Bayzana Ltd v Galligan

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeGriffin J.,McCARTHY J.
Judgment Date01 January 1987
Neutral Citation1986 WJSC-SC 43
CourtSupreme Court
Docket Number[S.C. No. 179 of 1986],279/86
Date01 January 1987
BARYZANA LTD v. GALLIGAN

BETWEEN

BAYZANA LIMITED
Plaintiff/
Appellant

and

PHILIP GALLIGAN, TIMOTHY (OTHERWISE TIM) McELLIGOTT, JOHNLYNCH and CON QUINLAN
Defendants/
Respondents

1986 WJSC-SC 43

279/86

THE SUPREME COURT

Synopsis:

TRADE UNION

Trade dispute

Picketing - Purchaser's complaint - Vendor's dispute with defendant picketers - Plaintiff purchaser claimed an interlocutory injunction restraining defendants from picketing plaintiff's premises - Fair question - Balance of convenience - Interest of third-party bailor - Vendor of business premises dismissed defendants from their employment in January, 1986 - Trade dispute arose between vendor and defendants about amount of redundancy payments to be paid to defendants - Vendor's premises picketed by defendants from end of January, 1986 - Plaintiff purchaser had notice of defendants' picketing when vendor sold premises to plaintiff in March, 1986 - Substantial quantity of meat in cold storage at premises at date of sale and thereafter - Bailor of meat wishing to place meat in intervention storage under EEC regulations after inspection by officers of Department of Agriculture - Refusal of officers to enter plaintiff's premises for purpose of inspection until picket removed - Possible liability of plaintiff at suit of bailor of meat - Premises vacated by vendor on completion of sale - Two former employees of vendor retained at premises to supervise refrigeration of meat - Plaintiff obtained in High Court interlocutory injunction restraining (a) trespass by defendants and (b) picketing by defendants by more than two picketers or otherwise than in a peaceful manner - Appeal by plaintiff - Held that the plaintiff had established a fair question regarding the existence of a trade dispute between the plaintiff and the defendants - Held that the balance of convenience fell in favour of restraining the defendants from picketing the plaintiff's premises until the determination of the plaintiff's action - Held, accordingly, that the plaintiff was entitled to such injunction simpliciter - Appeal allowed - (279/86 - Supreme Court - 19/11/86) 1987 IR 238

|Bayzana Ltd. v. Galligan|

INJUNCTION

Interlocutory

Fair question - Balance of convenience - Interest of third party - Trade dispute - Picketing - Sale of business premises - Vendor's dispute with defendant picketers - Plaintiff purchaser claimed injunction restraining defendants from picketing plaintiff's premises until hearing of action - Injunction granted on appeal - ~See~ Trade Union, trade dispute - (279/86 - Supreme Court - 19/11/86) 1987 IR 238

|Bayzana Ltd. v. Galligan|

Citations:

AMERICAN CYANAMID V ETHICON LTD 1975 AC 396

CAMPUS OIL LTD V MIN INDUSTRY & ENERGY 1983 IR 82, 1984 ILRM 45

ELLIS V WRIGHT 1976 IR 8

IRISH SHELL V ELM MOTORS 1984 IR 200, 1983 ILRM 63, 1984 ILRM 595

PANTRY FRANCHISE (IRL) LTD V MACKEN UNREP 25.6.79

TRADE DISPUTES ACT 1906 S2

1

JUDGMENT delivered on the 19th day of November 1986by Finlay C.J. [HEDERMAN CONC]

2

This is an appeal by the Plaintiff against an Order made by Hamilton P. in the High Court on the 13th August, 1986, in proceedings brought by the Plaintiff against the Defendants for injunctions restraining picketing. The learned President granted to the Plaintiffs an injunction restraining the Defendants from trespassing on the Plaintiff's hereditaments, factory premises, farm and lands at Leixlip; from picketing otherwise than in a peaceful manner and limited to two persons at any oneentrance, but refused to the Plaintiff the remedy they sought in the High Court, namely, an injunction prohibiting all forms of picketing. It was against that refusal that this appeal was brought.

3

Irish Meat Producers Limited (IMP) formerly carried on business producing meat in the premises now owned by the Plaintiffs, but in January 1986 ceased trading in those premises and made all their employees redundant.

4

A claim was made on behalf of the employees for payment of redundancy money substantially in excess of the statutory amount and it is not in issue that since the making of that claim and the refusal of IMP to satisfy it that a trade dispute has existed between the Defendants and IMP. An official picket sanctioned by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions was placed on the premises on the 30th January 1986 and has remained on the premises ever since.

5

In the month of March 1986 the Plaintiff purchased these premises which in addition to the meat-producing factories and yards contains about 300 acres of agriculturalland from IMP and they purchased it with notice both at the existence of a trade dispute and of the presence of a picket. The evidence before the Court in the case indicates that that purchase was completed, that no amount is outstanding by the Plaintiff to IMP in respect of the purchase of the lands and there is evidence that the persons who had purchased it and who are the beneficial owners of the Plaintiff Company are not associated with IMP.

6

It is alleged on behalf of the Plaintiff in a series of Affidavits that upon their completing the sale and entering into possession of the premises the most urgent requirement was firstly to harvest a very substantial area of silage which was awaiting to be cut; secondly, to take away from the lands and deliver back to their owners cattle that were grazing there, neither the property of IMP nor of the Plaintiff; an thirdly, to dispose of a substantial quantity of meat which was in cold storage which was the property of Hibernia Meats Limited and which had been stored by IMP for them and of which the Plaintiffasserts that it is a gratuitous bailee.

7

The Plaintiff alleges that these activities were impeded by the existence of pickets and by what is described in detail as intimidating, threatening and violent behaviour on the part of pickets and by the number of persons assembling to picket the premises. All these allegations are fully and amply denied in conflicting Affidavits filed on behalf of the Defendants.

8

It would appear that the silage was eventually cut, though the first contractor employed to do the job left the premises, it is alleged by the Plaintiff, as a result of activities by the Defendant" picket and by the Defendants because he ascertained that there was a trade dispute. The cattle would appear to have been removed from the land at night and without the knowledge of any of the parties picketing the premises and the meat has neither been certified nor removed from the land. This meat is intended to be placed into intervention under the EEC regulations, and before that can be done it must be examined and certified by officers on behalf of theDepartment of Agriculture. Those officers refuse to enter the premises for that purpose until the picket has been removed. If the meat is not certified within a very short time of the hearing by this Court of this appeal, a loss of over £3.5 million in intervention grant from the EEC will be sustained by Hibernia Meats, primarily, and the Plaintiff asserts that they are apprehensive that a claim for that amount will be mounted against them by Hibernia Meats.

9

IMP has other premises in Cork and elsewhere in which they carry on business of meat producers and in which persons are still employed and the Defendants have not sought to picket any of these premises.

10

It is not asserted on behalf of the Defendants that any dispute exists between them and the Plaintiff, but it is stated that two employees of IMP Limited, formerly employed by IMP in the Leixlip factory, have been kept on and are maintaining the refrigeration system in the factory and that in addition, from time to time members of the management of IMP attend at the factory. The Defendantshave no dispute about the existence of these persons within the factory but assert that that is a sufficient connection between IMP and the premises to warrant the picketing of the premises in furtherance of their (the Defendants) trade dispute with IMP.

11

The Plaintiff/Appellant bases his case on three contentions. Firstly, he asserts that there is a fair question to be tried as to whether the picketing by the Defendants of these premises is now in bona fide furtherance of the trade dispute existing between them and IMP. Secondly, he asserts that once that fair question is to be tried that the second test to be applied is whether the balance of convenience favours the granting or refusal of an injunction and he asserts that the balance of convenience overwhelmingly favours the granting of an injunction. Thirdly, and in a sense in the alternative, he asserts that there is a fair question to be tried as to whether the unlawful and violent nature of the picketing which has occurred would justify the granting of an injunction restraining all picketing, at least untilthe determination of the action.

12

With regard to those submissions, the Defendants, through their Counsel, conceded that a fair question as to whether their actions were in bona fide furtherance of the trade dispute between them (the Defendants) and IMP existed. Even if that concession had not been made, and I think it was proper that it should have been made, I am satisfied on the Affidavits, and having considered the evidence, that there is a fair question to be tried on that issue. The Plaintiff does not concede any connection between it and IMP and asserts a total incapacity to influence IMP in regard to the trade dispute existing between that company and the Defendants. If that evidence were accepted it seems to me that a consequence of it would be, on the full hearing of the action, that a court could properly reach the conclusion that the picketing of these premises was not at present within the ambit of the statutory protection created by the Trade Disputes Act.

13

At this stage, on an interlocutory application, itis neither possible, nor would it be proper for this Court to seek to decide that issue, the...

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