Bank of Ireland v Caffin

JurisdictionIreland
Judgment Date22 December 1971
Date22 December 1971
Docket Number[1971. No. 64 Sp.]
CourtHigh Court
Bank of Ireland
and
Caffin

Dissolution - Husband and wife domiciled in England - Marriage dissolved by order of English court - Husband remarrying in Ireland - Death of husband leaving both wives surviving - Whether second wife was the "spouse" of husband - Succession Act, 1965 (No. 27 of 1965), s. 111, sub-s. 1 - Constitution of Ireland, 1937, Articles 41, 50.

Section 111, sub.s. 1. of the Succession Act, 1965, provides that, if a testator leaves a spouse and no children, the spouse of the testator shall have a right to one half of his estate. The deceased had married the second defendant in England. In the month of May, 1956, an English court had ordered that the marriage be dissolved on the ground that the deceased had been deserted by the second defendant; at that time the deceased and the second defendant were domiciled in England. Subsequently the deceased married the first defendant in Ireland. There was no issue of either marriage. On the death of the deceased in Ireland in the year 1970, probate of his will was granted to the plaintiffs. The will contained a bequest of a pecuniary legacy to the first defendant but she, claiming to be the spouse of the deceased, elected to take her legal right to one half of his estate instead of the pecuniary legacy. In answer to questions which arose during the course of the administration of the estate of the deceased and which appeared on the plaintiffs' summons, it was Held by Kenny J., 1, that in the year 1921 the courts in Ireland applied the common-law rule which required the recognition of the...

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