Supreme Court let Divorce Decree stand despite concealment of assets

The Supreme Court have decided to allow a Decree of Divorce stand despite the fact that a man’s concealment of assets in the High Court was described as “outrageous” and “conscientiously and deliberately dishonest”.   The Supreme Court has ruled that the man must pay his first wife a further sum of at least €2.26million.   Mr. Justice McKechnie remarked that he had “never known of, or come across, a case where a party has so blatantly acted and were nothing short of what contempt has been shown to the court”.   He also stated that “these matters should not simply be let rest here”.

The court did not overturn the Decree due to particular circumstances including the fact that the man’s second wife had married him in good faith.

High Court approve 1 million award to grandmother

Ms. Justice Irvine in the Dublin High Court approved a settlement of 1 million euro to a woman who suffered devastating injuries when crossing a street in Dublin City in September, 2011.   She was pushing her granddaughter who was in a buggy at the time.   The granddaughter was not injured but the woman suffered brain injuries and is a quadriplegic. Her Counsel explained to the Court that she had been looking the wrong way and that there was no allegation of speeding against the driver.

Garda Compensation

A Garda who suffered significant injuries to his neck and back when his car was rammed at speed by a joyrider has been awarded damages of €44,987 by Ms. Justice Irvine in the Dublin High Court. He gave evidence that the incident had had a negative impact on his hurling career. He had played under age football and hurling for his county but was unable to continue due to his injuries. The criminal who was driving the car that rammed the Garda vehicle was jailed for a year and banned from driving for 15 years.

Employers be mindful of your Employee’s rights

In the recent publication of the National Employment Rights Authority (“NERA”) Annual Report for 2013 there was an acknowledged increase in activity by NERA in prosecuting employers whom did not adhere to nor comply with employment rights legislation.

Specific industries such as the food and drink sector, retail, wholesale and construction sectors were prevalent in cases being prosecuted by NERA.

NERA’s increased inspections and prosecutions, are acknowledged as not reflecting the level of compliance that occurs once employers are informed of their requirements under employments rights legislation hence employers are strongly advised to ensure they keep up to date with their legal obligations to their employees

If you as an employer, need assistance with your company contracts of employment, employee manuals and registers please contact us today and we shall be happy to discuss your requirements.

Supreme Court Appeal as to High Court ruling in respect of what constitutes poor professional performance by health professionals.

A recent High Court ruling overturning the decision of the Medical Council in respect of a consultant paediatric surgeon will be watched closely by all healthcare professionals particularly, as it arose due to the quashing of a decision by the Medical Council that found the surgeon guilty of poor professional performance last year.

President of the High Court Mr. Justice Nicholas Kearns ruled the findings made by the Medical Council were “disproportionate and not reasonable”.

A key factor was a review by the President of the High Court as to what constitutes poor professional performance as set out in the Medical Practitioners Act 2007. The aforementioned Act does not allow for an Appeal against a sanction imposed by the Medical Council for poor professional performance hence in the circumstances, Mr. Justice Nicholas Kearns ruled it was appropriate to read same as requiring a single lapse or offence by a Doctor to be “serious”.

Furthermore in considering the seriousness of a Doctors error, the High Court felt that regards should be had to whether or not the error leads to injury.

Mr. Justice Nicolas Kearns accepted that an assessment of a fair sample of a Doctors work was necessary before poor professional performance could be demonstrated however, made no further comment as to how to compile such a sample.

Hence, the difference between poor professional performance and professional misconduct at this juncture appears somewhat unclear.

Service company challenges €25 million rejection of tender in High Court

A company has brought a legal challenge after its tender for a €25 million contract was rejected.

The company claimed the awarding authority failed to comply with requirement of Irish and European law in the procurement process.

The company wants orders, including one setting aside and/or permanently suspending the awarding authority decision to award the contract to a competitor.

The company confirmed in an Affidavit that there were only a small number of services under the new contract i.e. lost property and passenger security screening, which the company does not currently provide to the awarding authority.

The awarding authority confirmed the tender price from the competitor was some €1.2 million lower than the company’s tender price. It has been claimed there appeared to be a “lack of transparency” in the tender process.

The awarding authority denies any failure to comply with Irish and European law.

Supreme Court overturns dissolution of west Dublin social club

An important recent ruling for clubs in Ireland, their members and club objects was recently handed down in the Supreme Court on appeal from a decision of the High Court.

The Supreme Court ruled there was insufficient evidence to prove the club would not succeed in the future. Taking into account the cost of the litigation, the club still had significant reserves and a minority favours its continued existence.

The Supreme Court stressed the Court was not ruling there could be no future dissolution of the club but, such move would have to come after the views of all the club members (including associates) were canvassed. There would have to be evidence that the clubs financial position would change within a short time and the club was unable to fulfil its objects.

A resolution of the club was passed in 1992 at an EGM attended by 16 members that, if the club was disbanded, the premises sold and any monies left after paying debtors should go to charity.

However, a resolution passed at a 2009 club EGM declared the 1992 resolution a nullity, proposed dissolution of the club and sale of its assets.

In October, 2012 the High Court made an order dissolving the club after the Court requested there be a further resolution allowing this to happen.

The Supreme Court confirmed the High Court was incorrect to imply a term that the club’s “somewhat confusing” rules could be amended by simple majority and it could thus be dissolved by a resolution of a majority of its ordinary members.

Garda Compensation

Garda awarded €30,000


A Garda who suffered injuries when apprehending the suspect of an attempted armed robbery in Waterford has been awarded damages of €30,000 in the Dublin High Court.  The Garda’s life was threatened during the incident.   Evidence was given that the Garda suffered injuries to his jaw and developed post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.   Ms. Justice Irvine awarded the Garda general damages of €30,000 together with out of pocket expenses.

Medical Negligence

Girl secures €5.8 million settlement

An eight year old girl who was left with dyskinetic cerebral palsy arising out of the management of her birth at St. Finbarr’s Hospital in Douglas, Cork has settled her case for €5.8 million on the 12th day of hearing in the Dublin High Court.

A letter of apology had been given to the family. The settlement was approved by Ms. Justice Irvine.