The case of Cabot Asset Purchase Ireland (Limited) v Cathal Boyle  IEHC 401, concerned an application for summary judgment in respect of a guarantee executed by the defendant.
The plaintiff brought an application for summary judgment arising from a guarantee over debts which the defendant executed. The defendant wished to adduce evidence in respect of the history of the borrowings and discussions which he alleged he had with a representative of Ulster Bank. The defendant alleged that these discussions absolved him of any liability for the guarantee. The defendant also wished to put forward an argument that a demand was made by an Ulster Bank representative in 2008 or 2009 and so the claim was now statute barred.
It was confirmed that the overriding principle to which the Court should have regard is the achievement of a just result. Accordingly, the Court should exercise its authority to give summary judgment with caution, given that it must be balanced with the right of access to justice and the right to respond to litigation. A defendant does not have to prove they are likely to succeed, only that they have an arguable defence.
It was held that, as there was no documentary evidence in relation to the assertion that a previous demand had been made, the Statute of Limitations defence was not arguable. The Court held that the defendant did have an arguable defence in relation to promissory estoppel and as to the extent of the underlying liability. The defendant was therefore granted leave to defend the claim.
The decision in this matter does not represent a novel departure from the position already adopted by the courts in this jurisdiction. The Court relied upon the established principles set out in the cases of Aer Rianta v Ryanair Ltd  4IR 607 and Harrisrange v Duncan  4IR 1. The balance of justice is the overriding consideration and if a defendant can put forward an arguable defence, then leave to defend will be granted.