Superwood Holdings v Sun Alliance, Kilcoyne v Minister for Defence, IBRC v Quinn


Fennelly J, writing for the Court (here), dismissed an application to re-enter an appeal, on new evidence, which the Court had dismissed in March 2004. He held that although Article 34 of the Constitution states that “The decision of the Supreme Court shall in all cases be final and conclusive”, that is not to say that the Court’s decisions can never be set aside. However, that could only be done in special and unusual circumstances, such as where a decision had been procured by fraud.


Laffoy J, writing for the Court (here), dismissed an appeal against a High Court decision to dismiss Kilcoyne’s action against the Minister for Defence for inordinate delay. Kilcoyne, who is living in Australia, had instructed two firms of solicitors in a claim against the Minister. He commenced proceedings almost 10 years before the motion to dismiss came before the High Court, but neither firms represented him at the hearing. The Court found that the delay was inordinate, inexcusable and the balance of justice lay with dismissal.

IBRC v Quin

Clarke J, writing for the Court (here), granted an application by Receivers for Quinn to have an order of the High Court amended, where there was an error on the face of the Order but there was no dispute as to the nature of the order granted. The Court held that, as all courts in the State are courts of record, an order must accurately reflect the decision of the court. Where there is a mistake on the face of an order but no ambiguity as to the decision of the court, the courts have authority to amend. However, if there is any ambiguity as to the nature of the order granted, the trial must be reheard.

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  1. 2014 Review: one in three appeals were successful | scoirl

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