The Government had to pay out more than €240,000 for Deputy Pearse Doherty’s legal costs, following his action which resulted in the Donegal South West by-election, according to a report in today’s Irish Times.
The Sinn Féin TD sought to move the writ for the Donegal South West in 2010 because a Dáil seat still hadn’t been filled 17 month after Pat the Cope Gallagher was elected to the European Parliament.
Documents obtained by the Irish Time under the Freedom of Information Act show that the Dept. of the Taoiseach paid €175,125 to MacGeehin Toale Solicitors in relation to Deputy Doherty’s High Court case, while €66,550 was paid out in relation to the Government’s the Supreme Court appeal, which the Government ultimately withdrew before it was heard.
The Times report states that the cost of staging the election was €244,000 while the State spent a further €231,000 on postal costs.
After Doherty won the High Court case, with the court ruling that there had been an “inordinate delay” in moving the writ for the by-election, the then taoiseach, Brian Cowen, said the government was appealing the decision to the Supreme Court to clarify a point of law.
But the government later withdrew its case.
Doherty was awarded costs by both courts.