Busy week ahead at the Court: two judgments and six hearings

Judgments

Ickendel v Bewleys Cafe

On Tuesday, the 1st of July, the Court will issue its judgment in Ickendel v Bewleys Cafe. In the High Court (here), Charleton J (recently nominated to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court bench) held that there is no upward only rent clause in Bewley’s lease, because the contract does not clearly state that. He held that the reference to the rent not reducing below that paid in the preceding period is ambiguous and, on the overall construction of the contract, refers to the original rent paid in 1987–not the rent paid between 2007 and 2012. Ickendel appealed that decision.

Also on Tuesday, the Court will issue a judgment in Ward v Governor of Midlands Prison. There is no High Court judgment available for this case, that I can find.

Hearings

Whelan v Whelan

On Monday a five judge panel will hear Whelan v Whelan. The only High Court judgment that I could find which may relate to this is W v W [2009] IEHC 542 (here). In that case Charleton J dismissed proceedings against the defendant because of inordinate and inexcusable delay during which an important witness died.

On Tuesday a five judge panel will hear Clarke v O’Gorman. I cannot find a High Court judgment for this case. And in the Hugh Kennedy Court a three judge panel will take a hearing and motion in Kelly v Ewing.

NAMA v Commissioner for Environmental Information

On Wednesday a five judge panel will take a hearing and motion in NAMA v Commissioner for Environmental Information. In the High Court (here), Mac Eochaid J held that NAMA is a public authority subject to EC (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulation 2007 and should answer journalist Gavin Sheridan’s request for information. NAMA sought a stay on the request for information pending an appeal to the Supreme Court. Mac Eochaid J refused that application (here).

Bank of Ireland v O’Donnell

Also on Wednesday, a five judge panel will hear an appeal to another decision by Charleton J in Bank of Ireland v O’Donnell (here). In earlier proceedings, the High Court awarded BOI summary judgment for €70 million against the O’Donnells, a married couple. BOI later issued proceedings in England to have that judgment registered against property assets in London that the O’Donnells had previously listed on a formal statement of assets submitted to BOI. The O’Donnells petitioned for bankruptcy in England and claim that the property that BOI want to register its judgment against is held by them in trust for their son. In these proceedings, BOI is claiming that the O’Donnells have fraudulently hived off assets and is seeking an order that the trust transferring assets to their son is inoperative. The O’Donnells claim that all their property is now vested in their Trustee in Bankruptcy and that the Bankruptcy Court of England and Wales has jurisdiction to deal with their assets and debts and to determine the ownership of the property which is subject to the trust. Charleton J dismissed the O’Donnells’ argument and determined that the Irish High Court has jurisdiction to hear the case.

A three judge panel will hear a third case on Wednesday: In the Estate of Donal Brendan O’Connell v Reen. I cannot find a High Court judgment in this case.

Thompson v Dublin Bus

On Thursday a five judge panel will hear an appeal in Thompson v Dublin Bus. In the High Court (here), deValera J awarded Thompson damages for injury against his employer, Dublin Bus, where Thompson had a pre-existing degenerative condition and there was no blameworthiness by Dublin Bus. The court awarded damages under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 1993. Thompson was driving on a route with speed ramps. The air suspension on the bus, which Dublin Bus maintained correctly, malfunctioned, causing Thompson’s injury. South Dublin County Council had a policy of not constructing ramps along bus corridors, but the ramps were built to best practice and were in place before Dublin Bus commenced operating that route. And Dublin Bus did not request that SDCC remove the ramps. The High Court followed precedent that the 1993 Regulation was introduced so that an employee who suffered an injury in work through no fault of his own should not be left without a remedy.

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