Judgments: Key cases in brief

Tribunal costs decision was justified in light of deception and falsification of documents Lowry v Mr Justice Moriarty [2016]IEHC 29 (High Court, Hedigan J, January 27th, 2016) The High Court refuses judicial review of a decision of a tribunal of enquiry to award just one third of the legal fees to a member of the Dáil who was the subject of the tribunal's investigations, where the tribunal had found that he had misled and frustrated its work by deception and falsification of documents, on the grounds that the decision in relation to costs was not unlawful, irrational, disproportionate or in breach of any legitimate expectation.

– Mark Tottenham BL

Circuit Court has jurisdiction to hear matters relating to State aid Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council v West Wood Club Ltd [2015]IEHC 800 (High Court, O'Malley J, December 17th, 2015) The High Court, by way of preliminary issue on appeal from the Circuit Court, determines that the Circuit Court did have jurisdiction to consider issues relating to State aid in relation to payment of commercial rates, and remits the action back to the Circuit Court for hearing.

– Shane Kiely BL


Anchor tenant not required to remain open pending action for breach of covenant Thomas Thompson Holdings Ltd v Musgrave Group PLC [2015]IEHC 28 (High Court, Hedigan J, January 22nd, 2016) The High Court refuses to grant mandatory interlocutory injunction on application of shopping centre to require anchor tenant to remain open, where it was in alleged breach of a covenant in the lease, on the grounds that it was unwise to force a commercial venture to continue to operate despite monetary losses.

– Ian Fitzharris BL

Damages awarded against bus driver who verbally and racially abused motorist Doran v Bus Éireann [2016]IEHC 19 (High Court, Barrett J, January 15th, 2016) The High Court awards damages against a bus driver who left his bus and verbally abused an individual in a stationary broken down car, including referring to his skin colour, on the grounds that words spoken in a context that would suggest an imminent use of force constituted an assault.

– Shane Kiely BL

Terms of settlement annexed to court order did not ground application for attachment and committal Egan v Byrne [2016]IECA 9 (Court of Appeal, Peart J, January 15th, 2016) The Court of Appeal dismisses an appeal from the High Court, and affirms refusal to grant order of attachment and committal, where undertakings were given by the plaintiff to the defendant and contained in the written terms of settlement received, filed and annexed to a court order, finding that they remained inter partes undertakings, and did not therefore give rise to an application for attachment and committal.

– Ciaran Joyce BL Bolivian family alleging domestic violence refused asylum where they could avail of state protection in their home country LAA (Bolivia) v Refugee Appeals Tribunal [2016]IEHC 12 (High Court, Stewart J, January 12th, 2016) The High Court refuses a judicial review of the decision to refuse refugee status to a Bolivian mother and her two children, who claimed to fear persecution from their abusive husband/father, on the grounds that the Refugee Appeals Tribunal's finding that they could avail of state protection in Bolivia was lawful.

– James Cross BL

No duty of care on bank to advise customers on the wisdom of commercial transactions Delaney v AIB [2016]IECA 5 (Court of Appeal, Peart J, January 28th, 2016) The Court of Appeal dismisses an appeal from the High Court, and affirms an order striking out a claim that a bank owed a duty of care to tell a customer of the weak financial position of another customer of the bank, finding that there was no general duty of care imposed by the law upon a bank to advise its customers on the wisdom of its commercial transactions.

– Ciaran Joyce BL

Solicitor at fault in failing to give explicit warning of danger of a court case being struck out Emerald Isle Assurances v Dorgan [2016]IECA 12 (Court of Appeal, Ryan P, January 25th, 2016) The Court of Appeal allows an appeal from the High Court, and remits a claim against solicitor arising from proceedings that settled in 2010, where the solicitor had never sent a clear letter outlining the danger that the case could be struck out for want of prosecution arising from delays, on grounds that there was clear evidence of negligence against the solicitor.

– Ciaran Joyce BL

Appeal of motion for judgment was futile where substantive action had already been determined Rooney v Minister for Agriculture [2016]IESC 1 (Supreme Court, O'Donnell J, January 28th, 2016) The Supreme Court: a) dismisses an appeal from the High Court, and affirms refusal to grant judgment in default of defence and refusal to permit a plaintiff to amend his pleadings, where the action had been commenced in 1987 and the substantive action (a claim against State bodies in relation to a non-statutory scheme for compensation for cattle testing positive for tuberculosis) had been determined by way of a special case in 1991, and where other related actions had failed; and b) adjourns the question of costs to a later date.

– Mark Tottenham BL

These reports were prepared by Stare Decisis Hibernia (StareDecisisHibernia.com), which publishes online reports on all recent decisions of the Irish superior courts. The full text of each judgment is published by the Courts Services on courts.ie