Statute of Limitations 1957


Number 6 of 1957


STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS 1957

REVISED

Updated to 9 June 2018


This Revised Act is an administrative consolidation of the Statute of Limitations 1957. It is prepared by the Law Reform Commission in accordance with its function under the Law Reform Commission Act 1975 (3/1975) to keep the law under review and to undertake revision and consolidation of statute law.

All Acts up to and including Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Act 2018 (9/2018), enacted 5 June 2018, and all statutory instruments up to and including European Union (Protection of Trade Secrets) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 188 of 2018), made 8 June 2018, were considered in the preparation of this Revised Act.

Disclaimer: While every care has been taken in the preparation of this Revised Act, the Law Reform Commission can assume no responsibility for and give no guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up to date nature of the information provided and does not accept any liability whatsoever arising from any errors or omissions. Please notify any errors, omissions and comments by email to

revisedacts@lawreform.ie.


Number 6 of 1957


STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS 1957

REVISED

Updated to 9 June 2018


Introduction

This Revised Act presents the text of the Act as it has been amended since enactment, and preserves the format in which it was first passed.

Related legislation

Statutes of Limitations : this Act is one of a group of Acts included in this collective citation, to be construed together as one ( Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act 2000 (13/2000), s. 1(2)). The Acts in this group are:

Statute of Limitations 1957 (6/1957)

Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act 1991 (18/1991)

Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act 2000 (13/2000)

Annotations

This Revised Act is annotated and includes textual and non-textual amendments, statutory instruments made pursuant to the Act and previous affecting provisions. A version without annotations, showing only textual amendments, is also available.

An explanation of how to read annotations is available at

www.lawreform.ie/annotations.

Material not updated in this revision

Where other legislation is amended by this Act, those amendments may have been superseded by other amendments in other legislation, or the amended legislation may have been repealed or revoked. This information is not represented in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the amended legislation if one is available.

Where legislation or a fragment of legislation is referred to in annotations, changes to this legislation or fragment may not be reflected in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the legislation referred to if one is available.

A list of legislative changes to any Act, and to statutory instruments from 1984, may be found linked from the page of the Act or statutory instrument at

www.irishstatutebook.ie.

Acts which affect or previously affected this revision

Mediation Act 2017 27/2017)

Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 (52/2012)

Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 (23/2011)

Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 (24/2010)

Arbitration Act 2010 (1/2010)

Defamation Act 2009 (31/2009)

Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 (27/2009)

Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act 2005 (1/2005)

Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 (31/2004)

Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003 (46/2003)

Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002 (13/2002)

Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act 2000 (13/2000)

Stamp Duties Consolidation Act 1999 (31/1999)

British-Irish Agreement Act 1999 (1/1999)

Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (39/1997)

Criminal Law Act 1997 (14/1997)

Domestic Violence Act 1996 (1/1996)

Liability for Defective Products Act 1991 (28/1991)

Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act 1991 (18/1991)

International Carriage of Goods by Road Act 1990 (13/1990)

Bankruptcy Act 1988 (27/1988)

Age of Majority Act 1985 (2/1985)

Malicious Injuries Act 1981 (9/1981)

Family Law (Protection of Spouses and Children) Act 1981 (21/1981)

Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980 (16/1980)

Family Law (Maintenance of Spouses and Children) Act 1976 (11/1976)

Succession Act 1965 (27/1965)

Land Act 1965 (2/1965)

Civil Liability (Amendment) Act 1964 (17/1964)

Registration of Title Act 1964 (16/1964)

Civil Liability Act 1961 (41/1961)

Administration of Estates Act 1959 (8/1959)

All Acts up to and including Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Act 2018 (9/2018), enacted 5 June 2018, were considered in the preparation of this revision.

Statutory instruments which affect or previously affected this revision

European Union (Protection of Trade Secrets) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 188 of 2018)

European Union (Actions for Damages for Infringements of Competition Law) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 43 of 2017)

European Communities (Mediation) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 209 of 2011)

European Communities (Environmental Liability) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 547 of 2008)

European Communities (European Order for Payment) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 525 of 2008)

All statutory instruments up to and including European Union (Protection of Trade Secrets) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 188 of 2018), made 8 June 2018, were considered in the preparation of this revision.


Number 6 of 1957


STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS 1957

REVISED

Updated to 9 June 2018


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Part I.

PRELIMINARY AND GENERAL.

Section

1.

Short title and commencement.

2.

General provisions as to interpretation.

3.

Application to the State.

4.

Non-application to proceedings in respect of the forfeiture of a ship.

5.

Saving for equitable jurisdiction to refuse relief for acquiescence or otherwise.

6.

Provisions as to set-off and counterclaim.

7.

Saving for other limitation enactments in respect of actions.

8.

Provisions as to actions barred and pending on the operative date.

9.

Repeals.

Part II.

PERIODS OF LIMITATION FOR DIFFERENT CLASSES OF ACTION.

10.

Part II to be subject to provisions of Part III relating to disability, acknowledgement, part payment, fraud and mistake.

Actions of contract and tort and certain other actions

11.

Limitation of actions of contract and tort and certain other actions.

11A.

Limitation of actions for damages for infringements of competition law.

12.

Limitation in case of successive conversions, and extinction of title of owner of converted goods.

Actions to recover land

13.

Limitation of actions to recover land.

14.

Accrual of right of action (present interests in land).

15.

Accrual of right of action (future interests in land).

16.

Accrual of right of action (forfeiture or breach of condition).

17.

Accrual of right of action (certain tenancies).

18.

Right of action not to accrue unless there is adverse possession.

19.

Cure of defective disentailing assurance.

20.

No right of action to be preserved by formal entry or continual claim.

21.

Possession of one co-parcener, etc., not to be possession of others.

22.

Possession of younger brother, etc., not be possession of heir.

23.

Administration to date back to death.

24.

Extinction of title to land after expiration of period limited for actions to recover land.

25.

Equitable estates in land, and land held on trust.

Actions to recover settled chattels

26.

Actions to recover settled chattels.

Actions to recover arrears of rentcharges, conventional rents, dower and annuities charged on personal property

27.

Limitation of actions to recover arrears of a rentcharge.

28.

Limitation of actions to recover arrears of a conventional rent.

29.

Warrants under section 28 of the Land Act, 1933.

30.

Limitation of actions to recover arrears of dower.

31.

Limitation of actions to recover arrears of annuity charged on personal property.

Actions in respect of mortgages and charges

32.

Limitation of actions by incumbrancers claiming sale of land.

33.

Extinction of title of mortgagee to mortgaged land after expiration of period for action claiming sale of land.

34.

Limitation of redemption actions (land).

35.

Extinction of title of mortgagor to mortgaged land after expiration of period for action to redeem land.

36.

Limitation of actions to recover principal money secured by a charge on land or personal property.

37.

Limitation of actions to recover arrears of interest on a mortgage or charge.

38.

Extinction of right of mortgagee or chargeant to mortgage debt at expiration of period for action to recover land or claiming sale of land.

39.

Extinction of right of mortgagee or chargeant to principal sum secured by mortgage or charge on personal property after expiration of period for action to recover principal sum.

40.

Limitation of actions in respect of certain personal rights in or over land, such as right of support, etc.

41.

Extinction of personal right in or over land, such as a right of support, etc., after expiration of period for action in respect of such right.

42.

Restriction on recovery under section 26 of the Agricultural Credit Act, 1947, of interest on chattel mortgages.

Actions in respect of trust property

43.

Limitation of actions against trustees.

44.

Exclusion of actions against trustees in cases of fraud or retention of trust property.

Actions in respect of the estates of deceased persons

45.

Limitation of actions to recover personal estate of deceased persons.

46.

Exclusion of actions against personal representatives in cases of fraud.

Part III.

EXTENSION OF LIMITATION PERIODS IN CASE OF DISABILITY, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, PART PAYMENT, FRAUD AND MISTAKE.

Chapter I.

Interpretation.

47.

Interpretation (Part III).

Chapter II.

Disability.

48.

Person under a disability.

48A.

Disability of certain persons for purpose of bringing certain actions arising out of acts of sexual abuse.

49.

Extension of limitation period in case of disability.

Chapter III.

Acknowledgment.

50.

Meaning of “ acknowledgment”.

51.

Fresh accrual of right of action on acknowledgment (action to recover land).

52.

Fresh accrual of right of action on acknowledgment (action by mortgagee to recover land).

53.

Fresh accrual of right of action on acknowledgment (action by incumbrancer claiming sale of land).

54.

Effect of acknowledgment on right of action to redeem mortgaged land in mortgagee’s possession.

55.

Fresh accrual of right of action on acknowledgment (action in respect of personal right in or over land, such as right of support, etc.).

56.

Fresh accrual of right of action on acknowledgment (action to recover debt).

57.

Fresh accrual of right of action on acknowledgment (action claiming personal estate of deceased person).

58.

Formal provisions as to acknowledgment.

59.

Effect of acknowledgment on persons other than the maker or recipient.

60.

Exemption of acknowledgment from stamp duty.

Chapter IV.

Part payment.

61.

Meaning of “ payment”.

62.

Fresh accrual of right of action on payment (action by mortgagee to recover land).

63.

Fresh accrual of right of action on payment (action by incumbrancer claiming sale of land).

64.

Effect of payment on right of action to redeem mortgaged land in mortgagee’s possession.

65.

Fresh accrual of right of action on payment (action to recover debt).

66.

Fresh accrual of right of action on payment (action claiming personal estate of deceased person).

67.

Formal provisions as to payment.

68.

Effect of payment on persons other than the maker or recipient.

69.

Appropriation of payment in respect of debts.

70.

Endorsement of payment by creditor not to be evidence of payment.

Chapter V.

Fraud and mistake.

71.

Postponement of limitation period in case of fraud.

72.

Postponement of limitation period in case of mistake.

Part IV.

APPLICATION OF THIS ACT AND OTHER LIMITATION ENACTMENTS TO ARBITRATIONS.

73.

Interpretation (Part IV).

74.

Commencement of arbitration.

75.

Application of Act and other limitation enactments to arbitrations.

76.

Accrual of cause of action where agreement makes award thereunder a condition precedent to commencement of action.

77.

Power of Court to extend time where it sets aside award or orders abritration to cease to have effect.

78.

Application of Part IV to arbitrations under other Acts.

79.

Saving for other enactments relating to limitation of arbitrations.

80.

Arbitrations pending on the operative date.

SCHEDULE.

ENACTMENTS REPEALED


Acts Referred to

Registration of Title Act, 1942

No. 26 of 1942

Arbitration Act, 1954

No. 26 of 1954

Rent Restrictions Act, 1946

No. 4 of 1946

Tortfeasors Act, 1951

No. 1 of 1951

Mercantile Marine Act, 1955

No. 29 of 1955

Land Act, 1927

No. 19 of 1927

Land Act, 1933

No. 38 of 1933

Agricultural Credit Act, 1947

No. 14 of 1947

Adoption Act, 1952

No. 25 of 1952


Number 6 of 1957


STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS 1957

REVISED

Updated to 9 June 2018


AN ACT TO CONSOLIDATE WITH AMENDMENTS CERTAIN ENACTMENTS RELATING TO THE LIMITATION OF ACTIONS AND ARBITRATIONS. [2 nd May, 1957.]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:—

Annotations:

Modifications (not altering text):

C1

Prospective affecting provision: rights under collectively cited Statutes of Limitations not affected in certain circumstances by Domestic Violence Act 2018 (6/2018), s. 32, not commenced as of date of revision.

Orders not to affect rights under certain enactments or estate or interest

32. (1) Where, by reason only of an interim barring order, emergency barring order or a barring order, a person is not residing at a place during any period, that person shall be deemed, for the purposes of any rights under the Statutes of Limitations, the Landlord and Tenant Acts 1967 to 2008, the Housing (Private Rented Dwellings) Acts 1982 and 1983 and the Residential Tenancies Acts 2004 to 2015, to be residing at that place during that period.

(2) Except in so far as the exercise by a respondent of a right to occupy the place to which a barring order, an interim barring order or an emergency barring order relates is suspended by virtue of the order, that order shall not affect any estate or interest in that place of that respondent or any other person.

C2

Application of collectively cited Statutes of Limitation specified in certain circumstances (1.01.2018) by Mediation Act 2017 (27/2017), s. 18, S.I. No. 591 of 2017.

Effect of mediation on limitation and prescription periods

18. (1) In reckoning a period of time for the purposes of a limitation period specified by the Statutes of Limitations, the period beginning on the day on which an agreement to mediate is signed and ending on the day which is 30 days after either—

(a) a mediation settlement is signed by the parties and the mediator, or

(b) the mediation is terminated,

whichever first occurs, shall be disregarded.

(2) The mediator in a mediation shall inform the parties in writing of the date on which the mediation ends.

C3

Application of Act restricted (1.06.2004) by Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003 (46/2003), ss. 12 and 50, S.I. No. 252 of 2004, as substituted (2.08.2011) by Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 (23/2011), s. 56(1)(c) and (d), commenced on enactment.

[Bar on bringing proceedings unless certain conditions are satisfied.

12.— ...

(5) The issuing of a notice of motion or the moving of a motion for the purposes of an application referred to in subsection (4) shall not be regarded as the commencement of proceedings in respect of the relevant claim for the purposes of any applicable limitation period in relation to such claim (including any limitation period under the Statute of Limitations 1957, section 9(2) of the Civil Liability Act 1961, the Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act 1991 and an international agreement or convention by which the State is bound). ]

...

[Reckoning of time for purpose of Statute of Limitations, etc.

50.— In reckoning any period of time for the purpose of any applicable limitation period in relation to a relevant claim (including any limitation period under the Statute of Limitations 1957, section 9(2) of the Civil Liability Act 1961, the Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act 1991 and an international agreement or convention by which the State is bound), the period beginning on the making of an application under section 11 in relation to the claim and ending 6 months from the date of issue of an authorisation under, as appropriate, section 14, 17, 32, or 36, rules under section 46(3) or section 49 shall be disregarded. ]

C4

Application of Act restricted (18.05.2011) by European Communities (Mediation) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 209 of 2011), reg. 6(1), in effect as per reg. 1(2).

Effect of mediation on limitation and prescription periods

6. (1) In reckoning any period of time for the purposes of any limitation period specified by the Statute of Limitations 1957 (No. 6 of 1957) or the Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act 1991 (No. 18 of 1991), the period beginning on the day on which the relevant dispute is referred to mediation and ending on the day which is 30 days after the mediation process is concluded shall be disregarded.

...

C5

Application of collectively cited Statutes of Limitations restricted (1.04.2009) by European Communities (Environmental Liability) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 547 of 2008), reg. 19.

Limitation of actions

19. Notwithstanding any provisions of the Statutes of Limitations, an action by the Agency under these Regulations against an operator for recovery of costs, shall not be brought after the expiration of 5 years from the date on which the preventive or remedial measures required pursuant to these Regulations have been completed or the date (if later) on which the Agency became aware of the identity of the operator as appropriate.

C6

Application of Act restricted (12.12.2008) by European Communities (European Order for Payment) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 525 of 2008), reg. 8(2), in effect as per reg. 1(2).

Application for European order for payment not to prejudice position of claimant

8. ...

(2) Without prejudice to paragraph (1), in reckoning any period of time for the purposes of any limitation period specified by the Statute of Limitations 1957 or the Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act 1991, the period beginning on the day of the receipt by the High Court of an application for a European order for payment and ending on the day which is 30 days after—

( a) in a case where the claimant has requested that the European order for payment proceedings be terminated in the event of a statement of opposition being lodged, the day on which a notice is issued by the High Court informing the claimant that the European order for payment proceedings have been terminated,

( b) in a case where the claimant has accepted the proposal of the High Court that the application for a European order for payment should proceed only as respects that part of the claim specified by the High Court, as respects the remaining part of the claim, the day on which the claimant accepts the proposal of the Court,

( c) in the case of a claim which is rejected by the Court pursuant to Article 11(1) the day on which a notice is issued by the High Court informing the claimant that the application for a European order for payment has been rejected,

shall be disregarded.

...

C7

Application of collectively cited Statutes of Limitations restricted (10.04.2002) by Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002 (13/2002), s. 13(10), commenced on enactment, as amended (4.10.2012) by Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012 (35/2012), s. 44(b)(ii), S.I. No. 387 of 2012.

Award of Board.

13.— ...

(10) Where an applicant does not accept an award within the time and in the manner provided for in this section and proceeds with any right of action that he or she may have arising out of the same, or substantially the same, acts complained of in an application, the Minister, a public body or any other person, will not in such proceedings to which it is a party rely for the purposes of the Statutes of Limitations, on the period between—

(a) the date of the application to the Board by that applicant, and

(b) the date on which the applicant—

(i) abandoned his or her application,

[(ia) has his or her application struck out under subsection (9A), ]

(ii) was adjudged not entitled to an award under this Act,

(iii) rejected an award in accordance with subsection (4)(a) or subsection (5), or

(iv) rejected a decision of the Review Committee in accordance with section 15 (7) or section 15 (8),

whichever of such dates is the later, in bar of any right of recovery under such proceedings.

C8

Act adapted and applied (28.03.1996) by Domestic Violence Act 1996 (1/1996), s. 22, commenced as per s. 25.

Saving Provisions.

22. (1)Where, by reason only of an interim barring order or a barring order, a person is not residing at a place during any period, that person shall be deemed, for the purposes of any rights under the Statutes of Limitation, 1957 and 1991, the Landlord and Tenant Acts, 1967 to 1994, and the Housing (Private Rented Dwellings) Acts, 1982 and 1983, to be residing at that place during that period.

...

C9

Application of Act subject to conditions (16.12.1991) by Liability for Defective Products Act 1991 (28/1991), s. 7, S.I. No. 316 of 1991.

Limitation of actions.

7. (1) An action for the recovery of damages under this Act shall not be brought after the expiration of three years from the date on which the cause of action accrued or the date (if later) on which the plaintiff became aware, or should reasonably have become aware, of the damage, the defect and the identity of the producer.

...

(4) The Statutes of Limitation, 1957 and 1991, shall apply to an action under this Act subject to the provisions of this section.

(5) For the purposes of subsection (4)

( a) subsection (1) of this section shall be deemed to be a provision of the Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act, 1991, of the kind referred to in section 2 (1) of that Act,

( b) injury” where it occurs in that Act except in section 2 (1) (b) thereof includes damage to property, and “ person injured” and, “ injured” shall be construed accordingly, and

( c) the reference in subsection (1) of this section to the date when the plaintiff became aware, or should reasonably have become aware, of the damage, the defect and the identity of the producer shall be construed in accordance with section 2 of that Act, but nothing in this paragraph shall prejudice the application of section 1 (3) of this Act.

C10

Act adapted and applied (24.07.1981) by Family Law (Protection of Spouses and Children) Act 1981 (21/1981) s. 16, commenced as per s. 18.

Saving provisions.

16. (1) Where, by reason only of a barring order, a person is not residing at a place during any period, he shall be deemed, for the purposes of any rights under the Landlord and Tenant Acts, 1967 to 1980, the Statute of Limitations, 1957, or the Rent Restrictions Acts, 1960 and 1967, to be residing at that place during that period.

...

C11

Act adapted and applied (7.05.1976) by Family Law (Maintenance of Spouses and Children) Act 1976 (11/1976), s. 22, commenced as per s. 2.

Barring of spouse from family home.

22. ...

(7) Where, by reason only of an order under subsection (1) of this section, a person is not residing at a place during any period, he shall be deemed, for the purposes of any rights under the Landlord and Tenant Acts, 1931 to 1971, the Statute of Limitations, 1957, or the Rent Restrictions Acts, 1960 and 1967, to be residing at the place during that period.

C12

Application of Act extended (1.01.1967) by Registration of Title Act 1964 (16/1964), ss. 49 and 72, S.I. No. 167 of 1966.

Registration of title acquired by possession.

49. (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the Statute of Limitations, 1957, shall apply to registered land as it applies to unregistered land.

...

Burdens which are without registration to affect registered land.

72. (1) Subject to subsection (2), all registered land shall be subject to such of the following burdens as for the time being affect the land, whether those burdens are or are not registered, namely—...

( p) rights acquired or in course of being acquired under the Statute of Limitations, 1957; .

...