The Supreme Court has handed down the full judgment in its ruling that the Government acted wrongfully by spending €1.1m on its own information campaign for the Children’s Referendum.
In a unanimous judgment, the five-division court ruled that parts of the campaign were not fair, equal or impartial.
Senior Counsel Richard Humphreys, acting for the successful challenger, Mark McCrystal, said they would be applying for costs in the case but would need to read the judgments first.
He said the application would go above and beyond the usual because of what he said happened after the litigation began, although he did not expand on this point.
Chief Justice Susan Denham said the applications for costs would be heard next month with submissions from the appellant by 18 January.
She ruled that the Government placed the rights of those in favour of the Children’s Referendum above those against when it put together its information campaign.
In her written judgment, Ms Justice Denham said this breached the McKenna principles, which hold that public monies should not be used to sway one side of a referendum over the other.
She said the public purse was used to espouse views anathema to those of some citizens even though they had contributed to it.
She said this was wrong, was a breach of democratic process and must stop.
Ms Justice Denham said two slogans - "protecting children" and "supporting families" - used in the campaign were not neutral.
The positive, happy images of children were also partial and there was an admitted error by the Government, which was not brought to the attention of the public.
Colm MacGeehan, solicitor for Mr McCrystal, said they were fully vindicated by the judgments and would be applying for their full costs.
He said the Government information campaign was propaganda and had called for a Yes vote in everything but name.
Mr McCrystal said the rules were crystal clear and there was a clear disregard for the McKenna principles.
Patricia McKenna said there was a need for a permanent Referendum Commission which would put forward yes and no arguments while Kathy Sinnott said the Government must pay back the money it used.
Speaking in the Dáil, the Taoiseach said the Government was carefully studying the judgement which clarifies how the Government can make information available to the public during a referendum.
He said the Court found the Government methods, in attempting to inform the people, had strayed beyond the bounds of providing information to the electorate but that it also found the Government had acted in a bona fide manner.
He said the Government was committed to working within the parameters set down by the Court.