Re O'Kelly

JurisdictionIreland
CourtCourt of Criminal Appeal
Judgment Date01 January 1974
Date01 January 1974
(C.C.A.)
In re O'Kelly

Refusal of witness to answer question at criminal trial - Contempt of court - Constitution of Ireland, 1937, Article 40, s. 6.

At the trial of an accused, a journalist was called by the prosecution as a witness to give evidence about an interview that he had had with the accused; the prosecution were relying upon this evidence to establish an admission by the accused that he was a member of an illegal organisation. In his evidence the journalist said that he had an interview with a man and that he had a tape-recording of the interview; the journalist said that he was satisfied that the recording wasan authentic record of statements of a man whom the journalist named. However, when asked directly for the name of the man whom he had interviewed, the journalist refused to answer as a matter of conscience and said that it would be a breach of confidence by him to disclose the name. The trial judge found the journalist to be in contempt of court and sentenced him to three months imprisonment. On appeal against sentence it was Held by the Court of Criminal Appeal, 1, that it had not been made clear what was the confidence that the appellant felt he had been asked to break as the...

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24 cases
  • Cornec v Morrice and Others
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 18 September 2012
    ...- Whether rights confined to traditional journalists - Balancing with other public interests - Discretion of court - In re O'Kelly (1974) 108 ILTR 97 distinguished; Mahon v Keena [2009] IESC 64, [2010] 1 IR 336 applied; Goodwin v UK(App No 17488/90) (1996) 22 EHRR 123 followed and Howlin ......
  • Skeffington v Rooney
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 13 March 1997
    ...PARTE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPT 1973 AC 388 BURMA OIL CO LTD V GOV & CO OF THE BANK OF ENGLAND 1980 AC 1090 O'KELLY, IN RE 1974 108 ILTR 97 BURKE V CENTRAL INDEPENDENT TELEVISION PLC 1994 2 IR 61 AG V MULHOLLAND 1963 2 QB 477 DEFENCE ACT 1954 CULLY V NORTHERN BANK FINANCE COR......
  • Burke v Central Independent Television Plc
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 21 October 1993
    ...OF CRUELTY TO CHILDREN 1978 AC171 ALFRED CROMPTON AMUSEMENT MACHINES LTD V CUSTOMS & EXCISE COMMISSIONERS NO 2 1979 AC 405 O KELLY, IN RE 108 ILTR 97 CONSTITUTION ART 40.6 DIRECTOR OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS V SUGAR DISTRIBUTORS LTD 1991 1 IR 225 MURPHY V DUBLIN CORPORATION 1972 IR 215 MARKS V B......
  • Burke v Central Independent Television Plc
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 3 March 1994
    ...47 CAMPBELL V IRISH PRESS LTD 90 ILTR 105 DUFFY V NEWS GROUP NEWSPAPERS LTD 1992 2 IR 369 CONTEMPT OF COURT ACT 1981 UK O'KELLY, IN RE (1974)108 ILTR 97 DPP, PEOPLE V SHAW 1982 IR 1 DPP, PEOPLE V RYAN 1989 ILRM 333 1 JUDGMENT delivered on the 3rd day of March 1994by Finlay C.J. [BLAYNEY, ......
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