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Changes to The Penalty Points System

15 Dec



The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport introduced changes to the penalty points system on the 8th December 2014 under the Road Traffic Act 2014.

The changes see the introduction of 14 new penalty point offences

Among the new offences are:


  • Learner permit holder driving unaccompanied by qualified person
  • Offence under section 4 of the Road Traffic Act 2014 – Failure to display N Plate or N tabard
  • Contravention of ban on U-turns
  • Failure to display L-Plate or L tabard
  • Contravention of rules for use of mini roundabouts
  • Proceeding beyond no entry to vehicles sign
  • Proceeding beyond maximum vehicle length sign where length exceeds maximum displayed
  • Proceeding beyond maximum vehicle width sign where width exceeds maximum displayed
  • Proceeding beyond maximum design gross vehicle weight (safety) sign where design gross vehicle weight exceeds maximum displayed
  • Proceeding beyond maximum vehicle axle loading weight sign where vehicle axle loading weight exceeds maximum specified
  • Proceeding beyond a traffic lane control sign other than in accordance with such sign or without yielding
  • Using vehicle in a public place without an authorisation plate
  • Using vehicle not equipped with a speed limitation device or using a vehicle equipped with a speed limitation device not complying with requirements specified in Regulations
  • Using vehicle in a public place that has been modified or altered such that authorisation plate is inaccurate

There has also been an increase in the number of penalty points attracted by existing penalty point offences.

It is also important to note that where an individual first applies for a driving permit after 1 August 2014 and in the event that that the individual acquires 7 penalty points in the period while driving under a learner permit and the 2 years subsequent to that then and in that event the individual is facing a six month disqualification period.


For a full list of the changes see Drivers/PenaltyPoints/Types of Offences

Best Will in the World week

7 Oct

We are delighted to take part in the “Best Will in the World” campaign 2014. The campaign runs from the 20th October 2014 to the 24th October 2014

For a fee of €50.00 you can consult with us on your options regarding drafting or updating your will.

For more information you can visit or call us on 069 77583 to arrange an appointment.


Is now a good time to buy an investment property?

19 Sep


Budget 2012 introduced Capital Gains Tax(CGT) relief for the first 7 years of ownership of investment properties purchased between 07.12.2011 and the end of 2013. Budget 2014 extended this relief to year end 2014 .

The relief applies provided that the property (residential or non- residential) is held for a 7 year period. In the event that the property is sold within the first 7 years of ownership then the relief won’t apply and CGT will be calculated and paid at the prevailing rate for the date of sale (provided there is a gain).

Generally CGT is payable on the gain in the value of the property between the date of purchase and the date of sale less certain allowable deductions and allowances. The current tax rate in respect of CGT  is 33%.

If the property is sold on the 7 year anniversary of ownership the entire gain is CGT free. If the property is held for a longer period the portion of the gain attributable to the years after 7 years is then chargeable. For example if a property is bought for €100,000.00 in 2014 and retained for 10 years and then sold for €180,000.00 in 2024 the gain of €80,000.00 is chargeable as follows:

7/10 (€56,000) tax free and remaining 3/10( €24,000.00)chargeable in the normal way.


Please note that this information is for guidance purposes only and is not a substitute for personalised tax advise. Tax is calculated differently for each person based on their personal circumstacnes.

NPPR tax

11 Aug



The Local Government (Charges) Act 2009 as amended by the Local Government(Household Charge) Act 2011 introduced a €200.00 annual tax on  non principal private residences.The tax is payable by the owner of the property to the local authority where the property is situated. From 2014 onwards the NPPR tax no longer applies but any outstanding liabilities in respect of the chargeable years must be discharged.


NPPR tax is due in respect of private residences not occupied by the owner as principal place of residence. Exemptions from NPPR tax include:

  • Vacating the property because  of moving to a nursing home
  • A mobile home or caravan
  • Residences owned by charities and certain discretionary trusts
  • If you are in the process of moving home
  • If someone has an exclusive right of residence in the property


The onus is on the owner of the property to make the payment to the local authority where the property is located.If you are selling or mortgaging such a  property you will need to produce a taxc clearance certificate to satisfy the purchaser that there are no outstanding liabilities in respect of this tax. The tax remains as a charge on the property which it affects for a period of 12 years so a purchaser will require assurance that it has been paid in full.


If you were due to pay the tax between 2009 and 2014 you owe a total of €4,220.00 provided that you pay before the 31st August 2014. If you pay after the 31st August 2014 then you will be liable to pay €7,230.00 because penalties and interest will accrue after that date.

Slips,trips and falls in public places

15 Jul



A recently published report by the Injuries Board indicates that slips, trips and falls are by far the main cause of public liability claims. Over 1700 public liability awards were made by the Injuries Board in 2013. The average award amounted to €25,120, an increase of 11% on the average award made in the previous year.

An interesting fact is that females account for 71.4% of the total awards made in respect of public liability claims.Women are almost twice as likely as men to sustain an injury in a public place.

Nearly two thirds of all public liability claims  are by those in the 25 to 64 age category.

For the third consecutive year Saturday is the most common day for an accident to occur in a public place.

Over the past three years January is the safest month and July saw the greatest number of accidents.

Slips, trips and falls amount for two thirds of accidents in public places including falls on wet floors and surfaces,uneven and broken pavements, falls on drains and manholes etc.


Please contact Michelle Gilbourne on 069 77583 for a consultation if you require legal advice in regard to any of the issues raised in this article.


Redress scheme for symphysiotomy survivors

2 Jul



A redress scheme has been announced for women who suffered symphysiotomy  procedures.  It is intended that the compensation paid will be ex gratia and without any admission of liability. Women who endured this surgical procedure suffered a break to the pelvis during childbirth to allow their baby to be born and many women were left with permanent injuries after the procedure including incontinence,chronic pain and difficulty walking.


If you have been affected by this please contact Michelle Gilbourne on 069- 77583.

Starting your own business.

28 Apr



Setting up and running your own business is exhilarating but no one would deny that it brings with it a fair share of responsibility. Too often people leave it until crisis point to seek a Solicitor’s help. Prevention is better than cure and getting the right advice early means that you can avoid pitfalls. Professional  advice from a Solicitor with experience in this area can help you to identify potential problems and take steps to avoid them thereby protecting you from risk and saving you money. Continue Reading »

New Building Regulations 2014

10 Apr



The Building Control Amendment Regulations 2014 (SI no. 9 of 2014) came into operation on the 1st of March 2014. The  regulations apply to any development where a commencement notice is filed after 1 March 2014. Compliance with the new regulations is of great importance to building owners, purchasers and tenants. The regulations clearly prohibit the opening, occupation or use of a building to which the regulations apply until a Certificate of of Compliance on Completion has been filed and registered with the building control authority. Continue Reading »

Thinking of selling property?

7 Apr


We are specialists in property transactions with several years professional experience in property sales, purchases and mortgages for clients, from first time buyers to property developers.

 If you are thinking of selling your property the following information may be helpful. Continue Reading »

Revised monetary jurisdiction of the Courts to take effect on 3rd February 2014

9 Jan

The changes to the monetary jurisdictions of the civil courts provided for in Section 2(1) and Part 3 of the Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013 will take effect on 3rd February, 2014.

From 3rd February 2104:

  • the jurisdiction of the District Court in civil proceedings will be limited to €15,000.00
  • the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court in civil proceedings (other than personal injury claims) will be limited to €75,000.00
  • the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court for personal injury actions as defined in Section 2 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 will be limited to €60,000. 00

The Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013 (Jurisdiction of District and Circuit Court)(Commencement) Order 2013 was signed by the Minister last December and establishes 3rd February, 2014 as the commencement date for the provisions concerning the new jurisdictions of the civil courts.