Daly v Irish Transport and General Workers' Union

JurisdictionIreland
CourtSupreme Court (Irish Free State)
Judgment Date01 Jan 1926
Docket Number(1923. No. 11,308.)

Supreme Court.

(1923. No. 11,308.)
Daly v. The Irish Transport & General Workers' Union
PATRICK T. DALY
Plaintiff
THE IRISH TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS' UNION and Others, Defendants (1)

Practice - Pleading - Libel - Innuendo - Plea of no libel - Whether innuendo covered.

Motion by the plaintiff for judgment.

The plaintiff, Patrick T. Daly, sued the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union and others for libel. The plaintiff was secretary of the Dublin Trades Council; he was also a printer and compositor, and had from time to time been employed as a printer's valuer and as a press reader. The defendants were proprietors, publishers, and printers of a newspaper called "The Voice of Labour."

In the statement of claim the plaintiff averred (par. 3):—

3. On or about the 16th day of June, 1923, the defendants falsely and maliciously printed and published and caused to be printed and published of the plaintiff and of him in the way of his profession or occupation in the issue of the said newspaper ["The Voice of Labour"] of that date the words following:—"Larkin's right-hand man and chief adviser is P. T. Daly, who was expelled in discredit from the National movement by Tom Clarke and Sean M'Dermott, and, later, dismissed from the service of the I.T. & G.W.U. for gross mismanagement and neglect of duty . . . Even Larkin has accused Daly of disruptive tactics

in several recent speeches. Another instance of the consistency of the wrecker who takes it upon himself to establish a dictatorship in this organisation."

4. By the words in the said issue, dated the 16th June, 1923, the defendants, and each of them, meant and were understood to mean:—

(a) That the plaintiff was expelled from the National organisation, of which he had been a member for about 25 years, in discredit, and because he had been guilty of dishonourable and unworthy conduct, so as to unfit him for membership of the said organisation.

(b) That the plaintiff had been dismissed from the service of the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union Approved Society, of which he had been acting secretary from October, 1914, until the 8th day of June, 1919, because of gross mismanagement and neglect of duty, and that by connivance or negligence the plaintiff was responsible for the embezzlement of the funds of the said union by John Johnson, who afterwards, namely, at the Easter Quarter Sessions, on the 8th day of May, 1923, was convicted of these embezzlements in the Court of the Recorder of Dublin, and sentenced to three years' penal servitude.

5. On or about the 23rd day of June, 1923, the defendants falsely and maliciously printed and published, and caused to be printed and published of the plaintiff and of him in the way of his profession or occupation, in the issue of the said newspaper of that date, the words following:—

"Questions the members are asking:—What was the opinion of Connolly and Clarke with regard to Larkin's chief assistant— P. T. Daly? Who gave Daly the money to clear his card in the Union? Whether P. T. does not think the money would have been better spent where most of his own money goes?"

6. By the said words the said defendants and each of them meant and were understood to mean:—

(a) That the late Mr. James Connolly, one of the principal officials of the Transport Workers' Union, and Commander-in-Chief of the combined Irish Volunteers and Citizen Army in the rising of 1916, and the late Mr. Tom Clarke, one of the political heads of the National organisation, two of the leading men in the said National organisation, were satisfied that the plaintiff had been guilty of two charges, namely, that he had misappropriated the funds of the National organisation and had been a British spy.

(b) That he had misappropriated the funds of the National organisation to clear his card, and had received money as a British spy for the same purpose.

(c) That the plaintiff spent his money in some discreditable way on gambling, betting, immorality, or drinking, and in ways not compatible with the proper carrying out of his...

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