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The 25 most cited cases in Irish superior court judgments (Nos 11-15)

By: Mark Tottenham

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Since 2011, Decisis has published reports of over 9,000 Irish superior court judgments. These are indexed by topic, and can be found by subscribers on

In this series of articles, we highlight the 25 cases most cited in these judgments. 

This week, Nos 11-15.

No 11. Barry v. Buckley [1981] I.R. 306

The plaintiff in this action sought specific performance of an alleged contract for the sale of land, where no contract had been formally concluded. The defendant sought to have the action struck out, not only on the grounds that the pleadings did not disclose a cause of action, but also on the grounds that the action was bound to fail. The court had to consider whether evidence could be considered on affidavit in determining whether an action was frivolous or vexatious, or bound to fail. 

See the report of this case on



No 12. Ó Domhnaill v. Merrick [1984] I.R. 151

The plaintiff in this case had been in a road traffic accident in 1961, when he was three years old. An action for damages was issued in 1977. There were subsequent delays in bringing the matter to hearing. Although the action was not statute-barred, the defendant applied to have it struck out for delay. The court had to consider whether there was injustice to the defendant to allow the action to proceed, 24 years after the accident had taken place.

See the report of this case on



No 13. Glancré Teo v. An Bord Pleanála [2006] IEHC 250

An Bord Pleanála had refused permission for a waste recovery facility. The applicant sought judicial review, claiming that, under EU law, the ‘proximity principle’ did not apply to waste for recovery within national boundaries. The High Court having refused judicial review, the applicant sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. The issue considered in this judgment was whether the point of law at issue was of exceptional public importance. 

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No 14. First National Commercial Bank v. Anglin [1996] 1 I.R. 75

A guarantor sought to raise a defence to a claim of summary judgment arising from an allegation that the guarantee in question could not have been signed on the alleged date - because the signatory was out of the country. In circumstances where the loan was only to be advanced to the borrower if the guarantee was executed, the court had to consider whether this gave rise to a defence to the claim.

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No 15. Cahill v. Sutton [1980] I.R. 269 - 

This case arose from an action against a gynaecologist that was clearly statute-barred. The plaintiff sought to challenge the constitutionality of the relevant section of the Statute of Limitations, on the basis that it could adversely affect the rights of a hypothetical third party. The Supreme Court considered whether the plaintiff had locus standi to bring the challenge.

See the report of this case on



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