Carthy v O'Neill

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeHenchy J.
Judgment Date30 January 1981
Neutral Citation1981 WJSC-SC 94
CourtSupreme Court
Docket NumberNo. 1373P/1978
Date30 January 1981
CARTHY v. O'NEILL
GERALD A. CARTHY
v.
MICHAEL O'NEILL AND EILEEN O'NEILL
Reversing High - 1.10.79

1981 WJSC-SC 94

No. 1373P/1978
No. 186/1979

THE SUPREME COURT

1

Judgment of Henchy J. delivered the 30 January 1981[Nem Diss]

2

The Silver Tassie is a well-known hostelry. It is situated at Loughlinstown, on the main road between Dublin and Bray. It has a full publican's licence, together with restaurant facilities. In 1977 it was being run by Michael O'Neill, the first-named defendant. One of the customers of the house was Corry Buckley, a partner in Murphy Buckley and Keogh, the Dublin firm of auctioneers and estate agents. Mr. Buckley had for some time been suggesting to Mr. O'Neill that if he wished to sell the premises, he (Mr. Buckley) in his capacity as an estate agent would get a purchaser for him. Eventually, on Friday the 13 January 1978, Mr. Buckley telephoned Mr. O'Neill to say that he had a purchaser who was willing to pay £190,000 for the premises. Mr. O'Neil response was that he would consult with his solicitor, Mr. Black.

3

On the following day, Saturday the 14th, Mr. O'Neill telephoned Mr. Black. Mr. Black advised him to hold his hand until he (Mr. Black) had an opportunity of discussing the matter with Mr. Buckley. Mr. Black in the course of that day had three telephone conversations with Mr. Buckley, during which Mr. Buckley told him that the purchaser was Gerald A. Carthy, the plaintiff in the present proceedings, that £190,000 was the maximum he was prepared to pay, and that "everything was subject to contract". After further telephone consultation between Mr. O'Neill and Mr. Black, Mr. O'Neill agreed on the Saturday afternoon to the sale to the plaintiff of The Silver Tassie for £190,000, saying that "it was subject to the usual documentation attached to the sale of the property".

4

Meanwhile, Mr. Buckley who was due to go to America that weekend, had dictated three letters on a tape recorder on Friday the 13th, intending that they would be typed and posted by his secretary while he was in America. All three were posted on the 17 January. The first was to the plaintiff confirming that his offer of £190,000 was being accepted and saying that the next step would be for Mr. Black to forward a contract to the plaintiff's solicitor "for his perusal and approval". The second letter was to Mr. O'Neill, marked "Subject to Contract", confirming that he had been authorised to accept the plaintiff's offer of £190,000 and suggesting that Mr. Black should forward a draft contract to the plaintiff's solicitor. The third letter was to Mr. Black and it merely enclosed a copy of Mr. Buckley's letter to Mr. O'Neill.

5

These letters presumably did not reach Mr. O'Neill, Mr. Black or the defendant before the 18 January. In the interval, on the 17 January, Mr. O'Neill executed a formal contract, prepared by Mr. Black, whereby The Silver Tassie was to be sold to another purchaser for£200,000. Mr. Black had advised that as there was no note or memorandum of the contract with the plaintiff, Mr. O'Neill could not be compelled to sell the premises to him for £190,000. However, when Mr. Buckley's three letters, posted on the 17th January, came...

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4 cases
  • Boyle v Lee
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 1 January 1992
    ...cases within that statement of principle, (iii) that support for this course was found in Henchy J.'s judgment in Carthy v. O'NeillDLRM [1981] ILRM 443 and (iv) that if Kelly v. Park Hall School or Casey v. Irish Intercontinental Bank were inconsistent with the principle in Mulhall v. Haren......
  • Park Hall School v Overend
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 1 January 1987
    ...V VEALE UNREP COSTELLO 28.02.77 1977/1/56 BUCKLEY JF ASPECTS OF THE LANDLORD & TENANT (AMDT) BILL 1979 1979 GILS 115 CARTHY V O'NEILL 1981 ILRM 443 CASEY V IRISH INTERCONTINENTAL BANK & ORS 1979 IR 364, 114 ILTR 18 DUNLOP V WOLLAHRA MUNICIPAL COUNCIL 1981 1 AER 1202, 1982 AC 158, 1981 2 W......
  • Aga Khan v Firestone
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 1 January 1992
    ... 1889 14 PD 64 MANCHESTER SHIP CANAL CO V MANCHESTER RACECOURSE CO 1909 2 CH 37 MURRAY V TOW STROKES LTD 1973 3 AER 357 CARTHY V O'NEILL 1981 ILRM 443 Synopsis: SALE OF LAND Contract Specific performance - Third party - Claim - Enforcement - Prior option to purchase - Option exercised by th......
  • Kelly v Irish Nursery & Landscape Company
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 1 January 1983
    ...taken place. Cases mentioned in this report:— 1 Davies v. Sweet [1962] 2 Q.B. 300. 2 Domb v. Izod [1980] Ch. 548. 3 Carthy v. O'Neill [1981] I.L.R.M. 443. 4 Kelly v. Park Hall School [1979] I.R. 443. 5 Eccles v. Bryant & Pollock [1948] Ch. 93. 6 D'Silva v. Lister House [1971] Ch. 17. 7 Winn......

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