The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by the Garda Representative Association seeking an exemption from the halving of sick pay entitlements for public servants.

The GRA had challenged the 2014 government decision to halve sick pay entitlements across the public service.

It argued it should be exempted because of the dangerous nature of their work.

The High Court dismissed their case for an exemption but in an unusual move, it made the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform pay all the costs of the case, despite winning it.

That is because the department failed to disclose an intervention by Chair of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions Shay Cody opposing the exemption for gardaí until late into the first trial.

Following that intervention, the then minster for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin decided to include the gardaí within the scope of the reduced sick pay regulations.

President of the High Court Nicholas Kearns, who heard the original case, held that these contacts were relevant to the issues involved, but stressed that no criticism should attach to Mr Cody for his intervention.

The Supreme Court has deferred hearing the cross-appeal by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on the earlier orders to pay costs, despite winning their case, until a later date.

Garda Representative Association sources said they noted the outcome of the Supreme Court case, and would be bringing it to the Association's executive next week. 

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe said the minister notes the judgment of the Supreme Court. 

He said the Court dismissed the GRA Appeal and found that the changes to the sick leave regulations introduced in 2014 were lawful. 

He said all aspects of the case were dismissed and the issue of costs has been postponed.