Reilly v Gill and Others

JurisdictionIreland
Judgment Date01 January 1951
Date01 January 1951
CourtSupreme Court
(S.C.)
Reilly
and
Gill and Others

Privilege - Plaintiff reported as defaulter to Turf Club - Mistake - Communication not privileged - Unnecessary finding of malice by jury.

A dispute having arisen between the plaintiff and a bookmaker, who claimed a sum of £90 alleged to be due to him in respect of a bet, the Committee of the Conyngham Club decided that the amount in question—£90 —be divided. The plaintiff refused to abide by this decision, whereupon, on behalf of the Committee of the Conyngham Club a letter was written to the Turf Club requesting that the plaintiff's name be added to the Defaulters' list. The plaintiff sued the members of the Committee of the Conyngham Club for libel. At the hearing the President of the High Court ruled that the communication was privileged The jury found malice and awarded damages in the sum of £1,000. On an appeal to the Supreme Court. Held by the Supreme Court (Geoghegan, O'Byrne and Black, JJ.; Murnaghan, J., dissenting), that the communication was not privileged. As the jury might have been prejudiced by their own unnecessary finding of malice a new trial was ordered as to damages only. Per Murnaghan, J.: The plaintiff, by stating in writing that he would appear before the Committee, impliedly assented to the application of the Rules in the case so far as it affected him. When parties submitted to such an adjudication it seemed clear that the tribunal which made the adjudication and the Turf Club had each respectively a social duty or a social interest in the result of any such adjudication. Even though the onus was on the defendants to establish that the occasion was a privileged one, the defendants could rely upon admissions and statements of fact made by the plaintiff as well as by direct evidence given on behalf of the defendants The learned president was correct in ruling that the occasion was a privileged one. Per O'Byrne, J.: The question of privilege turned upon the question as to whether the defendants, before making their report, found...

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5 cases
  • Hynes-O'Sullivan v O'Driscoll
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 21 July 1988
    ...a probability of malice on the part of the defendant - Held that there should be a new trial of the plaintiff's action: ~Reilly v. Gill~ 85 I.L.T.R. 165 and ~Kirkwood Hackett v. Tierney~ [1952] I.R. 185 considered - ~Semble~: A defence of qualified privilege to an action based on the alle......
  • Bird v Iconic Newspapers Ltd
    • Ireland
    • Court of Appeal (Ireland)
    • 20 March 2024
    ...believed that it had. However, such a version of the law would run counter to two Supreme Court decisions: Reilly v Gill & Ors. [1946] 85 ILTR 165 and Kirkwood Hackett v Tierney [1952] IR 185. While the point does not seem to have been specifically argued in those cases, it is clear from th......
  • Dawson v Irish Brokers Association
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 27 February 1997
    ...ACT 1989 S45 INSURANCE ACT 1989 S47 INSURANCE ACT 1989 S48 INSURANCE ACT 1989 S56 INSURANCE ACT 1989 S44(1) REILLY V GILL & ORS 1946 85 ILTR 165 GREEN V BLAKE & ORS 1948 IR 242 COMPANIES ACT 1963 S214(b) COMPANIES ACT 1963 S214(c) IRISH BROKERS ASSOCIATION ART 16 IRISH BROKERS ASSOCIATION A......
  • Kirkwood Hackett v Tierney
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 1 January 1954
    ...general, interest in hearing the words. Capital and Counties Bank v. HentyELR, 7 App. Cas. 741, considered. Reilly v. Gill and Others,DLTR85 ILTR. 165, referred to. (S.C.) Kirkwood Hacket and Tierney Accusation against university student of obtaining paying order by false pretences - Accusa......
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