Lawyers representing a group of survivors of child sex abuse have said they will be appealing a High Court ruling several weeks ago that found that the State could not be sued in the Irish courts for abuse that happened in schools in the 1970s.

Speaking after the High Court sat to adjudicate on the issue of costs, solicitor David Coleman called on the Minister for Education to engage with "the finite number of people" who were affected by recent judgments.

He said those people were old in years and a long time seeking justice.  

The High Court has recently dismissed several attempts by child abuse survivors to revive legal actions against the State.

The actions were revived following a 2014 European Court of Human Rights ruling which found that the State was liable for abuse suffered by children in schools.

That finding contradicted previous judgments by the Irish courts.

However the High Court found that the Strasbourg decision could not overturn those previous decisions by the High Court.

Mr Coleman said he was in discussions with other lawyers representing other survivors throughout the country.

He said if necessary they would find themselves in Europe again over this matter.
 

Earlier the State told the High Court that it would not be seeking costs against the group of survivors for the hearing, which lasted three days. 

Mr Coleman said he welcomed the State's decision not to seek costs. He said he hoped it was a sign of a change in fortune for this case and the cases behind it.

The State's decision not to seek costs contrasts with letters it sent out to other survivors last week.

In those letters the State indicated that unless they dropped their cases within 21 days, they would be pursued for costs.

John Allen, who was abused as a nine-year-old child by Christian Brother Gary Creevey, and who was a party to the recent High Court case, said he found it quite unbelievable and hurtful that the State continued to fight people like him.

Louise O'Keeffe had won in the European Court, he said. "It’s just wrong", he continued, "to be fighting us at this stage".