Brady v"Clonmel Chronicle" Newspaper & Printing Works Ltd

CourtSupreme Court (Irish Free State)
Judgment Date13 January 1926
Docket Number(1925. No. 14,950.)
Date13 January 1926

Supreme Court.

(1925. No. 14,950.)
Brady v. "Clonmel Chronicle."

Practice - Transfer of action - Action commenced in High Court - Transfer to Circuit Court - Action for libel - No specific sum claimed in writ - Plaintiff willing to accept apology and payment of £50 to a charity - Courts of Justice Act, 1924 (No. 10 of 1924), sect. 25.

Appeal from an order made by O'Shaughnessy J. on December 4th, 1925, directing that the action be transferred for trial before the Circuit Court Judge of the County of Tipperary.

The plaintiff, Allan B. Brady, was a member of Clonmel Corporation, Tipperary County Council (South Riding), and of other public bodies. He represented Labour on these bodies. The defendants were the proprietors and publishers of a newspaper called the "Clonmel Chronicle," and the action was brought in respect of an alleged libel contained in a letter signed "Fairplay," published by them in their newspaper. The endorsement on the writ was:—"The plaintiff's claim is for damages for libel." The libel complained of was published on October 7th, 1925, and was in the following terms:—

"At the County Council meeting on Wednesday, the 30th ult., a resolution in the name of Mr. A. Brady,

seconded by Mr. Barry, was passed by eleven votes to seven, 'that all work in connection with the rebuilding of bridges be carried out as heretofore by direct labour.' It was proved by previous discussion that money was being saved to ratepayers by having this work done by private contract. Now, to my mind, underlying all this is a deep-laid scheme to cut off from his livelihood a man who, in the hour of need, assisted to bring order out of chaos. 'He who runs may read.' A recent discussion in the Clonmel Corporation, anent the disqualification of a councillor because he held contracts under the County Council, is fresh in people's minds. It was undoubtedly a Republican idea of 'choking a dog' otherwise than by the gentle use of butter. I may be wrong. Deeply-laid convictions, religious and otherwise, easily—with no ulterior motive thought out—may have called forth the motion; but in this age of save, save, save, it would be interesting to know whether the ratepayers' money is to be squandered to satisfy either personal convictions or to continue a personal warfare in which the intended victim had the first innings."

In his affidavit resisting the motion in...

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