Campbell v Irish Press Ltd

JurisdictionIreland
Judgment Date01 January 1956
Date01 January 1956
CourtSupreme Court
(S.C.)
Campbell
and
Irish Press Ltd

"Rolled-up plea" - Misdirection - Finding of jury that words complained of bore one of the alleged meanings but not the second meaning - Assessment of damages at "Nil" - Whether a finding of libel imports to a plaintiff a right to damages - New trial ordered.

In an action for damages for libel the trial Judge following the verdict of a jury entered judgment for the defendants with half costs. The plaintiff, who was then a supplier of billiards equipment, promoted an exhibition of billiards by J.D., who was then world champion. Subsequent to the exhibition a newspaper owned by the defendants published a report of the exhibition which the plaintiff claimed was libellous of him. In their defence the defendants denied the meanings attributed to the article by the plaintiff. They also pleaded the "rolled-up plea" but did not plead justification. At the trial of the action in the High Court the defendants called only one witness the author of the article complained of, who stood over every thing he had written. Plaintiff's counsel objected to the defendants' evidence on the grounds that the defendants were seeking to justify without pleading justification. The learned trial Judge refused to allow the objection. holding that the defendants were entitled under their plea of fair comment, to show that in the statement complained of the facts wereaccurate and the comment fair. At the conclusion of the evidence defendants' counsel asked that the question of fair comment should go to the jury. The application was refused as the learned trial Judge was of the opinion that the evidence showed that the article contained no comment. Plaintiff's counsel then applied for a ruling that the defendants had attempted to justify and that accordingly the plaintiff should be allowed to rely on this in aggravation of damages. This application was also refused, the learned trial Judge...

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4 cases
  • Burke v Central Independent Television Plc
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 3 March 1994
    ...ACT 1961 S23 MCDONAGH V NEWS GROUP NEWSPAPERS LTD 23.11.93 1993/13/4009 SUTHERLAND V STOPES 1925 AC 47 CAMPBELL V IRISH PRESS LTD 90 ILTR 105 DUFFY V NEWS GROUP NEWSPAPERS LTD 1992 2 IR 369 CONTEMPT OF COURT ACT 1981 UK O'KELLY, IN RE (1974)108 ILTR 97 DPP, PEOPLE V SHAW 1982 IR 1 DPP, P......
  • Kinsella v Kenmare Resources Plc
    • Ireland
    • Court of Appeal (Ireland)
    • 28 February 2019
    ...performs in his or her charge to the jury. It is consistent with the old decision of the Supreme Court in Campbell v. Irish Press [1956] 90 ILTR 105 where Maguire C.J. said that a new trial should be awarded ‘if some substantial wrong or miscarriage had been occasioned’, and that this was ......
  • Gordon v The Irish Racehorse Trainers Association
    • Ireland
    • Court of Appeal (Ireland)
    • 22 December 2022
    ...defendant's submission is correct but incomplete. As the defendant submits, the former Supreme Court in Campbell v. Irish Press Ltd. (1956) 90 ILTR 105 held that the judge in a libel trial had misdirected the jury insofar as they might have been led to believe that it was necessary for a pl......
  • Quigley v Creation Ltd
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 28 July 1971
    ...J.:— I agree. 1 [1937] I.R. 298. 2 [1963] 1 Q.B. 309. 3 [1964] A.C. 234. 4 (1934) 50 T.L.R. 581. 5 [1955-56] Ir. Jur. Rep. 45. 6 (1955) 90 I.L.T.R. 105. 7 (1869) I.R. 4 C.L. 8 Omitted from this report. 9 See p. 269, ante. 10 (1934) 50 T.L.R. 581. 11 [1955-56] Ir. Jur. Rep. 45. ...

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