Why can a member not sue a club of which he is a member?

A GAA member, injured when he fell from the roof of his GAA clubhouse, has been told by the High Court that it is a “long standing legal principle” that a club cannot be sued by a member.

In this case Séamus Brady was working on the roof of the clubhouse of St Mary’s Donore, Co Meath when he fell and suffered “very serious” injuries.

The Judge in the case reminded him of the long-standing legal principle and the reason for it-that is, volunteers and members of clubs would be extremely slow to volunteer their time and work for a club if they ran the risk of being sued.

The Judge pointed out that suing a club of which you are a member would be tantamount to suing yourself.

In this case the club had not opposed Mr Brady’s legal proceedings and was not legally represented. Certain members in court accepted Mr Brady’s injuries were serious and did not dispute what Mr Brady claimed concerning the accident.

Nevertheless, Justice Siobhán Stack found against Mr Brady and held that to do so would result in a “chilling effect” on a wide range of social and leisure pursuits.


This is one of those legal principles which appear on the surface to be unfair and harsh on an individual. But are in place for the greater good and public policy grounds.

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