O'Neill v Ryanair Ltd (No. 2)

JurisdictionIreland
Judgment Date01 January 1992
Date01 January 1992
Docket Number[1988 No. 8775P]
CourtHigh Court
O'Neill v. Ryanair Ltd. (No. 2)
Eugene O'Neill
Petitioner
and
Ryanair Limited, Thomas Anthony Ryan, Cathal Ryan, Declan Ryan and Kevin O'Brien, Respondents (No. 2)
[1988 No. 8775P]

High Court

Practice - Trial - Consolidation - Simultaneous hearing - Criteria - Lodgment "in satisfaction of one or more of the several causes of action" - Rules of the Superior Courts, 1986 (S.I. No. 15), O. 22, r.1 and O.49, r.6.

Company - Oppression - Petitioner's monetary compensation - Whether equivalent to damages - Whether amenable to lodgment - Companies Act, 1963 (No. 33), s. 205.

Order 22, r. 1 of the Rules of the Superior Courts allows a defendant to make a lodgment in "any action for a debt or damages or in an admiralty action". Paragraph 5 of r. 1 provides:—

"Where money is paid into Court in satisfaction of one or more of several causes of action the notice shall specify the cause or causes of action in respect of which payment is made, and the sum paid in respect of each cause of action, unless the Court otherwise orders."

Order 49, r.6 provides:—

"Causes or matters pending in the High Court may be consolidated by order of the Court on the application of any party and whether or not all the parties consent to the order."

The petitioner owned 7.2% of the shares and was chief executive of the first respondent, an airline company. Following his dismissal as chief executive, he presented a petition in the High Court for relief under s. 205 of the Companies Act, 1963 "the company proceedings") and also instituted an action for damages in which the first and second respondents were the first two defendants and also against four other defendants "the plenary action"). By order of the High Court (Lynch J.) made on the 24th November, 1989, upon motion of the remaining four defendants, the action was dismissed as against them: seeO'Neill v. Ryan[1990] 2 I.R. 200; which dismissal was under appeal by the petitioner to the Supreme Court although unlikely to be heard for a further two years.

The second respondent brought a motion seeking to consolidate the company proceedings with the plenary action or alternatively directing that the two proceedings be heard together or immediately after each other and furthermore giving the second respondent liberty to amend his defence so as to provide for a single lodgment in satisfaction of the petitioner's claims in both the company proceedings and the plenary action. The petitioner protested that a consolidated or simultaneous trial would prejudice the early hearing of the company proceedings which had been fixed for the 14th June, 1990.

Held by Blayney J., in refusing to consolidate the proceedings but in directing that the trials be heard simultaneously and refusing liberty to make the single joint lodgment sought, 1, that since the jurisdiction of the High Court in the company proceedings was limited to exercising the statutory power vested in it by s. 205 of the Companies Act, but the jurisdiction in the plenary action was limited to awarding damages at common law, it was not possible to conceive of a single proceeding in which the High Court could have both jurisdictions.

2. That, accordingly, once the proceedings remained separate, there could...

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6 cases
  • Murray v Times Newspapers Ltd
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 29 July 1997
    ...had a stateable cause of action, the court would not strike out a claim in respect of a particular head of damage. O'Neill v. Ryan [1992] 1 I.R. 160 distinguished. Cur. adv. vult. Hamilton C.J. I agree with the judgment of Barrington J. about to be delivered. Barrington J. This is an interl......
  • Duffy v News Group Newspapers Ltd
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 26 June 1992
    ...Limited (1929) 45 T.L.R. 237, Malone v. Great Northern Railway Company (Ireland) [1931] I.R. 1 and O'Neill v. Ryanair Limited (No. 2)[1992] 1 I.R. 160 followed. 3. That whilst ordinarily no particular member of a body or class could maintain an action where the words complained of reflected......
  • O'Neill v Ryan (No. 3)
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 1 January 1992
    ...only to actions for damages at common law and not to claims for statutory relief from oppression under the Companies Act, 1963: see [1992] 1 I.R. 160. At this stage in the s. 205 proceedings the plaintiff was represented by Messrs. K. a different firm of solicitors to those in the plenary a......
  • McCambridge Ltd v Joseph Brennan Bakeries
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 12 December 2013
    ...Courts - Whether claim for account of profits action for damages - Nichols v Evens [1883] 22 Ch D 611; O'Neill v Ryanair Limited [1992] 1 IR 160; Larkin v Whitony Limited (Unrep, SC, 19/6/2002); House of Spring Gardens v Point Blank Limited [1984] IR 611; Hollister Incorporated v Medik Ost......
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