suggested "it is difficult to disagree with the assessment made by the Court of Appeal of the evidence presented in this regard as being 'flimsy'".

It adds that settled case law "makes clear that members of the Government are entitled to engage" in the referendum process and debate.

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is welcoming the news and says the Government can now press ahead with the new laws.

Speaking in Galway, he said: "That allows us now as a Government to bring forward the legislation to allow for abortion in Ireland in certain circumstances when the Dáil returns.

"We're on track, as we planned, to have that legislation through in the next parliamentary session, and the services available to Irish women who need it in January."

The news was also welcomed by Health Minister Simon Harris:

More than 1.4 million people voted to repeal the 8th Amendment in May's referendum, compared to around 720,000 who opposed the proposal.

In July, the High Court refused to grant permission for two separate applicants to challenge the outcome of the abortion referendum.

Additional reporting by Stephanie Rohan


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