Sunday 25 September 2016

New legal challenge against same-sex marriage referendum result must be heard on notice to State

Ray Managh

Published 22/09/2015 | 14:23

Gerry Walshe
Gerry Walshe

A judge today directed that a new legal challenge against the result of the same-sex marriage referendum must be heard on notice to the State.

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The latest challenge has been brought by Gerry Walshe, an electrician, of Lisdeen, Co Clare, who seeks to quash the decision of the State to issue and sign the final referendum certificate in August while he had an earlier challenge in being and since dismissed by the Supreme Court. 

The Supreme Court last week refused to permit separate appeals by both Walshe and Maurice Lyons, from Callan, Co Kilkenny, against the rejection of their challenges to the Yes result of the referendum.

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 decided that neither Walshe nor Lyons had met the requirements for a Supreme Court appeal as neither had raised the necessary legal point of general public importance and had raised no “points of substance.”

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

The court also ruled that the interests of justice did not require they be given permission to appeal the High Court’s earlier rejection of their case.

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

The High Court dismissed the proceedings by both men on June 5th. The Court of Appeal upheld that decision on July 30th when it dismissed both men’s appeals against the High Court refusal and lifted a stay on the issuing of the final referendum certificate. They failed to have further appeals heard by the Supreme Court.

Walshe’s judicial review proceedings were put back until noon tomorrow and he was directed by the judge to contact the Chief State Solicitor about the proceedings by email and phone.

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