Civil Liability Act, 1961

Liability of Minister for Finance for negligent use of mechanically propelled vehicle.

59.—(1) Where a wrong is committed by the use of a mechanically propelled vehicle belonging to the State, the Minister for Finance shall be liable to an action for damages in respect of damage resulting from the wrong in like manner as if the Minister for Finance were the owner of the vehicle, and the person using the vehicle shall, for the purposes of such liability, be deemed to be the servant of the Minister for Finance in so far as such person was acting in the course of his duty or employment.

(2) Proceedings may be brought against the Minister for Finance by virtue of this section without obtaining the fiat of the Attorney General.

(3) Nothing in this section shall operate to relieve any person from liability in respect of damage resulting from his own wrong.

(4) For the purposes of this section, a mechanically propelled vehicle not belonging to the State shall—

(a) while being used when it is under seizure by a person in the service of the State in the course of his duty or employment, or

(b) while being used by a member of the Garda Síochána or an officer of any Minister for the purpose of a test, removal or disposition of the vehicle pursuant to the Road Traffic Act, 1961, or any regulation thereunder,

be deemed to belong to the State.

(5) In this section—

“mechanically propelled vehicle” means a vehicle intended or adapted for propulsion by mechanical means, including—

(a) a bicycle or tricycle, with an attachment for propelling it by mechanical power, whether or not the attachment is being used,

(b) a vehicle the means of propulsion of which is electrical or partly electrical and partly mechanical;

“use” includes keeping or leaving stationary.