The High Court has given permission to four TDs to challenge the refusal of the Ceann Comhairle to allow a motion put forward by them to be debated by the Dáil.

The TDs from Solidarity/People Before Profit - Bríd Smith, Richard Boyd-Barrett, Gino Kenny and Paul Murphy have taken the action against the Ceann Comhairle, Sean O'Fearghail. 

They are seeking permission to challenge Deputy O'Fearghail's refusal to put a motion submitted by Bríd Smith on the order paper of Dáil Éireann this afternoon.

The four TDs want to change Dáil rules preventing certain bills, which would involve a charge on public funds, from being debated unless they are put forward by a member of the Government.  

They say there are more than 50 bills which cannot proceed through the Oireachtas because the Ceann Comhairle has deemed that they need what is called a "money message" from the Government.  

The TDs say the Government is abusing the "money message" procedure to prevent certain bills from being debated.

Mr Justice Garrett Simons ruled that the TDs should have permission to challenge the Ceann Comhairle's decision. He said the threshold for permission to seek a judicial review was low. The TDs had an arguable case that the "money message" procedure was being overused and that the understanding of the procedure by Government was too broad.

He said there was also an arguable case that the Ceann Comhairle's decision was capable of being challenged in the courts.

However, he refused to grant any injunctions or stay on the decision of the Ceann Comhairle because of his concerns in relation to the separation of powers. He said the members of the Dáil had voted on an order of business today that did not include the motion by the four TDs and it would take an exceptional argument to persuade him that the courts could interfere with that.

The judge directed there should be an expedited hearing of the matter and it will be back before the courts tomorrow to agree a timetable for proceedings.