O'Connor v Williams

JurisdictionIreland
Judgment Date15 May 1996
Docket Number[1995 No. 5359P]
Date15 May 1996
CourtHigh Court

High Court

[1995 No. 5359P]
O'Connor v. Williams
Denis O'Connor, Patrick Ahern, Christopher Carroll, Philip O'Halloran and Noel Neville
Plaintiffs
and
Jude Williams and Treaty Hackney Cabs Limited
Defendants

Cases mentioned in this report:-

Incorporated Law Society of Ireland v. Carroll [1995] 3 I.R. 145.

Lovett v. Gogan [1995] 3 I.R. 132; [1995] 1 I.L.R.M. 12.

Parsons v. Kavanagh [1990] I.L.R.M. 560.

Injunction - Defendants unlawfully operating private hackney cabs as public service vehicles - Constitutional right of plaintiff tax-drivers to earn a livelihood - Defendants' conduct amounting to criminal offence - Whether private law injunction appropriate remedy to restrain commission of criminal offence - Applicable criteria - Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) Regulations, 1963 (S.I. No. 191) - Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulations, 1983 (S.I. No. 273).

Practice and procedure - Cause of action - Interference with plaintiffs' livelihood - Application for injunction to restrain interference - Interlocutory injunction refused - Plaintiffs' claim for damages withdrawn at interlocutory stage - Whether withdrawal of claim for damages also constituted withdrawal of plaintiffs' cause of action.

Motion on notice.

The facts are summarised in the headnote and fully set out in the judgment of Barron J., infra.

By equity civil bill dated the 11th October, 1994, the plaintiffs sought reliefs against the defendants by way, inter alia, of an injunction and damages for interference with their right to earn a livelihood.

By order of the Circuit Court (Judge O'Higgins) dated the 15th December, 1994, the matter was transferred to and adopted in the High Court.

By notice of motion dated the 10th July, 1995, the plaintiffs sought an injunction against the defendants restraining them from:-

"… initiating or facilitating hackney hiring within the Limerick taximeter area by means of telephonic or radio communication with hackney vehicles (otherwise private hire vehicles) whilst said vehicles are in a public place."

By order dated the 24th July, 1995, the High Court (Geoghegan J.) refused the plaintiffs an interlocutory injunction and directed that the matter be set down for an early plenary hearing.

The motion was heard by the High Court (Barron J.) on the 16th and 17th April, 1996.

Regulation 3(2) of the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) Regulations, 1963, as amended and substituted by reg. 2 of the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulations, 1983, defines a public hire vehicle, inter alia, as, a small public service vehicle used in pursuance of a contract of hiring for the carriage of persons for reward which contract has been initiated or facilitated by means of a telephonic or radio communication with the vehicle while such vehicle is in a public place in a taximeter area.

The plaintiffs were licensed taxi drivers and thus entitled to collect fares via telephone and two way radios while operating in a public place in a taximeter area.

The defendants operated a private hire hackney cab service, for which purpose they were only entitled to accept fares while stationary in a private driveway or other private place.

The plaintiffs claimed the defendants, in breach of the Regulations, were unlawfully operating their hackney cabs by the use of two way radio systems directing hackney drivers to collect fares while still mobile and operating in a public place, thereby interfering with the plaintiffs' livelihood as licensed taxi drivers.

An application for an interlocutory injunction was refused by the High Court (Geoghegan J.) which directed that the matter be set down for an early plenary hearing. At this stage of the proceedings the plaintiffs withdrew their claim for damages against the defendants on the grounds that it was not possible to...

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2 cases
  • Freney v Freney
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 22 October 2008
    ...AGAINST THE PERSON ACT 1997 S9 NON FATAL OFFENCES AGAINST THE PERSON ACT 1997 S10 AG v PAPERLINK 1984 ILRM 373 O'CONNOR v WILLIAMS 2001 1 IR 248 1996 2 ILRM 382 1996/14/4287 POST OFFICE ACT 1908 ROAD TRAFFIC (PUBLIC SERVICE VEHICLE) REGS SI 191/1963 NEWS DATACOM LTD v DAVID LYONS 1994 1 ILR......
  • O'Connor v Williams
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 15 May 1996
    ...- Enforcement of compliance with relevant regulations being a matter for the criminal law - (1995/5359 P - Barron J. - 15/5/96) - [2001] 1 IR 248 - [1996] 2 ILRM 382 |O'Connor v. Williams| INJUNCTION Remedy Scope - Offence - Commission - Restraint - Complaint of taxi drivers - Unlawful use ......

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