Ahern v O'Brien


The Circuit Court

Bertie Ahern
Denis O’Brien

Defamation - Libel - Slander - Practice and procedure - Circuit Court jurisdiction - Application to dismiss on grounds that proceedings lacked jurisdiction - Whether claim maintainable in Dublin Circuit Court - Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act, 1961 (No 39) - Rules of the Circuit Court, Rule 2.

The plaintiff had issued proceedings concerning certain allegations which were carried in the Sunday Business Post. Proceedings were issued in the Dublin Circuit Court. The defendant, who resided in County Cork, issued a motion seeking to have the proceedings struck out for failing to show jurisdiction. The defendant contended that the plaintiff had not been identified in the article. Judge Buckley was satisfied that the plaintiff had a stateable case and the case should proceed. The Dublin Circuit Court possessed the requisite jurisdiction to hear the case. Other matters raised by the defendant should be dealt with by the trial judge.


Judgment of His Honour Judge John F. Buckley delivered the 11th day of December 2000


The Plaintiff has issued a Civil Bill claiming damages for defamation, both by way of slander and of libel against the Defendant. The Civil Bill was issued in the Dublin Circuit and the Defendant who resides in County Cork has issued a Motion to strike out the Plaintiffs proceedings for failing to show jurisdiction in this Circuit.


The statutory provisions governing the issue ofjurisdiction, Section 23 of the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act 1961 and Rule 2 of the Rules of the Circuit Court provide that, save where otherwise ordered, an action founded in tort shall at the election of the Plaintiff be tried or heard in the County where the Defendant(s) resides or carries on any profession, business or occupation, or in the County wherein the tort is alleged to have been committed.


The Defendant resides in the County of Cork and there has been no suggestion made that he carries on any profession, business or occupation in the County of Dublin. Accordingly if the Circuit Court in Dublin is to have jurisdiction the Plaintiff must establish that the tort was committed in the County of Dublin.


In the portion of the Civil Bill in which the Plaintiff claims damages for libel, (the portion dealing with...

To continue reading