Brendan Kirwan SC

Member of the Inner Bar

  • Junior Counsel: 2003
  • Senior Counsel: 2019

LL.B. (Dub.), M.Juris (Oxon), LL.M. (EUI), Ph.D. (Dub.), Accredited Mediator

Areas of Practice:
  • Commercial/Chancery
  • General Common Law
  • General Practice
Brendan Kirwan SC

Bar of Northern Ireland
Other Languages:
French (Working)
Italian (Working)
Direct Professional Access:

Brendan Kirwan is a Senior Counsel whose practice covers a range of civil law matters, with a particular emphasis on employment law and defamation law. However, he has also acted, and acts, in a wide range of cases including company law related matters and claims in contract and in tort. His practice involves both court work and advisory and opinion work.

Brendan was called to the Bar in 2003 and to the Inner Bar in 2019. He was admitted to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 2019.

Brendan completed the Bar of Ireland’s Advanced Advocacy Course in September 2019.

Brendan qualified and was accredited as a mediator in 2010 (Mediation Forum Ireland) and regularly represents clients in mediations.

Brendan was awarded his undergraduate degree by the University of Dublin (Trinity College) in 1994. He completed a taught masters at the University of Oxford (St. Edmund Hall) in 1995 and a masters by research at the European University Institute, Florence (1996). He obtained the degree of Barrister at Law from the King’s Inns (2003). He was awarded his PhD by the University of Dublin in 2013 for his research on employment injunctions.

Before joining the Bar, Brendan worked for a number of years as a management consultant / business analyst in London, Zürich and Dublin, within the financial sector. While studying at the King’s Inns, Brendan worked in the Legal Unit of the Central Bank of Ireland, on foot of which he was nominated as Ireland’s representative to the European System of Central Banks Dispute Resolution Mechanism between 2009 and 2016.

Brendan did pre-publication reading for the Sunday Tribune newspaper from 2007 until 2011.

From 2018-2020, Brendan chaired an independent panel appointed to determine appeals in relation to tracker mortgages provided by a financial institution.

In 2024 he chaired an independent disputes resolution panel for a national sports body.

A sample of cases in which Brendan has acted and which have given rise to written judgments includes:


Employment and Labour Law

Horan v CWS Boco [2012] IEHC 514

Elmes v Vedanta Lisheen Mining Ltd. [2014] IEHC 73

Harvey v The Courts Service [2015] IEHC 680

Balans v Tesco Ireland [2020] IEHC 55

Crowe v Debenhams (Ireland) Retail Ltd.[2023] E.L.R. 307

CareyGlass UC v Unite the Union [2023] IEHC 705


Defamation Law

Hickey v Sunday Newspapers Ltd. [2011] 1 I.R. 228; [2011] 1 I.L.R.M. 333

Lowry v Smyth [2012] 1 I.R. 400

X v Sunday Newspapers [2014] 2 I.R. 800

McClean v Sunday Newspapers Ltd. [2014] IEHC 304

Gilchrist v Sunday Newspapers Ltd (in camera) [2017] 2 I.R. 284; [2017] 2 I.L.R.M. 189

Gilchrist v Sunday Newspapers Ltd (Jameel) [2017] 2 I.R. 701

Gilchrist v Sunday Newspapers Ltd (meanings) [2017] 2 I.R. 714

Bird v Iconic Newspapers Ltd [2024] IECA 62

Bird v Iconic Newspapers Ltd [2024] IESCDET 85


Company Law

Re Lycatel [2009] 3 I.R. 736

Re Sharmane [2009] 4 I.R. 285

Re Stainless Pipeline Services (Irl) Ltd. [2010] 3 I.R. 82

Re Jer Ryan Electrical Contractors Ltd.v Companies Acts [2011] IEHC 424



Turvey Business Park Ltd. v Bentley [2011] IEHC 535 (summary judgment)

Turvey Business Park Ltd. v Bentley [2011] IEHC 539

Madden v Barclays Bank Ireland plc [2012] IEHC 411 (tort)

Goodbody Stockbrokers v Allied Irish Banks [2013] IEHC 155 (interpleader; charge)

McAdam v ABP Food Group [2014] IEHC 536 (security for costs)

Mooney v Ireland [2014] 3 I.R. 18 (in camera application)

Celtic Salmon Atlantic (Killary) Ltd.  v Aller Aqua (Ireland) Ltd. [2014] 3 I.R. 214 (res judicata; Brussels Regulation)

ACCLM v Dolan [2016] IEHC 69 (summary judgment)

Mooney v Commissioner of An Garda Síochána  [2016] IEHC 252 (specific performance, contract, tort)

Mooney v Commissioner of An Garda Síochána  [2017] IECA 277 (specific performance, contract, tort)

Allied Irish Banks v Flood [2018] IEHC 272 (summary judgment)

Connors v Kinsella [2021] IEHC 696 (administration)

Connors v Kinsella [2022] IECA 167 (administration, costs orders)

Ní Chionnaith v Fahy [2022] IEHC 216 (strike out)

Hosford v Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection [2024] IEHC 154 (strike out)

Duddy Hospitality Ireland Holdings Ltd. v Propiteer Ireland Holdings Ltd. [2024] IEHC 190 (specific performance, injunction)

Brendan is the author of Injunctions: Law and Practice, published by Round Hall and now in its third edition (2020). He is also the joint author (with Tom Mallon BL) of the chapter on Injunctions in Employment Law (2nd ed.), Murphy & Regan (eds), published by Bloomsbury in 2017.

Brendan has had various articles published in legal journals, including the Commercial Law Practitioner; the Dublin University Law Journal; the Irish Law Times; the Journal of Civil Practice and Procedure; and the Bar Review. The articles cover a range of topics including injunctions, defamation, the rights and duties of company directors and the liabilities of partnerships. A sample of these articles is set out below.

“Defamation, Isolation and the Ordinary Reader: McGarth v Independent Newspapers” (2004) 9 (4) B.R. 130

“Locus Standi And Representative Bodies” (2005) 23 I.L.T. 198

“Restriction of Company Directors” (2005) 1(1) J.C.P.P. 8

“Section 150 Restriction Applications and the Conduct of Directors” (2005) 12 (10)  C.L.P. 271

“Disobedience of an Injunction Order and the Nature of the Punishment” (2007) 25 I.L.T. 52

“Remedies for Breach of an Injunction” (2007) 3(1) J.C.P.P. 11

“Enforcing an Undertaking as to Damages” (2008) 26 I.L.T. 183

“Campus Oil Turns Twenty Five: Is there much to Celebrate?” (2008) 30(1) D.U.L.J. 325

“Substituting a Petitioner in a Winding Up Petition” (2009) 16(10) C.L.P. 219

“Aspects of Examinership” (2009) 16(11) C.L.P. 252

“Reconsidering the Traditional Language of Campus Oil as Applied to Employment

Injunctions” (2011) 2 E.L.R.I. 3

“Replacing a Creditors’ Liquidator: No Sugar Coating the Bitter Pill” (2011) 18(3) C.L.P. 51

“Footballers, Lawyers and the Superinjunction” (2011) 29 I.L.T. 223

“Employment Injunctions and the Impact of Increased Jurisdictional Thresholds” (2014) 11 IELJ. No. 1

“Wild Card or Trump Card? The Effects of a Consideration of Employment as a Property Right (2017) 11(1) I.E.L.J. 4

“No jab, no job? – Mandatory Vaccinations for Employees” (with Katherine McVeigh BL and Oisín Quinn SC) (2021) 18(1) I.E.L.J. 4

“Remote Working Bill: Eight Issues for Debate” (with Katherine McVeigh BL) for Viewpoints, the Bar of Ireland’s blog (February 2022)

Brendan lectured in company law at the Dublin Institute of Technology from 2003-2006, on corporate law in the National College of Ireland from 2004-2006 and on corporate governance in the National College of Ireland from 2004-2008.

He started lecturing on the King’s Inns Advanced Diploma in Applied Employment Law in 2013, and continues to do so, on the topic of wrongful dismissal and injunctions.

Brendan has also delivered papers on injunctions to solicitors’ firms and private training courses.

A sample of Brendan’s speeches, lectures and papers includes:


Employment Law

“The Employment Injunction – Alive and Kicking” Paper to the Employment Bar Association (March 2013)

“Impure Deeds: Investigations and Injunctions” Paper to the Employment Bar Association (May 2016)

“Tiers and Tears: An Update on Unfair Dismissal Law” Paper to the Employment Bar Association’s Annual Conference (October 2016)

“Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps …Trust and Confidence in the Context of Dismissal” Paper to the Employment Bar Association (January 2022)

“Are Individual Athletes Workers?” Paper to the Sports Law Bar Association (October 2022)

“An Age Old Problem: Mandatory Retirement” Paper to Dublin Solicitors Bar Association (March 2023)

Together with Katherine McVeigh BL and Oisín Quinn SC, Brendan created and presented a series of podcasts on topical employment law issues during lockdown in 2020 / 2021. He also contributed to a podcast produced in June 2021 by the Employment Law Association of Ireland, speaking on the topic of the awarding of costs in injunction applications.


Defamation Law

“Remedies Under the Defamation Act 2009” Paper delivered to conference in Trinity College (2009)



“The Dawn of the Modern Enlightenment” Paper to Dublin Solicitors Bar Association (March 2021)

“Interlocutory Injunctions: Costs” Paper delivered as part of Cork Employment Law Webinar Series (2021)

“Ex Parte Applications” Paper to Bar of Ireland as part of a webinar on Advocacy in Injunctions (February 2021)

“Mareva Injunctions and Other Reliefs” Paper to the Commercial Law Association of Ireland (October 2022)



Participant in a panel discussion at a conference on the Senior Executive Accountability Regime in the Central Bank (Amendment) Bill 2019, (October 2019)

Participant in a panel discussion on Retirement Ages and Mallon v The Minister for Justice at the Employment Bar Association’s Cork Conference (June 2024)

Brendan was co-opted onto the Bar Council in December 2021 and elected to the Council for a two year term from 2022-2024. Brendan chaired the Education and Training Committee of the Bar Council for the legal year 2022-2023 and was ex officio a member of the Denham Fellowship Board. He was a member of the Education and Training Committee for 2023-2024.

Brendan was elected as a member of the Executive Committee of the Employment Bar Association in July 2020 and has been re-elected to the Executive Committee each year since then. He was elected Chair of the Employment Bar Association in July 2023 and was returned as Chair in July 2024. He is ex officio a member of the Bar Review editorial board.

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086-819 4865
Law Library Four Courts Dublin 7

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