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Dozens of supporters gather for legal challenge against Covid-19 restrictions

John Waters and Gemma O’Doherty have launched a legal challenge against the state over emergency laws and restrictions.

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Gemma O’Doherty (centre) and John Waters (right) speak to supporters outside the High Court in Dublin where they have launched a legal challenge against the State over emergency laws and restrictions introduced to stop the spread of Covid-19 (Brian Lawless/PA)

Gemma O’Doherty (centre) and John Waters (right) speak to supporters outside the High Court in Dublin where they have launched a legal challenge against the State over emergency laws and restrictions introduced to stop the spread of Covid-19 (Brian Lawless/PA)

Gemma O’Doherty (centre) and John Waters (right) speak to supporters outside the High Court in Dublin where they have launched a legal challenge against the State over emergency laws and restrictions introduced to stop the spread of Covid-19 (Brian Lawless/PA)

Up to 100 supporters have gathered near the High Court in Dublin for a legal challenge against coronavirus restrictions.

John Waters and Gemma O’Doherty have launched a legal challenge against the state over emergency laws and restrictions introduced to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Between 80 and 100 of their supporters gathered on the road near the main entrance to the Four Courts on Tuesday morning.

Road barriers were put in place ahead of the hearing after more than 100 supporters tried to get into the courtroom during the previous session three weeks ago.

That hearing prompted fears over social distancing as the court can only accommodate a small number of people.

Tuesday’s session was located in another courtroom which can only be accessed from Chancery Place, where supporters were prevented from entering.

Before going inside court, Ms O’Doherty and Mr Waters addressed the group.

She said: “The police force is no longer defending the rights and safety of the Irish people. It is going to result in such an appalling vista. People are going to be fully within their rights to take legal claims for being falsely imprisoned by gardai.

“Gardai have been detaining people, they have been harassing people close to their homes. It is all going to come back and bite them.”

Ms O’Doherty, holding a copy of the Irish constitution, said: “Under this article, Irish people have a right to enter their courtrooms.

“Justice must be done in public. If it is not done in public it is not done.”

Only Ms O’Doherty, Mr Waters and one other person were allowed into the court.

Their High Court challenge is seeking to have the new emergency legislation declared as void.

PA