The High Court has refused permission to two people seeking to challenge the result of the referendum on the Eighth Amendment. 

President of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly said the applicants did not demonstrate prima facie evidence of matters likely to have a material effect on the referendum result as a whole. 

He agreed to make an order placing a stay of one week on the notification of the refusal to the referendum returning officer, to facilitate a possible appeal.

The applications were brought by Joanna Jordan, a homemaker, of Upper Glenageary Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin and by Charles Byrne, a piano teacher and musician, of College Rise, Drogheda, Co Louth.

Both had alleged irregularities in the conduct of the referendum and the registration of voters and had also complained about statements made by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Health Simon Harris.

Mr Byrne had also complained about the material published by the Referendum Commission.

Today, Mr Justice Kelly said the complaints of both intended applicants on the electoral register and tallies contained much assertion and inadmissible material, but he was unable to conclude that they had produced prima facie evidence of a material effect on the referendum result. 

He said speculation and assertion was not evidence.

He added that he had to have regard to the substantial margin in favour of the proposal. 

The referendum was passed with 66.4% for and 33.6% against.

He also said ministers were entitled to campaign for one side, to use state transport and be paid a salary from public monies while doing so. 

He said the court should not involve itself in parsing statements made during the campaign and it has no role in the political arena.

On the Referendum Commission, Mr Justice Kelly said he did not accept any of these arguments advanced that it had failed to convey the nature and breadth of the proposal to the public. 

He said any reasonable reader could not but come to the conclusion that the right to life of the unborn was being removed from the Constitution. 

He added that no voter had sworn they had been misled by the Commission.

The state applied for its costs. Mr Kelly will hear arguments on this next Tuesday.

Counsel for Mr Byrne requested a delay on the decision in order to allow a possible appeal to be lodged.

Mr Justice Kelly said he would make an order for one week, delaying the Master of the High Court from notifying the result to the referendum returning officer.

The Government cannot introduce legislation allowing for abortion services until all legal challenges to the referendum result are resolved.

It is understood the Department of Health also cannot publish the legislation until legal avenues have been exhausted.

If an appeal is lodged, it would delay that publication for several months. 

The appeal would initially be heard in the Court of Appeal and then possibly the Supreme Court. 

It had been the intention of the Department to publish the legislation before the summer recess.

The most up-to-date version of the general scheme of the Bill is on the Department's website.