Monday 26 September 2016

Electrician brings fresh legal challenge against same-sex marriage referendum result

Aodhan O'Faolain & Ray Managh

Published 21/09/2015 | 18:25

Gerry Walshe
Gerry Walshe

A fresh legal challenge is to be brought against the result of the same-sex marriage referendum.

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The latest challenge has been brought by Gerry Walshe, an electrician, of Lisdeen, Co Clare.

The Supreme Court last week refused to permit separate legal actions brought by both Walshe and Maurice Lyons, from Callan, Co Kilkenny, to bring further appeals against the rejection of their challenges to the Yes result of the same-sex marriage referendum.

The court said: "It would not be necessary in the interests of justice that there be an appeal to the Supreme Court."

However in a new application, to be made before the duty Judge at Tuesday's vacation sitting of the Court, Walshe will ask the High Court for permission to bring proceedings against the State by way of judicial review.

The latest action is understood to relate to the decision by the State to issue and sign the final referendum certificate in August although a challenge, namely Walsh’s legal action which was ultimately dismissed by the Supreme Court, against the result was still in being. 

The bill formally allowing same-sex couples marry, will pass through the Dail and Seanad over the coming days and weeks.

In its decision last week the Supreme Court ruled neither Mr Walshe nor Mr Lyons had met the requirements for a Supreme Court appeal as neither had raised the necessary legal point of general public importance, had raised no points “of substance” and the interests of justice did not require they be given permission to appeal.

It also noted that because no stay had been placed on the certificate of the referendum result after the Court of Appeal decision, "very serious constitutional consequences" might have occurred had it decided to grant leave to appeal.

It said both men, who represented themselves, had sought in separate actions initiated on June 2nd to challenge a provisional referendum certificate.

The High Court dismissed their proceedings on June 5th. The Court of Appeal upheld that decision on July 30th when it dismissed both appeals against the High Court refusal and also lifted the stay on the issuing of final referendum certificate.

The men sought to have their appeals heard by the Supreme Court.

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