Am I Entitled to Compensation for Damage Caused by a Riot?

Am I Entitled to Compensation for Damage Caused by a Riot?

The Malicious Injuries Acts, 1981 – 1986 (the Acts) provide a right of compensation from the local authority for malicious damage caused to property and for the loss of property unlawfully taken during a riot where the total amount exceeds £100 (or today’s equivalent).

The damage and/or loss to property must be caused:

  1. Unlawfully.
  2. By three or more persons.
  3. Riotously assembled together.

The right of compensation is limited to the compensation for the actual damage caused and/ or loss of property and not any consequential damages such as a loss of use of property.

In order to make an application for compensation under the Malicious Injuries Act, 1981 the following criteria must be met:

  • The damage was caused unlawfully by three or more persons riotously assembled together.
  • The three persons must have assembled with a common purpose and intent to help one another by force if necessary against any person who might oppose them in the execution of their purpose and there must be force or violence that would alarm at least one person of reasonable firmness and courage.
  • Compensation may be provided to the loss of damage to a building under Section 5 of the Act and loss of any stolen goods under Section 6 of the Act.

There is a strict timeline for seeking compensation under the Act where a Notice of Intention to Claim Compensation must be served within 14 days after the damage was caused or the property was taken on the local authority and An Garda Síochána.

If you are a business owner who has suffered losses that may not be covered by a policy of insurance, it may be possible to make a claim under the Acts for compensation for losses if the business meets the criteria.