Re Irish Employers Mutual Insurance Association Ltd

JurisdictionIreland
CourtSupreme Court
Judgment Date01 January 1955
Date01 January 1955
S.C.
In re Irish Employers Mutual Insurance Association
Limited

Priority of payments -Right of Commissioners of Public Works -Mutual insurance association in liquidation -Claim by Commissioners of Public Works to payment in priority to other creditors - Preferential payments - Whether common law prerogative right of Crown to priority of payment applicable to sums payable for benefit of Central Fund -Rights of members of mutual association to priority inter se - Principles for ascertaining whether the Commissioners acting as agents of the State or as public servants - Finance Act, 1924 (No. 27 of 1924) s. 38 - Preferential Payments in Bankruptcy (Ir.) Act, 1889 (52 and 53 Vict., c. 60), s. 4 - Constitution of the Irish Free State (Saorstat Eireann) Act, 1922 (No. 1 of 1922) -Constitution of Ireland.

By order of the High Court, dated the 4th July, 1948, it was ordered that the Irish Employers Mutual Insurance Association Limited, a company limited by guarantee, and having no share capital, should be wound up compulsorily. The total claims of creditors anticipated to be valid amounted to £64,771 2s.. 11d.., of which £21,353 7s. 5d.. was claimed by the Commissioners of Public Works on account of moneys which the Commissioners had been compelled to pay on foot of liabilities in respect of which they held insurance cover entitling them to indemnification by the Association. This sum was paid by the Commissioners from funds voted to them for the purpose by annual Appropriation Acts. In the course of the winding up, the Commissioners of Public Works claimed the amount due to them as payable in priority to the other creditors on the basis that they were entitled to statutory priority, or alternatively to priority of payment by virtue of the common law prerogative of priority accorded to Crown debts. Held, by Kingsmill Moore J. 1, That s. 38, sub-s. 2, of the Finance Act, 1924, provides no basis for the claim to the priority sought to be established by the Commissioners of Public Works. 2, The Commissioners of Public Works, though in general holding the status of servants of the State, may, in the execution of certain duties, act as servants of the public in which instance they are not entitled to the privileges and protections which may apply to servants of the State. (Principles to be followed in ascertaining whether the Commissioners of Public Works in the execution of their duty are to be considered as acting as servants of the State or as public...

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9 cases
  • BUPA Ireland Ltd & BUPA Insurance Ltd v Health Insurance Authority & Others
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 23 November 2006
    ...& CHANG v DPP & ORS 2004 1 IR 615 2005 1 ILRM 214 2004 28 6431 CONSTITUTION ART 21.2.2 IRISH EMPLOYERS MUTUAL INSURANCE ASSOC LTD, IN RE 1955 IR 176 O'MALLEY v CEANN COMHAIRLE 1997 1 IR 427 1997 11 3508 HOGAN JM KELLY: THE IRISH CONSTITUTION 4ED 2003 PARA 4.5.08 HOGAN JM KELLY: THE IRISH ......
  • Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government v Damiens
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 24 October 2018
    ...[Saorstát Eireann]. 90 The aforesaid provisions were considered in Irish Employers Mutual Insurance Association Limited (In Liquidation) [1955] IR 176 where, at p. 224, Kingsmill-Moore addressed the word 'belong' in Article 11 of the Saorstát Eireann Constitution in the following terms: 'I......
  • Callely v Moylan and Others
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 9 April 2014
    ...its historical backdrop was referred to in some detail by Kingsmill Moore J. in In re Irish Employers Mutual Insurance Association Ltd. [1955] I.R. 176 ( "In re Irish Employers") at pp. 223 and 224 where, in contrasting the background to the establishment of the Canadian Constitution, he p......
  • Maguire v Ardagh
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 11 April 2002
    ...than convincing. It is based, in part at least, on the judgment of Kingsmill Moore J (sitting as a High Court judge) in In re Irish Employers Mutual Insurance Association (1955) IR 176 and of O'Dalaigh J (as he then was) in Melling v O'Mathghamhna [1962] IR 1. In the first case, which for......
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