Lawyers for the former CEO of Rehab Angela Kerins have told the High Court the 2014 Public Accounts Committee subjected her to a "war" in breach of her Constitutional rights.

Senior Counsel John Rogers said the State was liable for damages because the committee had set aside the rule book and made devastating, hurtful and grievously damaging and outrageous statements about her at two public hearings in 2014.

He said those statements were released to the public and were irretrievable.

Mr Rogers was making his closing argument in a case taken against the PAC by Ms Kerins for personal injury, loss of reputation and career

A three judge divisional court is hearing arguments on the powers of the PAC to carry out an inquiry into Rehab.

Mr Rogers said Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou MacDonald and Independent TD Shane Ross, now a Government Minister, engaged in "egregious" behaviour towards Ms Kerins at the hearings.

He said: "She was bullied, let's call a spade a spade,"

He said the then PAC Chairman John McGuinness failed to protect her and instead gave a "judgment" against her at the subsequent hearing in April 2014 when she was not there.

While the PAC argued Ms Kerins had appeared before it voluntarily, that voluntariness was "prised away" by what happened, including Ms Kerins and other Rehab witnesses being asked about her salary and other private matters, including the pension of former Rehab Chairman Frank Flannery and "entirely private" enterprises the Rehab Group was trying to make profits from.

This had "nothing to do" with provision of rehabilitation services.

Maurice Collins SC, for the State, said Ms Kerins had not pleaded a case against it under Article 40.3 of the Constitution (requiring the State vindicate the personal rights of the citizen), and cannot now do so.

Her claim against the State is confined to a claim of vicarious liability for alleged acts of the PAC, which is denied, he said.

Mr Rogers maintained he can pursue the claim under Article 40.3.

He also argued the constitutional protection against suit given to "utterances" in the Houses of the Oireachtas does not apply to Dáil Committees.

The hearing continues tomorrow.