Shane Murphy SC

Member of the Inner Bar

  • Junior Counsel: 1987
  • Senior Counsel: 2000


Areas of Practice:
  • Administrative Law
  • Commercial/Chancery
  • Criminal
  • General Common Law
  • General Practice
  • Judicial Review
  • Tort & Personal Injury Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Inquests
  • Mental Health
  • Occupational Safety and Health
  • Protected Disclosures Law
  • Public Inquiries
  • Regulatory Law
  • Tribunals of Inquiry & Commissions of Investigation
Shane Murphy SC

Direct Professional Access:
Not provided

Shane Murphy was called to the Bar of Ireland in 1987 and became a Senior Counsel in 2000. He has been a Bencher of King’s Inns since 2015 and he served two terms on the Bar Council.

He lectured in Constitutional Law at King’s Inns as a Junior Counsel and regularly lectures on Media Law, Environmental Law, and White-Collar Crime on King’s Inns courses. He graduated from UCD in 1984 with a Law degree (BCL).  

Shane has a broad practice spanning Constitutional, Commercial, Administrative, Public, Regulatory, Health and Safety, Environmental, Planning and Criminal Law as well as Judicial Review and general Civil Litigation. He has acted in numerous investigations and statutory inquiries. He has both prosecuted and defended in criminal trials.


Delaney v PIAB, The Judicial Council, Ireland and the Attorney General, [2022] IEHC 85, Supreme Court, March 2023 (awaiting judgment) 
re. Constitutionality of personal injuries guidelines (for Plaintiff).

Dowdall & Hutch v The DPP and The Houses of the Oireachtas [2022] IESC 36 
re. Constitutional requirements of review by the Oireachtas and Government of the operation of the Special Criminal Court (for Houses of the Oireachtas).

Advised the Houses of the Oireachtas in 2020/21 in relation to Covid restrictions and whether it was constitutionally permissible to hold a virtual Parliament or virtual Committee sessions at the Houses of the Oireachtas.

Douglas v DPP & The Attorney General [2017] IEHC 248 
re. The Constitutional compatibility of an offence of outraging public decency, contrary to Common Law (for Respondents).

Mohan v Ireland [2016] IEHC 35 
re. Locus Standi and gender quotas (for Plaintiff).

Collins v Minister for Finance, Ireland & Attorney General [2013] IEHC 530, [2016] IESC 73 
re. Whether the Government exceeded powers conferred upon it by the Credit Institutions (Financial Support) Act 2008 and whether the Oireachtas had acted unconstitutionally in passing the 2008 Act in the context of the global financial crisis, by giving powers to the Minister to commit public monies without setting a financial cap (for the State).

Fleming v Ireland [2013] IEHC 2, [2013] IESC 19 
re. Constitutional challenge concerning provisions of the Criminal Law (Suicide) Act 1993 regarding assisted suicide (for the State).

Pringle v Ireland [2012] IEHC 296, [2012] IESC 47, C-370/12 
re. Whether a Referendum was required to permit the State to ratify the Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism – whether the Treaty involved an unconstitutional transfer of sovereignty – whether the Government decision to join other Member States under the terms of the ESM Treaty was a lawful Government policy in accordance with the Constitution (for the State).

Curtin v Clerk of Dáil Éireann and others and the Attorney General [2006] 2 IR 556, [2006] IESC 14 
re. Judiciary removal from office – resolution of the Oireachtas – fair procedures – privilege against self–incrimination – separation of powers – whether the Oireachtas Committee could direct the production of prima facie unlawfully seized material (for Houses of the Oireachtas).

Enright v Ireland [2003] 2 IR 321 
re. The constitutionality of s.7 of the Sex Offenders Act 2001 and registration requirements for convicted sex offenders (for Plaintiff).

Gilligan v The Criminal Assets Bureau and Ireland [1997] IEHC 106, [1998] 3 IR 185 
re. The constitutional validity of the Proceeds of Crime Act 1996 (for Respondents).

Hanafin v Minister for the Environment [1996] 2 IR 321 
re. Referendum petition, divorce referendum – whether Government acted unconstitutionally in using public monies to fund advertising to promote a particular result in the Referendum (for Plaintiff).

The Attorney General at the Relation of The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (Ireland) Ltd. v Open Door Counselling Ltd. and Dublin Well Woman Centre Ltd. [1994] 1 ILRM 256 
re. Application to discharge an order based on constitutional amendments – whether the Court had jurisdiction to discharge a previously made final order (for Plaintiff).

Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (Ireland) Ltd. v Stephen Grogan & Others CJEU [1990] No. C-159 and [1992] ILRM 461 
re. Freedom to provide services – information concerning abortion services provided in other Member States – whether medical termination of pregnancy constituted a service under EEC Treaty (for Plaintiffs).



Point Village Development Limited v Dunnes Stores 2022/23 (awaiting judgment) 
re. Alleged Contempt of Court (for Defendant).

Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Ltd & others v Sean Quinn & Others 2011-2019 High Court and Supreme Court 
re. Injunction and related applications (for IBRC and Kieran Wallace, Liquidator).

Independent News & Media plc v Director of Corporate Enforcement [2018] IEHC 488 
re. Application by the ODCE (under the Companies Act 2014) to the President of the High Court requesting the appointment of Inspectors to INM plc. (for INM)

Independent News & Media plc v Director of Corporate Enforcement [2018] IEHC 319 
re. Application for judicial review seeking to quash the decision of the ODCE to make an application to the High Court for the appointment of Inspectors pursuant to the Companies Act 2014 (for INM).

Nolan Family Partnership v AIB [2016] IEHC 313 
re. Banking and Finance, breach of contract and alleged misrepresentation (for Plaintiffs).

McGrath Limestone Works Ltd v An Bord Pleanala, Ireland, the Attorney General & Mayo County Council [2014] IEHC 382 
re. Judicial review – environmental impact assessment – fair procedures – reasons for decision (for Applicant).

Quinn v Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Ltd  [2012] IEHC 379, [2012] IESC 51 
re. Application by IBRC concerning Contempt of Court against Sean Quinn Snr., Sean Quinn Jnr. and Peter Daragh Quinn (for IBRC).

Dellway Investment Ltd v NAMA [2010] IEHC 375, [2011] IESC 14, [2011] 4 IR 1 
re. Validity of purported decision by NAMA to acquire from banks certain eligible assets under the NAMA Act 2009 (for Dellway Investment Ltd. and Patrick McKillen).

Roche v Wymes [2008] IEHC 141, [2017] IESC 17 
re. Claim for contribution against a co-guarantor in respect of over payments under guarantees and whether claim was statute barred (for Plaintiff).



Maurice Power v The HSE [2022] IESC 7 
re. Employment Law – Fixed Term Work Act 2003 and ‘Acting up’ (for Respondent).

Hennelly v Governor of Mountjoy Prison [2021] IECA 330 
re. Article 40 of the Constitution and committal order issued following Contempt of Court in civil proceedings (for Respondent).

Noble v Bonner [2019] IEHC 590 
re. Whether alleged professional negligence case was statute barred (for Defendant).

Ryan v Governor of Mountjoy Prison [2018] IECA 202, [2020] IESC 8 
re. Article 40 of the Constitution, whether Application could be dismissed on grounds of abuse of process (for Respondent).

Curran v Byrne, Smurfit, and the K-Club [2018] IEHC 722
(for Michael Smurfit).

Cahill v Minister for Education & Science [2017] IESC 29 
re. Claim of discrimination under Equal Status Act 2000 and reasonable accommodation sought regarding the Leaving Certificate examination (for Respondent).

Minister for Justice and Equality v Trust Egharevba [2015] IESC 55 
re. s.44 of the European Arrest Warrant Act 2003 (for Applicant).

DPP v Independent Newspapers (Ireland) Ltd. [2009] IESC 20, [2009] 3 IR 598 
re. Contempt of Court (for Independent Newspapers).

Cunningham v The President of the Circuit Court and DPP [2007] IEHC 473, [2010] IR 18, [2012] IESC 39, [2012] 3 IR 222 
re. Mootness and costs (for the Second Named Respondent).

McBrearty (APUM) v Northwestern Health Board and others [2010] IESC 27 
re. Delay – jurisdiction of High Court to strike out proceedings – balance of justice (for an individual Respondent)

Kelly v O’Leary [2001] 2 IR 526 
re. Delay – inherent jurisdiction of court to strike out claim – real and serious risk of an unfair trial (for Defendant).

Gerard Conlon v Times Newspapers Ltd 242/1996 and related proceedings (Guildford Four) 
re. Libel actions (1995) (for Plaintiffs).

Patrick Armstrong v News Group Newspapers Ltd [1993] 4142 P and related proceedings (Guildford Four) 
re. Libel actions (1996) (for Plaintiffs).

Patrick Joseph Hill, John Walker, Billy Power, Richard McIlkenny, Gerry Hunter, and Hugh O’Callaghan v Guardian Newspapers Ltd (Birmingham Six) 
re. Libel actions (1997) (for Plaintiffs).

Dublin Well Woman Centre Ltd. & Others v Attorney General and The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (Ireland) Ltd. [1995] 1 ILRM 408 SC 
re. Refusal of judge to discharge herself from hearing a case – reasonable apprehension of bias (for Respondents).


Investigations, Tribunals & Inquiries:

2023 Stardust Fire Inquests (for Commissioner of An Garda Síochána) – ongoing.

2020-2022 Three additional modules: Garda Disclosures Tribunal, Module P.,
(Chairman Ryan P) (for Commissioner of An Garda Síochána).

2018/2023 re. Inspectors appointed by the High Court pursuant to Companies Act 2014 to investigate the affairs of Independent News and Media plc. (for INM & the non-executive directors of INM).

2021 Review Board established by Minister for Transport pursuant to the Air Navigation Regulations 2009. 
re. Air Accident Investigation draft final report in relation to R116 helicopter crash in Mayo 2017 (for CHC Ireland Ltd.).

2017/18/19 Counsel for former Garda Commissioners Noirín O’Sullivan and Martin Callinan and An Garda Síochána before the Disclosures Tribunal (Chairman Charleton J.). 

2014 Conducted a non-statutory review on behalf of the Government into the trial and execution of Harry Gleeson in 1941, leading to the grant of a posthumous pardon by the President of Ireland.

2009/10 Counsel for Archbishop Martin and the Archdiocese of Dublin re. Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation chaired by Judge Yvonne Murphy.

2008 re. Investigation by an Inspector appointed by the High Court, under the Companies Act 1990 to investigate and report on the affairs of DCC plc., S & L Investments Ltd and Lotus Green Ltd (for DCC).

2007 Ahern v Mahon [2008] IEHC 119 Divisional Court 
re. Whether the Respondent Tribunal of Inquiry was entitled to examine the Applicant in respect of statements made by him in Dáil Éireann. re. Applicant’s entitlement to claim privilege in respect of communications between his legal advisors and an expert retained by him for the purpose of the Tribunal’s proceedings (for Applicant).

2006 Counsel for An Garda Síochána re. Lusk Post Office Robbery Inquest.

2005 Counsel appointed by Minister for Justice to conduct a Pathfinder Review, which led to the establishment of The Birmingham Commission of Investigation into the Dean Lyons case.

2004 Counsel for An Garda Síochána, re. Inquest into Dublin and Monaghan bombings 1974.

2002 Counsel appointed by the Minister for Justice to conduct a Pathfinder Review, which led to the establishment of the Morris Tribunal of Inquiry, into complaints concerning certain Gardai in the Donegal Division.

2002 Counsel for the Inspectors appointed by the High Court pursuant to the Companies Act 1990 to investigate and report on the affairs of Ansbacher (Cayman) Ltd.

1999-2004 re. Investigation by Inspectors appointed by the High Court pursuant to the Companies Act 1990 to investigate and report on the affairs of National Irish Bank Ltd and National Irish Bank Financial Services Ltd (for National Irish Bank).

1998 re. Inspection under the Companies Act 1990 to investigate and report on the membership of Bula Resources (Holding) plc. (for Lyndon MacCann, Inspector, appointed by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation).

1997 Tribunal of Inquiry (Dunnes Payments) – the McCracken Tribunal. 
(Counsel for Charles J. Haughey).



Muldoon & Kelly v The Minister for the Environment and Local Government, Ireland and the Attorney General, Dublin City Council and Clare County Council [2015] IEHC 649, [2023] IECA 61 
re. Taxi de-regulation and whether local councils were ‘undertakings’ within the meaning of Article 86 and Article 90 EC Treaty and s.5 Competition Act 1991 (for Clare County Council).

Butterly v Myra Cullinane, Coroner for the Dublin District, The Minister for Justice, Ireland & The Attorney General [2022] IEHC 58 
re. Coroner’s inquest and whether verdict of unlawful killing was permissible.

Grange v The Information Commissioner and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade [2018] IEHC 108, [2022] IECA 153 
re. Rejection of applications under Freedom of Information Act 2014 as vexatious and the interpretation of s.15 of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 (for The Information Commissioner).

Arthropharm (Europe) v The Health Products Regulatory Authority and Chanelle Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Ltd. [2020] IEHC 16, [2022] IECA 109 
re. Principles relevant to application for extension of time in Judicial Review (for Applicant).

B v The Clinical Director of an Approved Centre [2021] IEHC 486, [2022] IECA 105
re. Article 40, Interpretation of the Mental Health Act 2001, statutory interpretation concerning extensions of time made by Mental Health Tribunal pursuant to s.18(4) of the Mental Health Act 2001 (for Respondent).

F. v Mental Health Tribunal [2021] IEHC 432, [2022] IECA 290
re. Mental Health Tribunal’s obligation to give sufficient reasons when expressing its conclusions on a renewal order made pursuant to s.18 of the Mental Health Act 2001, as amended (for Respondent).

Udarás Úchtála v M [2020] IESC 64
re. The registration in Ireland of intercountry adoptions from Mexico and the guarantee of equality under Article 40.1 of the Constitution (for Udarás Úchtála).

S. (identity protected) v The Director of the Garda Juvenile Diversion Programme & DPP [2019] IEHC 796
re. Duty of Respondent to give reasons for decisions (for First Respondent).

Desmond v Moriarty [2012] IEHC 202, [2018] IESC 34 
re. Application seeking to set aside previous final orders of the High Court & Supreme Court (for Respondent).

Lowry v Moriarty [2016] IEHC 29, [2018] IECA 66 
re. Tribunal of Inquiry – adjudication of costs (for Respondent).

Kelly v The Information Commissioner [2014] IEHC 479, [2017] IESC 64 
re. Appeals under s.42 of the Freedom of Information Act 1997 (for the Information Commissioner).

RPS Consulting Engineers Limited v Kildare County Council [2016] IEHC 113, [2017] 3 IR 812
re. Duty to give reasons in public procurement cases (for Plaintiff).

Foley and D2 Capital v WRC [2016] IEHC 585 
re. Powers of Inspectors appointed by Workplace Relations Commission and validity of powers of search and seizure exercised by Inspectors (for Respondent).

Waxy O’Connor Ltd. v Riordan & DPP & AG [2016] IESC 30, [2016] 1 IR 215 
re. Strict Liability – Public Welfare offence – Defence of due diligence (for AG).

McCarron v Kearney [2010] IESC 28 
re. Firearms – licencing – grant of firearms certificate – whether decision maker had power to impose conditions in licence (for Respondent).

O’Brien v Moriarty [2005] IEHC 343, [2005] IESC 32 
re. Tribunals of Inquiry – fair procedures (for Respondent).



Hiscox v Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman [2022] IEHC 557 
re. Covid pandemic and declinature of a claim for insurance regarding business interruption losses (for Respondent).

Murphy v The Law Society of Ireland [2019] IEHC 724, [2021] IEHC 848 
re. Damages – alleged misfeasance in public office (for Respondent).

Coleman v Law Society [2020] IEHC 162, [2022] IECA 158, [2022] IECA 108 
re. Strike off application – the role of the High Court under the Solicitors (Amendment) Act 1960 (for Respondent).

Fitzgibbon v Law Society 2014 [IESC] 48, [2015] 1 IR 516 
re. Scope of appeals from decisions of the Law Society Complaint and Clients Relations Committee (for Respondent).

Law Society of Ireland v Colm Carroll and Henry Colley [2009] IESC 41, [2009] 2 ILRM 77 
re. Disciplinary Inquiry and scope of appeal from Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (for Law Society).

Competition Authority v Irish Dental Association [2005] 3 IR 208 
re. Validity of search warrant in Competition Authority civil enforcement and the exclusionary rule under Article 40 of the Constitution (for Respondent).

Law Society v Michael Lynn (2007) High Court (for Law Society).


Environmental and Planning:

Environmental (for Defendants):

EPA v Covanta Ltd. – District Court 2018.

DPP v Wyeth Ltd. (Pfizer) – Circuit Court 2012.

Wicklow County Council v O’Reilly and Others [2010] IEHC 464

EPA v Neiphin Ltd. [2011] IEHC 67, [2011] 2 IR 575

DPP v Ascon Ltd. in relation to the Derrybrien landslide (District Court 2006).

DPP v South East Recycling Ltd. [2011] 3 IR 35



Moore v Minister for Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht [2016] IEHC 150, [2018] IECA 28 
re. National monuments – jurisdiction – whether the High Court has a jurisdiction to declare that certain building or sites amount to national monuments for the purposes of the National Monuments Act 1930 (for the Developer).

ESB v Kilross [2014] IEHC 635 
re. Statutory interpretation, Electricity Supply Act 1927 (for Respondent).

Pierson & others v Keegan Quarries Ltd [2010] IEHC 404 
re. Use of lands as quarry – whether use amounted to unauthorised development 
(for Respondent).

An Bord Pleanála (2006) 
re. Appeal in relation to the proposed renovations of the interior of St. Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh (for the Objectors).


Health and Safety:

2020 – Advised the Health and Safety Authority re. issues arising from the Covid pandemic and queries concerning the powers of HSA Inspectors, pursuant to the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.

Acted for the following Defendants in prosecutions initiated by the HSA

DPP v Balfour Beatty (HSA) – Circuit Court (2019).

DPP v Irish Ferries – Circuit Court (2018).

DPP v Roadteam Logistic Solutions Ltd. [2016] IECA 38

DPP v Cavan County Council [2015] IECA 130

DPP v Bus Éireann (Kentstown bus crash) – Circuit Court (2008).


Miscarriage of Justice cases:

Acted for the State in: Frank Short v Ireland [2005] IEHC 311, [2007] IESC 9

And in the resolution of the following cases for compensation on behalf of the State:

Nora Wall v Ireland (2016).

Conmey v Ireland (2016).

Meleady and Grogan v Ireland (2013)


White Collar Crime:

DPP v Tony Taylor (2001) (Circuit Court) 
re. Fraud (for DPP).

DPP v Sinnott (1995) 
re. Fraud (for DPP).

DPP v O’Doherty and O’Dwyer Tipperary Self Drive (Circuit Court) (1995) 
re. Fraudulent trading (for DPP).

DPP v Carthy and others (Circuit Court) 
re. Conspiracy to defraud, motor insurance (for DPP).



People (DPP) v Wayne O’Donoghue [2007] 2 IR 336 (CCA) 
re. Manslaughter, undue leniency sentence (for DPP).

People (DPP) v Cagney and McGrath [2008] 2 IR 111 (Supreme Court) 
re. Reckless endangerment (for First Named Appellant).

Dublin CC v James Mansfield
re. Planning and development (Circuit Court) (for Defendant).


Murder/Manslaughter/Solicitation to Murder:

DPP v Joe Delaney (Central Criminal Court) (for DPP).

DPP v Hughes, (Special Criminal Court) (for DPP). 

DPP v Hinchon and Kenny [2006] IECCA 137 (for DPP).

DPP v Darren Larkin [2008] IECCA 138, [2009] 2 IR 381 
re. Attempted murder (for DPP).

DPP v Liam Keane (2004) (Central Criminal Court) (for DPP).

DPP v Gilrain (2003) (Central Criminal Court) (for DPP).

DPP v Paul Coffey (2003) (Central Criminal Court) 
re. Manslaughter (for DPP).

DPP v Daniel Finnegan (2001) (Central Criminal Court) (for Defendant).

DPP v Gillane (1999) WJSC-CCA 1728 
re. Solicitation to murder (for DPP).

Consultant Editor, Corporate Crime: A Guide to Irish Law by Shelley Horan, Bloomsbury Professional, 2011.

Editor, 1991-1996, Irish Criminal Law Journal, Round Hall.

Convenor of the Bar of Ireland, Green Street Court House, Lecture series in 2016. Listen here on SpotifyListen here on Soundcloud

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