By Aodhán Ó Faoláin and Ray Managh
The Court of Appeal has rejected a challenge of the outcome of the Eighth Amendment Referendum.
Joanna Jordan, from Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, had sued last month a lawsuit by high-ranking president, Mr. Peter Kelly, that Ms. Jordan had not complied with the necessary legal review of the Referendum Law before a court could file a petition.
The Court of Appeal, consisting of the President, Judge George Birmingham, Ms. Justice Mary Irvine, and Mr. Justice Gerard Hogan, found that Justice Kelly was "absolutely right and refused to grant permission to Ms. Jordan to submit the petition." .
Justice Birmingham said the court would go even further than the Supreme Court ruling and ruled that Jordan's presentation, which was based on blatant and slender grounds, represents a frustration of the democratic process of referenda and power, in other circumstances , comes down to abuse of the process.
In her appeal, Jordan, of Upper Glenageary Rd, Dun Laoghaire, stated that there had been irregularities in the course of the referendum and the registration of voters. She also complained about statements by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister of Health Simon Harris during the campaign.
Her appeal against the decision of the High Court was denied by the state.
Mr Justice Birmingham said it is clear that ministers are free to campaign at their own discretion during a referendum campaign. It is not a violation of the government's duty to uphold the constitution by campaigning for change, since a constitutional change mechanism itself is provided for in the constitution, the judge said.
He said that Ms Jordan had not put forward a durable argument or evidence to show that the effect of any alleged irregularities with regard to the electoral register might have influenced the outcome. Even if she took her assertions to their absolute heights and took all possible allowances to her advantage, the only thing that could be shown was that at most a handful of votes were affected. The referendum was adopted with a two-thirds majority.
The court agreed with the "remarkably reserved comments & # 39; from Mr. Justice Kelly, that much of what Jordan claimed with regard to irregularities with the electoral register were general assertions, speculation or inadmissible rumors.
She claimed that voters did not receive voting cards; possibly no voters have been signed out, including monasteries of nuns and nursing home residents; and thousands of young people who were paid to return to vote were not questioned at polling stations about their residence time abroad.
Justice Birmingham said that the court of appeal would go on to say that Jordan's claims were "so utterly devoid of any substance that we can only conclude that they were made with reckless and irresponsible abolition".
After rejecting the appeal, the court made a decision pending appeal to the Supreme Court until Friday. It is clear that Ms. Jordan intends to appeal against the court's decision.
The court said Jordan would have to pay the legal costs that the state incurred to challenge the appeal.
Jordan's lawyers argued that it raised a matter of general public interest, that it had not initiated the action for personal gain and that no charges would be attached to it.