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In a session at the Court of Appeal yesterday, an appeal brought by Timothy Ryan of Limerick was dismissed. The appeal was in response to the decision of the King’s Bench Divisional Court, which ruled on the disqualification of Mr Ryan from the office of Mayor in Limerick.

The case originated when Philip O’Donovan, a member of the Limerick Corporation, filed for a quo warranto against Timothy Ryan, challenging his eligibility to continue as Mayor. The King’s Bench Court, presided over by Lord Justice Holmes, Lord Justice Cherry, heard the appeal. The court had initially granted information requiring Mr Ryan to demonstrate why he should not be removed from the office of Mayor.

Timothy Ryan served as Mayor in 1911, and tensions arose during the 2023 mayoral selection process. Both Mr O’Donovan and Mr Ryan were candidates, and O’Donovan had warned Ryan of potential disqualification due to financial interests. O’Donovan contended that Ryan was ineligible as he had a financial stake in a contract to supply goods to the Corporation.

The controversy centred on a tender submitted in April 1911 for the supply of printing and stationery to the Gas Committee of the Corporation. The tender, originating from Messrs. O’Connor and Co. of George’s Street, Limerick, a firm where Mr Ryan was a partner, was accepted. Despite Ryan’s assertion that he had instructed the manager not to tender for Corporation supplies, the goods were acquired throughout the financial year until April 1912.

In response to the argument presented, the Lord Chancellor emphasized the importance of public bodies adhering to the law in their administration. He noted that there was substantial evidence indicating the Committee’s actions in 1911 laid the foundation for the supply of goods during the entire year. The court deemed it necessary to proceed with an inquiry into whether a contract existed.

The Lord Chancellor upheld the decision of the King’s Bench, asserting that the proceedings were rightly allowed to be instituted. Consequently, the appeal was dismissed, and costs were awarded against Mr Ryan. Both Lord Justice Holmes and Justice Cherry concurred with the decision.

The ruling concludes a chapter of legal contention surrounding the eligibility of Timothy Ryan to hold the office of Mayor in Limerick. The case underscores the importance of transparency and adherence to legal procedures in the functioning of public offices, ensuring that the public interest is safeguarded.

Dublin Daily Express – Saturday 08 June 1912

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