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Crowd flouts social distancing rules as around 100 gather for court case on coronavirus laws

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A crowd flouting social distancing guidelines yesterday outside the court. Photo: Collins Courts

A crowd flouting social distancing guidelines yesterday outside the court. Photo: Collins Courts

CollinsPhotoAgency

A crowd flouting social distancing guidelines yesterday outside the court. Photo: Collins Courts

Around 100 people gathered in close proximity in the Round Hall of Dublin's Four Courts while an adjournment hearing over Covid-19 laws was taking place yesterday.

They were there supporting a case by journalists John Waters and Gemma O'Doherty against laws tackling the pandemic, which they say are flawed and unconstitutional.

Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy refused an application to let some or all of the people gathered in the Round Hall into the courtroom as the case was being heard in public and was being reported by the media.

The judge said that not everyone could fit into the courtroom. Most of the crowd remained in the Round Hall where capacity has been severely reduced because of restoration works.

In their proceedings against the State, the journalists seek to have various pieces of recently enacted legislation declared null and void by the High Court.

Gerard Meehan Bl, for the State, asked for a two-week adjournment to prepare a response to a "substantial" challenge, which the judge granted.

Outrageous

Ms O'Doherty said the lockdown was "outrageous", that people were being held under mass house "arrest" and should be allowed to go about their business and normal life must resume.

The vast majority of people are unaffected by Covid-19 and the Irish people should be allowed to go outside and "build up a herd immunity", she said.

The judge told her that the court was not considering the arguments, but making directions to getting the application heard.

After the case, large numbers gathered in a close group outside the building and were addressed by the journalists.