Key cases in brief



A stay on the execution of judgment is granted to prevent damage to company and its employees. Murphy vs Kent IEHC 468 (High Court, Kelly J, October 24th, 2014).

The High Court grants a stay of over two months on the execution of a judgment of over $680,000 entered jointly and severally against two respondents, on the grounds that although the petitioner had a prima faciae right to enforce, execution could cause serious damage to the finances and employees of a large company in which the petitioner and respondents were shareholders and the respondents had been unable to arrange a sale of shares as contracted.– Conor O’Higgins BL

The records of a judicial inquiry cannot be disclosed by the Department of Health. Minister for Health vs Information Commissioner IEHC 231 (High Court, O’Neill J, May 9th).

The High Court allows an appeal from the decision of the Information Commissioner and determines that the Minister for Health was not entitled to grant access to documents relating to a review by a retired judge of practices and procedures at a hospital, on the grounds that the judge was the only person who could assert any proprietorial interest of an other form of legal control over the documents and, although the Department of Heath had physical control over the documents, they were not “held” within the meaning of the relevant legislation. – James Cross BL

Previous decisions on asylum and subsidiary protection could be considered in contextualising a decision to deport. L K (infant) vs Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform IEHC 521 (High Court, McDermott J, November 5th).

The High Court refuses a judicial review of a decision to deport a Nigerian national, despite a complaint that the rationale for the Minister for Justice’s decision on refoulement was not clearly discernible, on the grounds that in the circumstances of this case it was appropriate to have regard to previous decisions concerning the applicant’s applications for asylum and subsidiary protection to contextualise the decision to deport. – James Cross BL

The refusal of an application by a Somalian refugee for family reunification is disproportionate. AMS vs Minister for Justice IESC 65 (Supreme Court, Clarke J, November 20th).

The Supreme Court dismisses an appeal from the High Court and affirms a decision to grant a judicial review of the refusal of a Somali refugee’s application for family reunification, on the grounds that the Minister for Justice, in light of the special and enhanced application status expressly conferred by statute on dependent family members, had disproportionately balanced the State’s right to regulate immigration against the applicant’s family rights. – James Cross BL

The parent of an autistic child was not entitled to cross-examine the child’s medical assessors or the initial deciding officer at the appeal of the refusal of care allowance. O’B vs Chief Appeals Officer IEHC 485 (High Court, Baker J, October 21st).

The High Court refuses a judicial review of a decision by the Chief Appeals Officer to refuse to make available three medical assessors or the initial deciding officer for cross-examination at an appeal hearing concerning the refusal to grant a domiciliary care allowance to the applicant for the care of her autistic son, on the grounds that there was no entitlement to cross-examine on evidence which the deciding officer did not have before it and the regulations governing the process on appeal permitted but did not mandate the presence of the initial deciding officer at the appeal hearing. – Ian Fitzharris BL

Borrowers failed to make full disclosure when applying for injunctive relief against a bank. McDonagh vs Ulster Bank Ireland Ltd (IEHC 476 (High Court, Keane J (David), October 22nd).

The High Court discharges an interim injunction restraining a bank from enforcing a loan agreement concerning the repayment of about €26 million in personal and partnership debts following the purchase of development land and refuses further interlocutory relief, on the grounds that the borrowers had failed to make full and frank disclosure concerning the effective date of the agreement, the discharge of the receivers and the proposed sale of a portion of the lands by the borrowers to a third party. – Ian Fitzharris BL

An occupant cannot claim adverse possession of a house where the owners had entered to repair a roof. Dooley vs Flaherty IEHC 528 (High Court, Hogan J, November 18th).

The High Court determines that the purchasers of a dwelling house were entitled to possession as against the brother of a former tenant for life, who had died in 1995, on the grounds that the previous owners of the house had engaged in sufficient acts of possession during the relevant 12-year period, such as entering on to the property to repair the roof and insuring it. – Ian Fitzharris BL

A soldier is not entitled to complete a training course where he had been admitted under error of age. Palmer vs Minister for Defence IEHC 446 (High Court, Cross J, May 16th).

The High Court refuses to order that the Army readmit a soldier to a training course for non-commissioned officers following his initial admission to the course on foot of a mistaken belief that he was under the age limit of 40, on the on the basis that he did not have a legitimate expectation that he be allowed complete the course. – Conor O’Higgins BL

The full text of each judgment can be found on These reports are provided by Stare Decisis Hibernia: