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'Empty rhetoric no substitute for facts' - why Covid-19 legal challenge failed

  

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Objection: Gemma O’Doherty, John Waters and his wife Rita Simons outside the High Court in Dublin during the hearing last week. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Objection: Gemma O’Doherty, John Waters and his wife Rita Simons outside the High Court in Dublin during the hearing last week. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Objection: Gemma O’Doherty, John Waters and his wife Rita Simons outside the High Court in Dublin during the hearing last week. Photo: Steve Humphreys

The challenge by John Waters and Gemma O'Doherty to Covid-19 laws attracted considerable attention, as much for the disregard their supporters showed for physical distancing guidelines as the arguments made in court.

But the duo's case against the Health Minister, Ireland and the Attorney General has fallen at the first hurdle after they were refused leave to bring a judicial review.

The decision means they could be landed with a bill for the State's legal costs, estimated to be around €50,000.