The High Court has ordered that Gemma O'Doherty and John Waters must pay all the costs of their failed challenge to legislation brought in to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In his ruling, Mr Justice Charles Meenan said the issues raised by the widespread restrictions and regulations were important matters of public interest. 

But he said the way Ms O'Doherty and Mr Waters conducted their case, their failure to consider or answer the case being made against them and the fact that they only had regard to their own opinions, meant the proceedings they took were very far from being in the public interest. 

He said no grounds had been established for him to depart from the normal rule that "costs follow the event" - meaning that the losing party has to pay the costs. 

He ordered that Ms O'Doherty and Mr Waters should pay the costs of the Minister for Health and the Attorney General and the notice parties to the case - the Dáil, Seanad and Ceann Comhairle.  

He said the costs should be limited to the two-day hearing of the application only.

Ms O'Doherty and Mr Waters had argued that they should not have had to pay the costs.  

They said they should have been allowed to proceed with their application without the other side being represented.  

They claimed the Oireachtas should not have been separately represented and emphasised the "public interest" aspect of their application. 

Mr Justice Meenan said Mr Waters and Ms O'Doherty had declined to put in their own submissions and had rejected the suggestion of a short adjournment to give them an opportunity to consider or respond to the case being made against them by the State.

He said they did not engage with the case being made by the respondents and the Oireachtas in any meaningful way.  

The Judge said they proceeded with their application on the basis that their own opinion that they had an arguable case was enough for the court to grant them permission.

He said it was reasonable that parties against whom serious issues are being raised are given an early opportunity to put their side of the are in court.  

Mr Justice Meenan also said Ms O'Doherty and Mr Waters were making their case against the executive and against the legislature and because of the separation of powers, both needed to be separately represented.

The Judge last month refused to grant them permission to have a full hearing of their challenge against the legislation.  

He said there was a complete failure by them to put forward any facts or expert opinion to support their case and he said "unsubstantiated opinions, speeches, rhetoric and a bogus historical parallel with Nazi Germany, were not substitutes for facts".

They are appealing the decision to the Court of Appeal.