Roe v The Blood Transfusion Service Board

JudgeMiss Justice Laffoy
Judgment Date14 February 1996
Neutral Citation1996 WJSC-HC 2291
Docket Number[1995 No. 4863P],No 4863p/1995
CourtHigh Court
Date14 February 1996





1996 WJSC-HC 2291

No 4863p/1995



Judgment of Miss Justice Laffoydelivered on 14th February, 1996.


In these proceedings, the Plaintiff claims damages for disability, personal injuries, loss, damage and expense which she alleges she sustained and incurred by reason of the wrongdoing of the Defendants whom she alleges, in broad terms, were responsible for her being treated with infected Anti-D Immunoglobulin in consequence of which she has contracted the Hepatitis C virus.


In her Statement of Claim delivered 28th July, 1995 the Plaintiff pleaded that, for the purposes of these proceedings, she has adopted the name "Bridget M. Roe" and that her address, for the purposes for these proceedings, is care of her Solicitors, Ivor Fitzpatrick & Co., Pepper Cannister House, Mount Street Crescent, Dublin 2. In its Defence, the first named Defendant has pleaded that it does not admit that these proceedings are properly constituted. In their Defence, the second, fourth and fifth named Defendants have pleaded that the Plaintiff is not entitledfor the purposes of these proceedings to adopt the name Bridget M. Roe, or any assumed name, and in consequence these proceedings are not properly constituted. The third named Defendant does not object to the Plaintiff prosecuting these proceedings under an assumed name.


By Motion on notice to the Defendants the Plaintiff has sought an Order permitting the Plaintiff to maintain these proceedings using the alias "Bridget M. Roe". The application is grounded on the Affidavit of the Plaintiff's Solicitor, Susan R. Stapleton, in which Ms. Stapleton avers that the Plaintiff wishes to maintain the action using an alias because she desires to protect her privacy, that the protection of her privacy in the proceedings is not merely a matter of preventing embarrassment to her, but is a matter of preventing real injustice to her. Ms. Stapleton further avers that from her experience of dealing with the Plaintiff's case and a large number of other similar cases, she is aware that persons who are known in the community to carry the Hepatitis C virus are subject to invidious discrimination. Many women, she avers, have found that when neighbours and friends become aware of their infection, both they and their children can become sociallyostracised.


The true identity of the Plaintiff and her own home address have been disclosed to all the Defendants in the proceedings, as has a considerable body of personal information relating to the Plaintiff and her family. In Ms. Stapleton's Affidavit there are exhibited copies of two letters dated 27th September, 1995 to the Solicitors for the Defendants, other than the third named Defendant, which disclose the Plaintiff's name and her address. Accordingly,the Plaintiff's true identity and her address are on the record of this Court. Counsel for the Plaintiff acknowledges that the trial of the Plaintiff's action will have to be held in public and that the Plaintiff will have to give oral testimony in open Court. All she seeks is to be allowed to prosecute this litigation anonymously using an alias.



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18 cases
  • B. Doe and R Doe v Revenue Commissioners
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 18 January 2008
    ...1998 1 IR 359 1997 2 ILRM 541 INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS (IRELAND) LTD & ORS v ANDERSON 2006 3 IR 341 ROE v BLOOD TRANSFUSION SERVICE BOARD 1996 3 IR 67 TAXES ACTS 1927 - 1997 OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT 1963 CONSTITUTION Administration of justice in public Confidentiality in tax affairs - Right to......
  • Morris v Dublin City Coroner
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 17 July 2000
    ...[1976] C.R. App. Rep. 152. R. v. South London Coroner, ex parte Thomson (1982) 126 S.J. 625. Roe v. The Blood Transfusion Service Board [1996] 3 I.R. 67. Judicial review. The facts are summarised in the headnote and are set out in full in the judgment of Kinlen J.,infra. An application for ......
  • Independent Newspapers (Ireland) Ltd v Anderson
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 15 February 2006
    ...v. Ingersoll Irish Publications Limited [1994] I.R. 179. Other civil and judicial review proceedings were the subject of Roe v. BTSB [1996] 3 I.R. 67, Salinas de Gortari v. Smithwick [1999] 4 I.R. 223 and Re Ansbacher (Caymen) Limited [2002] 2 I.R. 517. It is manifestly clear that the st......
  • Pepper Finance Corporation (Ireland) DAC v Persons Unknown
    • Ireland
    • Court of Appeal (Ireland)
    • 28 July 2022 be administered in public. As was observed by Laffoy J., in a slightly different context, in Roe v. Blood Transfusion Service Board [1996] 3 I.R. 67: “In a situation where the true identity of a plaintiff in a civil action is known to the parties to the action and to the court, but is co......
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3 books & journal articles
  • Should Ireland prohibit the contemporaneous media reporting of juvenile trials?
    • Ireland
    • Irish Judicial Studies Journal No. 1-21, January 2021
    • 1 January 2021
    ...See Re R Ltd [1989] I.R. 126; [1989] I.L.R.M. 757; Maguire v Drury [1994] 2 I.R. 8; [1995] 1 I.L.R.M. 108; Roe v Blood Transfusion Board [1996] 3 I.R. 67; [1996] 1 I.L.R.M. 555; Re Countyglen [1995] 1 I.R. 220; [1995] 1 I.L.R.M. 213; The Irish Times v Murphy [1998] 1 I.R. 359; [1998] 2 I.L.......
  • Data Protection and the exercise of the Judicial Function in Ireland
    • Ireland
    • Irish Judicial Studies Journal No. 2-20, July 2020
    • 1 July 2020
    ...justice principle has been quite clearly not in favour of privacy: see the dicta of Laffoy J in Roe v The Blood Transfusion Service Board [1996] 3 IR 67. 24 Judicial Council Act 2019. 25 However, the implementation of s 158(3) by the Rules considers the restriction of data subject rights on......
  • If 'Mum' is the Word, is it the Law? Irish Privacy Law: A Comparative Perspective
    • Ireland
    • Trinity College Law Review No. XX-2017, January 2017
    • 1 January 2017
    ...408 (16 July 2016). 186 EMI Records (Ireland) Limited v UPC [2012] IEHC 264 (27 June 2012). 187 Roe v Blood Transfusion Services Board [1996] 3 IR 67. 188 Murray v Newsgroup Newspapers Ltd [2011] 2 IR 156. 189 Hickey v Sunday Newspapers [2010] IEHC 249. 190 Brandon Book Publishers (n 54) 60......

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