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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 4 May 1995

Vol. 452 No. 4

Written Answers. - Statute of Limitations Amendment.

Seamus Brennan


43 Mr. S. Brennan asked the Minister for Equality and Law Reform if he intends to introduce amending legislation regarding the Statute of Limitations; his views on whether an amendment would be particularly necessary in the case of conveyancing negligence which is unlikely to come to light until such time as a person goes to sell property; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8164/95]

Under section 11 of the Statute of Limitations 1957 the time limit generally for initiating proceedings based on tort or breach of contract is six years and time begins to run from the date the cause of action accrues. The Act allows for extension of the period of limitation in the case of disability, acknowledgement, part payment, fraud and mistake. In some cases the time period is different. In cases of personal injuries, for example, the period is three years and under the Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act, 1991 time for those cases runs from the date of accrual of the cause of action or from the date of knowledge, if later. The policy of that Amendment Act, which took into account a report of the Law Reform Commission on the matter, did not extend to any other cases.

The provisions of section 11 of the 1957 Act as they apply generally to cases of tort and breach of contract were upheld by the Supreme Court in the 1994 case of Tuohy v Courtney. However, I am keeping this area of the law under review and the details of any amending legislation that may be decided upon will be announced in the normal way.