Sinclair v Gogarty

JurisdictionIreland
CourtSupreme Court (Irish Free State)
Judgment Date18 June 1937
Date18 June 1937
Sinclair v. Gogarty
H. M. SINCLAIR
Plaintiff
and
DOCTOR OLIVER ST. J. GOGARTY and RICH AND COWAN, LTD.
Defendants.

Supreme Court.

Defamation - Libel - Interlocutory injunction to restrain further publication of libel pending trial of action - Words complained of clearly defamatory - Evidence that the words referred to the plaintiff - Principle to be applied in granting or refusing an interlocutory injunction to restrain publication of libel.

The Supreme Court applied the principle stated by Lord Esher M.R. in Coulson v. Coulson, 3 T.L.R. 846, that the jurisdiction of the Court to grant an interlocutory injunction to restrain the publication of a libel pending the hearing of the action should only be exercised in the clearest cases, where a jury would find that the matter complained of was libellous, and where, if the jury did not so find, the Court would set aside the verdict as unreasonable.

And the Supreme Court accordingly held, affirming Hanna J., that an interlocutory injunction should be granted to restrain the further publication of a book, which contained passages which the plaintiff alleged were libellous, and which he alleged related to him, pending the hearing of his action for damages for the libel and for an injunction, the Court being of opinion that the matter complained of was clearly defamatory and that no reasonable jury could find otherwise, and that the matter clearly referred to the plaintiff.

Motion on Notice.

On the 11th May, 1937, the plaintiff, Henry Morris Sinclair, issued a plenary originating summons claiming damages for libel and an injunction restraining the defendants or either of them, their servants or agents from publishing the book "As I Was Going Down Sackville Street" which contained the alleged libel.

On the 13th May, 1937, the plaintiff applied for, and obtained, an order giving him leave to serve a concurrent summons out of the jurisdiction upon the defendants, Messrs. Rich and Cowan, Ltd., and also an order giving him leave to serve such notice of motion for the first day of the next term, for the purpose of obtaining an interlocutory injunction, as he might be advised.

Service of the summons was accepted on behalf of the defendant, Dr. Gogarty, by his solicitors on the 19th May, 1936, but the other defendants, Messrs. Rich and Cowan, Ltd., were not served in accordance with the order of the Court and did not enter an appearance or appear upon the hearing of this motion.

On the 22nd May, 1937, notice of motion was served upon Dr. Gogarty for an interlocutory injunction to restrain the further publication of the book pending the trial of the action.

The affidavits filed in support of the motion were those of the plaintiff and of Mr. Samuel Beckett.

In his affidavit the plaintiff referred to, and exhibited a copy of the book "As I Was Going Down Sackville Street" and stated that the defendant, Dr. Gogarty, was the author and Messrs. Rich and Cowan, Ltd., were the publishers.

He averred that the book contained an indecent and foul libel upon himself, his deceased brother and also his deceased grandfather, and he set out the paragraphs of which he complained. (It is unnecessary for the purposes of this report to set out the alleged libel verbatim.)

He further stated that the words complained of undoubtedly referred to his grandfather, his brother, and himself, and that they had been so identified.

The affidavit of Mr. Samuel Beckett, in so far as it is material, was as follows:—

"1. I say that I personally for many years have known Henry Morris Sinclair and the late Mr. William Abraham Sinclair, recently deceased. I was aware that their grandfather, Mr. Morris Harris, deceased, carried on the business of Art Dealer and Jeweller at Nassau Street, Dublin, and that on his...

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12 cases
  • Foley v Sunday Newspapers Ltd
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 28 January 2005
    ...40 - European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, article 10 - Bonnard v Perryman [1891] 2 Ch. 269; Sinclair v Gogarty [1937] I.R. 377, Fraser v Evans [1969] 1 Q.B. 349 and Herbage Pressdram Ltd. [1984] 2 All E.R. 769and SP.U.C. v Grogan (No. 1) [1989] I.R. 765 followed - ......
  • Garrahy v Bord na gCon
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 14 February 2002
    ...OIL V MIN FOR INDUSTRY (NO 2) 1983 IR 88 AMERICAN CYANAMID V ETHICON LTD 1975 AC 396 COULSON V COULSON 1887 3 TLR 846 SINCLAIR V GOGARTY 1937 IR 377 BONNARD V PERRYMAN 1891 2 CH 269 SHEPHERD HOMES LTD V SANDHAM 1971 CH 340 REDLAND BRICKS LTD V MORRIS 1970 AC 652 FENNELLY V ASSICURAZION......
  • Philpott v Irish Examiner Ltd
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 8 February 2016
    ...a s.33-type order involves a jurisdiction of a delicate nature and should only be exercised in the clearest cases ( Sinclair v. Gogarty [1937] I.R. 377). Obviously the decision in Sinclair long preceded the Act of 2009. However, a constant societal and legal standard, in the near-80 years ......
  • Gilroy v O'Leary
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 1 February 2019
    ...for clarity as to the outcome of the action, it is useful to recall what was said by the Supreme Court in Sinclair v. Gogarty [1937] I.R. 377. O'Sullivan C.J., citing Coulson v. Coulson 3 T.L.R. 846 and Bonnard v. Perryman [1891] 2 Ch. 269 said at p.384 of the report:- ‘I realise that in......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • The Relevane of Constitutional Rights to the Granting of an Interlocutory Injunction
    • Ireland
    • Hibernian Law Journal Nbr. 12-2013, January 2013
    • 1 January 2013
    ..., p.284 63 Coulson and Sons v Coulson & Co [1887] 3 TLR 846 64 This principle was accepted by the Supreme Court in Sinclair v Gogarty [1937] IR 377, p.384 65 The defence of justif‌ication is now referred to as the “defence of truth” under the Defamation Act 2009. S.16(1) of the Act states t......

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