Statute of Limitations 1957

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

11

11. (1) The following actions shall not be brought after the expiration of six years from the date on which the cause of action accrued—

( a) actions founded on simple contract;

( b) actions founded on quasi-contract;

( c) actions to enforce a recognizance;

( d) actions to enforce an award, where the arbitration agreement is not under seal or where the arbitration is under any Act other than the Arbitration Act, 1954 (No. 26 of 1954);

( e) actions to recover any sum recoverable by virtue of any enactment, other than—

(i) a penalty or forfeiture or sum by way of penalty or forfeiture, or

(ii) a debt created by subsection (2) of section 14 or section 125 of the Companies (Consolidation) Act, 1908, or

(iii) F5 [ ]

F6 [ ( f ) actions under the European Union (Protection of Trade Secrets) Regulations 2018 ( S.I. No. 188 of 2018 ), other than Regulation 18 of those Regulations. ]

(2) ( a) F7 [ Subject to paragraph ( c ) of this subsection and to section 3 (1) of the Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act, 1991, an action founded on tort shall not be brought after the expiration of six years from the date on which the cause of action accrued. ]

( b) F8 [ ]

F9 [ ( c ) A defamation action within the meaning of the Defamation Act 2009 shall not be brought after the expiration of

(i) one year, or

(ii) such longer period as the court may direct not exceeding 2 years,

from the date on which the cause of action accrued. ]

F10 [ ( d ) An action for damages under section 13 (7) of the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act, 1980, shall not be brought after the expiration of two years from the date on which the cause of action accrued. ]

(3) F11 [ ]

F12 [ (3A) The court shall not give a direction under subsection (2)( c )(ii) (inserted by section 38 (1) (a) of the Defamation Act 2009) unless it is satisfied that

( a ) the interests of justice require the giving of the direction,

( b ) the prejudice that the plaintiff would suffer if the direction were not given would significantly outweigh the prejudice that the defendant would suffer if the direction were given,

and the court shall, in deciding whether to give such a direction, have regard to the reason for the failure to bring the action within the period specified in subparagraph (i) of the said subsection (2)( c ) and the extent to which any evidence relevant to the matter is by virtue of the delay no longer capable of being adduced.

(3B) For the purposes of bringing a defamation action within the meaning of the Defamation Act 2009, the date of accrual of the cause of action shall be the date upon which the defamatory statement is first published and, where the statement is published through the medium of the internet, the date on which it is first capable of being viewed or listened to through that medium. ]

(4) An action for an account shall not be brought in respect of any matter which arose more than six years before the commencement of the action.

(5) The following actions shall not be brought after the expiration of twelve years from the date on which the cause of action accrued:—

( a) an action upon an instrument under seal, other than an action upon an instrument under seal to recover—

(i) arrears of a rentcharge or of a conventional rent, or

(ii) any principal sum of money secured by a mortgage or other charge, or

(iii) arrears of interest in respect of any sum of money secured by a mortgage or other charge, or

(iv) arrears of an annuity charged on personal property;

( b) an action to enforce an award, where the arbitration agreement is under seal;

( c) an action to recover a debt created by subsection (2) of section 14 or section 125 of the Companies (Consolidation) Act, 1908.

(6) ( a) An action shall not be brought upon a judgment after the expiration of twelve years from the date on which the judgment became enforceable.

( b) No arrears of interest in respect of any judgment debt shall be recovered after the expiration of six years from the date on which the interest became due.

(7) ( a) In this subsection “ penalty” does not include a fine to which any person is liable on conviction of a criminal offence.

( b) An action to recover any penalty or forfeiture, or sum by way of penalty or forfeiture, recoverable by virtue of any enactment shall not be brought after the expiration of two years from the date on which the cause of action accrued.

(8) ( a) Subsection (1) of this section shall apply to an action to recover seamen’s wages.

( b) Save as provided by paragraph ( a) of this subsection, this section shall not apply to any cause of action within the Admiralty jurisdiction of the High Court which is enforceable in rem.

(9) ( a) This section shall not apply to any claim for specific performance of a contract or for an injunction or for other equitable relief.

( b) Paragraph ( a) of this subsection shall not be construed as preventing a Court from applying by analogy any provision of this section in like manner as the corresponding enactment repealed by this Act has heretofore been applied.

Amendments:

F5

Repealed (17.08.1961) by Civil Liability Act 1961 (41/1961), s. 5 and sch. pt. 5, commenced on enactment.

F6

Inserted (9.06.2018) by European Union (Protection of Trade Secrets) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 188 of 2018), reg. 9(1), in effect as per reg. 1(2). Note reg. 9(2): (2) For the purposes of paragraph (f) of section 11(1) of the Statute of Limitations 1957 (No. 6 of 1957), the reference to “actions” shall be construed as any application to an appropriate court under these Regulations (other than proceedings under Regulation 18).

F7

Substituted (10.07.1991) by Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act 1991 (18/1991), s. 3, commenced on enactment.

F8

Repealed (10.07.1991) by Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act 1991 (18/1991), s. 3, commenced on enactment.

F9

Substituted (1.01.2010) by Defamation Act 2009 (31/2009), s. 38(1)(a), S.I. No. 517 of 2009.

F10

Inserted (31.12.1980) by Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980 (16/1980), s. 13(8)(I), commenced as per s. 1(2).

F11

Repealed (17.08.1961) by Civil Liability Act 1961 (41/1961), s. 5 and sch. pt. 5, commenced on enactment.

F12

Inserted (1.01.2010) by Defamation Act 2009 (31/2009), s. 38(1)(b), S.I. No. 517 of 2009.

Modifications (not altering text):

C19

Application of subs. (7) restricted (12.2.2005) by Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act 2005 (1/2005), s. 10, commenced on enactment.

Non-application to Principal Act of section 11(7) of Statute of Limitations 1957.

10.—For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that section 11(7) of the Statute of Limitations 1957 does not apply in relation to proceedings under the Principal Act.

C20

Application of subs. (2)(d) restricted (10.07.1991) by Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act 1991 (18/1991), s. 3, commenced on enactment.

Special time limit for actions in respect of personal injuries.

3. ...

(3) Notwithstanding section 11 (2) ( d) (inserted by section 13 (8) of the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act, 1980) of the Principal Act, an action for damages under section 13 (7) of the said Act of 1980 which consist of or include damages in respect of personal injuries to any person may be brought within two years of the date of knowledge of the person injured if that date is later than the date on which the cause of action accrued.

Editorial Notes:

E2

The limitation period for personal injury claims was originally set out in subs. (2)(b). This was replaced by Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act 1991 (18/1991), s. 3, which was amended to reduce the limitation period to two years (31.03.2005) by Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 (31/2004), s. 7, S.I. No. 544 of 2004.