O'Brien v Waterford County Council

Judgment Date16 July 1926
Date16 July 1926
Docket Number(1924. No. 1986.)
CourtSupreme Court (Irish Free State)
S. C.,
Waterford County Council

Repair of highway - Broken bridge - One half of the width temporarily repaired - Timber fence between repaired and unrepaired portions - Unlighted at night - Necessity for warning - Accident - Liability of road authority - Misfeasance - Non-feasance.

The defendants, as the road authority, erected a temporary structure which extended to about half the width of a former bridge which had been destroyed. To protect persons using the road over the bridge so reconstructed from falling into the gap left by the unrestored part of the bridge the defendants caused a fence to be erected, consisting of larch spars attached to posts sunk into the ground. A warning notice was posted at each side of the bridge drawing attention to the fact that the bridge was for light traffic, and stating that persons using it did so solely at their own risk and on their own responsibility. It was admitted that the notices came off "quite often." No lights were maintained at night on or near the bridge. The road approaching the bridge from one side had a considerable decline, and there was a sharp bend just beside the portion that had been repaired. A motor car in which the plaintiff was travelling at night, having descended the slope, struck the end paling guarding the portion of the bridge under repair, dashed through this paling, and was suspended over the unrepaired gap. The plaintiff sustained severe injuries, and he sued the defendants for damages, alleging that they were guilty of negligence in the repair and reconstruction of the bridge by having erected a defective fence, and by failure to give a proper warning at night of the condition in which the bridge had been left. The jury found that the...

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2 cases
  • O'Riordan v Clare County Council
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 21 May 2019
    ...in title. The Council noted that the decision in Cowley was approved of by the former Supreme Court in O'Brien v. Waterford County Council [1926] IR 1 (‘ O'Brien’) and the Council also relied on that case. However, while noting the ‘ anomalous rule’ that a road authority is not liable for ......
  • McCabe v South Dublin County Council
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 18 November 2014
    ...IEHC 502 RUSSELL v MEN OF DEVON 100 ER 359 1788 2 D & E 667 WADE & FORSYTH ADMINISTRATIVE LAW 10ED 2009 755 O'BRIEN v WATERFORD CO COUNCIL 1926 IR 1 CIVIL LIABILITY ACT 1961 S60(1) CONSTITUTION ART 50.1 LOCAL GOVERNMENT (IRELAND) ACT 1898 Tort – Damages & Restitution – Personal injury – S.......

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