Macauley Limerick County Council

JurisdictionIreland
CourtSupreme Court (Irish Free State)
Judgment Date14 Jan 1925

Supreme Court.

Lynch v. Limerick Co. Council
In the MATTER of the WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION ACT, 1906, and in the MATTER of an Arbitration between MARTIN LYNCH
Applicant
THE COUNTY COUNCIL OF LIMERICK, Respondents (1)

Practice - Appeal - Workmen's Compensation Act, 1906 (6 Ed. 7, c. 58),Schedule II, Art. 4 - Appeal from award of compensation by Judge of Circuit Court - Jurisdiction of Supreme Court to hear appeal - Jurisdiction vested in Court of Appeal transferred to Supreme Court - Appeal to High Court - Whether award is a "judgment or order of the Circuit Court in a civil case" - Courts of Justice Act, 1924 (No. 10 of1924), sects. 18, 51, 61, and 63.

Appeal under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1906. The appeal was from an award made by the Circuit Court Judge of Limerick, Judge M'Elligott, k.c., dated October 29th, 1924, granting the applicant compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1906.

The appeal was taken to the Supreme Court of the Irish Free State. Part I of the Courts of Justice Act, 1924 (No. 10 of 1924), which provides for the establishment of the Supreme Court, came into operation on the 5th day of June, 1924 (2).

Part II of the Act, which provides for the establishment of the Circuit Court, came into operation on the 11th day of June, 1924, in Dublin City and County, and came into operation on the 6th day of August, 1924, elsewhere in the Irish Free State. The award, the subject of the appeal, was, as stated, made by a Judge of the Circuit Court. Formerly, such awards were made by the Judges of the County Courts, but by sect. 51 of the Courts of Justice Act, 1924, there was transferred to the Circuit Court all jurisdiction (with certain exceptions not material for the purposes of this report) which, at the commencement of the Act, was vested in or capable of being exercised by Recorders and County Court Judges in the Irish Free State. The other material sections of the Courts of Justice Act, 1924, dealing with the transference of jurisdiction from the former Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court of the Irish Free State, and the jurisdiction conferred on the High Court to hear appeals from the Circuit Court, are set out in the course of the judgment of the Chief Justice.

Martin Lynch, the applicant, was engaged on June 28th, 1924, breaking stones for the Limerick County Council. He was paid at the rate of three shillings per yard for the stones broken. He supplied his own tools. Whilst engaged at this work he was struck with a sprawl in the left eye, and had, as the result of the injury, lost the sight of that eye. Formerly the applicant worked for the County Council at the quarries,

and was remunerated at the rate of thirty-six shillings a week. He had been only four days on piece work when the accident occurred. He was free any day to go to work, or to stay at home. On behalf of the County Council, evidence was given showing that the applicant was not controlled or directed by its officials. The stones had to be broken to a particular size and a report to that effect had to be sent by the surfaceman to the foreman of the County Council.

The case made by the County Council was that the applicant was not a workman within the meaning of sect. 13 of the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1906 (6 Ed. 7, c. 58).

The Circuit Judge held that the applicant was a workman, and ordered the County Council to pay him compensation at the rate of 18s. a week from June 28th, 1924, till October 1st, 1924, and at the rate of 16s. from October 1st, so long as total or partial incapacity continued. He further ordered that the Council pay forthwith a sum of £12 in respect of the weekly payments for the first period.

No appeal lies to the Supreme Court of the Irish Free State from an award made by a Judge of the Circuit Court under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1906. The appeal lies to two Judges of the High Court under sect. 61 of the Courts of Justice Act, 1924, as such an award is a"judgment or order of...

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