Court of Appeal dismisses doctor’s attempt to halt Medical Council inquiry

Mr Justice Senan Allen said High Court’s ‘clear and concise’ decision should stand undisturbed, adding the action and appeal were ‘built on sand’

The Court of Appeal has dismissed a doctor’s challenge aimed at halting a Medical Council inquiry into allegations of professional misconduct.

Dublin-based Dr Samuel Van Eeden was the subject of an inquiry by the Medical Council’s Fitness to Practice Committee into allegations including that he had imported unauthorised medicines into the State and prescribed unauthorised medicines to patients.

The doctor, who has at all times denied any wrongdoing, claimed in High Court proceedings that the Medical Council was not entitled to inquire into matters for which he had already been tried and acquitted by the District Court.

He also claimed provisions of the 2007 Medical Practitioner’s Act were unconstitutional.


The Medical Council and the State opposed Dr Van Eeden’s case, which was rejected by the High Court.

In 2021 Mr Justice Michael Twomey ruled that the allegations of professional misconduct as set out in the Medical Council’s notice of inquiry were not based on criminal charges he was cleared of.

Dr Van Eeden’s appeal of that decision was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on Friday.

Giving the three-judge court’s decision, Mr Justice Senan Allen rejected all grounds of Dr Van Eeden’s appeal and said the High Court’s “clear and concise” decision should stand undisturbed.

The High Court did not err in any of its findings, the judge said, adding the action and appeal were “built on sand”.

Mr Justice Allen said he could think of no reason for why the respondent Medical Council and State’s legal costs should not be paid for by the plaintiff doctor. However, the court would consider submissions from Dr Van Eeden before deciding final orders regarding legal costs.

The court heard Dr Van Eeden had been summoned before the Medical Council committee in connection with an incident that occurred in Dublin Airport in 2012 when, on return from a trip to Bangladesh, medicinal products he allegedly purchased were found in a bag belonging to his wife.

In 2014 the Health Products Regulatory Authority brought charges against Dr Van Eeden, including alleging he had imported and procured eight medicinal products in contravention of a specific statutory code regulating medicinal products within the State.

Dr Van Eeden, of NuaCell Clinic, Kilronan House, Malahide, Co Dublin, was cleared after all the charges against him were struck out by the District Court judge.

However, arising out of the same matter, Dr Van Eeden in 2015 became the subject of a disciplinary hearing, pursuant to the 2007 Medical Practitioners Act, to determine if he engaged in conduct constituting professional misconduct or poor professional performance.