Barry v The Governor of the Midlands Prison

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeMr. Justice Noonan
Judgment Date07 December 2018
Neutral Citation[2018] IEHC 713
Docket Number[2018 87 J.R.]
CourtHigh Court
Date07 December 2018
BETWEEN
PETER BARRY
APPLICANT
AND
THE GOVERNOR OF THE MIDLANDS PRISON

AND

THE IRISH PRISON SERVICE
RESPONDENTS

[2018] IEHC 713

[2018 87 J.R.]

THE HIGH COURT

JUDICIAL REVIEW

Discovery – Judicial review – Fair disposal – Applicant seeking discovery of categories of documents – Whether the discovery sought was necessary for the fair disposal of the matter

Facts: The applicant, Mr Barry, on the 19th May, 2014, was sentenced to a term of imprisonment for a number of offences. He served his sentence at the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise. He suffered from Crohn’s disease. In these judicial review proceedings, the applicant sought an order that he should not be required to share a cell with any other prisoner as result of his condition and further an order that he should be provided with both food and medications appropriate to his illness. The applicant applied to the High Court seeking discovery of the following categories of documents: 1) all documents, including but not limited to, records, notes, correspondence, memoranda, of and concerning the prison menu, which said menu was created with the advice of any dietitian, as provided to the applicant by the respondents, the Governor of the Midlands Prison and the Irish Prison Service, from the date of the applicant’s detention at the prison to the present, possessed and/or capable of being possessed by the respondents; 2) all documents, including but not limited to, records, communications, notes, assessment memoranda, notes or documents, investigation reports or memoranda, held electronically or otherwise, of and concerning, all prisoners detained at the prison, in single cell occupancy, and all particulars relating to the reasons or basis for such detention, whether on health or medical grounds or otherwise, in June 2016 to the present, with redactions so far as necessary to ensure privacy and protection of such prisoner’s identity, which said documents were possessed and/or capable of being possessed by the respondents; 3) all documents, including but not limited to, all records, reports, notes, communications, whether held electronically or otherwise, of and concerning the dates of interference with the applicant’s single cell occupancy, the numbers of such inmates on an individual basis, so far as redaction as to identities may be necessary, and all particulars in relation to such prisoners, between 13th August, 2017 and the 4th November, 2017, which said documents were possessed and/or capable of being possessed by the respondents; 4) all documents, including but not limited to, records, reports, notes, communications, held electronically or otherwise, of and concerning all prisoners afforded single cell occupancy, whom had their single cell occupancy interrupted by the placement of other inmates in such cells, with redactions as may be necessary to protect identities, between the 13th August, 2017 and the 4th November, 2017, as possessed or capable of being possessed by the respondents.

Held by Noonan J that the discovery sought in relation to categories 2, 3 and 4 was unnecessary for the fair disposal of the matter and would patently be unjust to the defendants. Noonan J held that, with regard to the first category sought, the plaintiff had already had the benefit of discovery of all his medical records which would include any medical advice about diet and copies of the relevant prison menus had already been exhibited in the Governor’s replying affidavits in the substantive proceedings. Noonan J did not see how the documents sought could advance the applicant’s case one way or the other and held that such discovery was equally unnecessary for the fair disposal of the matter.

Noonan J held that he would refuse the application.

Application refused.

JUDGMENT of Mr. Justice Noonan delivered on the 7th day of December, 2018
1

On the 19th May, 2014, the applicant was sentenced to a term of imprisonment for a number of offences including rape and sexual assault. He is currently serving his sentence at the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise. The applicant suffers from the medical condition of Crohn's disease which makes him prone to a number of symptoms including an abnormal bowel habit leading at times to frequent and uncontrolled bowel movements.

2

He has been the subject of repeated medical reviews in relation to his health and the uncontroverted evidence is that since his incarceration, up to June 2018, he has had 464 medical contacts with medical staff at the prison. The within judicial review proceedings are the third such proceedings brought by the applicant within a twelve month period. The first proceedings related to complaints by the applicant about his mode of transport to appointments outside the prison, which transport the applicant alleged to be unsuitable for him having regard to his medical condition. These proceedings were compromised.

3

In the second proceedings, the applicant sought orders of mandamus requiring the respondent Governor to return to him certain duvets and towels that had been confiscated and to install a shower curtain in his cell. Judgment in that case was delivered by Faherty J. on the 11th May, 2018 dismissing the applicant's claim. In the current proceedings, the applicant seeks essentially an order that he should not be required to share a cell with any other prisoner as result of his condition and further an order that he should be...

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4 cases
  • Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment v an Bord Pleanála
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 15 February 2019
    ...proceedings. They were recently reviewed and considered by the High Court (Noonan J.) in Barry v. The Governor of the Midlands Prison [2018] IEHC 713 (‘ Barry’). The leading decision in this jurisdiction is the decision of the Supreme Court in Carlow Kilkenny Radio Limited v. Broadcasting ......
  • Irish Life & Permanent Plc t/a Permanent TSB v Beades
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 24 May 2019
  • Arthropharm (Europe) Ltd v The Health Products Regulatory Authority
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 30 August 2019
    ...in Carlow Kilkenny Radio Ltd v. Broadcasting Commission of Ireland [2003] IR 528 and Barry v. The Governor of the Midlands Prison [2018] IEHC 713. Bingham M.R. went on to note that the courts are averse to granting orders designed to find out whether mere assertions have any basis in fact.......
  • Greene v The Director of Oberstown Children's Dentention Centre
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 22 February 2019
    ...Equality and Law Reform [2003]2 I.R. 93, Evans v. University College Cork [2010] IEHC 420 and Barry v. Governor of Midlands Prison [2018] IEHC 713. 12 These and other relevant principles were identified by Reynolds J. in her judgment in Flynn v. Charities Regulatory Authority [2018] IEH......

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