The President of the High Court has freed four water charge protesters after upholding a challenge to the legality of a committal warrant grounding their detention.

The challenge related to errors in the committal warrant and not to the court hearing which led to their lawful conviction, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns stressed.

He will give a full judgment later explaining his reasons for his ruling.

There was loud cheering and applause in court after the judge made his ruling today and Bernie Hughes, Damien O'Neill, Paul Moore and Derek Byrne walked free from court.

Elsewhere, Michael Batty, who was facing prison for breaching a court order not to interfere with water meter installers, apologised and promised not to interfere with water meter installers.

A stay had been put on a prison order against Mr Batty of Edenmore Avenue, Raheny, until today as he was abroad for health reasons.

Mr Batty was one of five people who Judge Paul Gilligan ordered to be committed to prison last month for breaching orders not to interfere with water meter installers GMC Sierra.

Mr Justice Gilligan said it was appropriate to suspend the jail committal.