The Irish Times' editor and a journalist must pay a €600,000 legal bill for a court action by the Mahon Tribunal, despite winning their Supreme Court appeal earlier this year.
Geraldine Kennedy and Colm Keena won a Supreme Court case against a High court order requiring them to reveal the source of an article on payments to former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.
However, in what was described as ‘exceptional circumstances’, the Supreme Court ruled against them on costs.
The Supreme Court held that their behaviour in destroying documents at the centre of the case did not entitle them to an order for costs in their favour.
The Court ruled that the Tribunal was fully entitled to conduct its inquiry and to seek the assistance of the High Court.
The Court ordered that the Tribunal could recover the costs of both High Court and Supreme Court actions.
Geraldine Kennedy has said she was disappointed with the decision on costs given the fact that they had won their Supreme Court appeal.
She said the decision of the Supreme Court in July was a landmark one that enshrined the principal of journalistic privilege and the protection of sources into Irish law for the first time.
She said they would now have to consider their options and that at all times her only concern was to have the story published in the public interest.
'It was in the public interest and the Supreme Court ruled that it was in the public interest,' she said.
Questioned on the destruction of documents and asked if she would do it again, she said she would prefer not to answer that question adding that it was never her intention to show any disrespect to any court.