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Nominate Torts Nuisance Public And Private Notes

BCL Law Notes > Tort Law: Nominate Torts Notes

This is an extract of our Nominate Torts Nuisance Public And Private document, which we sell as part of our Tort Law: Nominate Torts Notes collection written by the top tier of University College Dublin students.

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• Very different in nature

• Contrast dramatically

Public nuisance

• creates strict liability as we're dealing with member of the public who are entitled to go about their business safely. Thus landowners must ensure that their property is safe

• Generally adjoining public highway property causing hazard

• Large number of public affected

• EG garth brooks concert


• - two parties - p and d - generally neighbouring landowners

• Usually a complaint about what defendant is doing on or with his alnd

• Physical damage to property

• Or disruptions or annoyance

Connolly v South 0f Ireland 1977
- An unreasonable interference with, disturbance of or annoyance to another person in exercise of his rights.
- If these rights belong to the person as a member of the public, the negligence (act or omission) is a nuisance.
- If the rights relate to the ownership or occupation of land or
- (easement or profit) or other right enjoyed in relation to land - the act or omission is a private nuisance - An easement is a right over land eg. Hunting or fishing right


• Obstructing or causing inconvenience or damage to the public in exercise of common rights

• Materially affecting the comfort and convenience of a class of people though not necessary to establish that everyone is affected

• It's a crime to create it

• Generally prosecuted by AG

• Unless P suffers 'special/particular damage' - more affected than everyone else

• Person injury - AG v Mayo COCO

• Property

• Loss of opportunity (PEL)

Boyd v Great Great Northern railway
Doctor lost medical fee of ten shillings due to adelay at a level crossing

caused by public nuisance

Smith v Wilson
Farmer purchased car to travel to market when
- normal route obstructed after D demolished a bridge and erected a fence.
Can a single incident amount to a public nuisance? Most are ongoing.

Castle v St Augustine Link ltd 1922
P hit by golf ball struck by D's golf club. Blinded as a result. Golf course negligent in signs. P recovered for personal injury. Southport Corp v Esso 1954
- Single serious incident would suffice to meet requirements of public nuisance
Generally extreme / unusual


- Vary from diseases, to smells, to noise to concerts.

Cunningham v McGrath Bros 1964
Ladder left on footpath lead to obstruction

Wall v Morrissey 1969
Dug trench in road

Cunningham v Whelan 1918
Large no. of animals obstructing road


• Not confined to obstruction

• Danger on road constitutes nuisance

Walsh v Morgan
- Parking sign on footpath

Stewart v Patrick Hospital
- Gaspipe protruding onto footpath

Mullan v Forrester 1921
- Allowing wall to collapse onto road Duty of land owner towards individuals using a public highway
- Falling of a tree on an occupier's land causing a hazard to public

With public nuisance liability comes strict liability

Lynch v Hetherton 1990
Important as it reviews all authorities in area. Gives modern position in Irish law
Tree collapses on vehicle while driving on country road. The occupier accepted that there was a duty on him to prevent the falling of trees. Q arose as to when does this duty arise?
Court said
- What a reasonable and prudent land owner would take to guard against danger of damage being done by a falling tree

What's a reasonable prudent land owner?
Applied two cases:

Caminer v Northern and London Investment Trust
Court said
Must be established by P as a matter of probability that the land owner should have been aware of the danger.
If P can show aproper inspection of the tree would have revealed the danger and forewarned the owner.

Lord Reid:
Test - Would a countryman without expert knowledge but

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