THE HIGH COURT
RECORD NO. 2819P/2007
CATHERINE MURPHY and
THE MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, HERITAGE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, IRELAND AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
25th June 2007
1. The Defendants have agreed to meet and discharge the legal costs of the Plaintiffs in the action.
2. The Court, on being informed of this, endorsed the decision of the Defendants, saying the case raised significant issues of public importance.
3. What was the case about? The case turned on two questions: (a) What is a census (within the meaning of the Constitution)? (b) Who cares?
4. A census is the officially ascertained result by the Central Statistics Office. For the purposes of the Constitution the ascertainment of the population results by electoral area by the CSO is the census, not the publication of those results by the CSO.
5. Who cares?: the Oireachtas must care, to discharge its urgent obligation to ensure equality of voting and therefore the claim that Ireland is a democracy.
6. The urgency of the obligation on the Oireachtas indicates that the very reliable preliminary census figures should be the trigger for the commencement by the Oireachtas of the preparatory work of constituency revision (if necessary). If such were done there would be no delay on revising constituencies where revision is indicated and required.
7. PILL means “Public Interest Law & Litigation”. A person litigating such a public law issue, in the interest of all, should be awarded costs, and usually is.