Couples who pay deposits to wedding venues which subsequently cease trading have little chance of getting their money back, according to a leading consumer rights group.
“In general terms, the news is almost never good,” said Dermott Jewell, Policy and Council Advisor with the Consumer Rights Association of Ireland.
In recent weeks a number of Co Longford couples have seen their wedding plans thrown into disarray with the news that two popular venues, Cromleach Lodge in Co Sligo and Middleton Park House in Co Westmeath, have shut down with immediate effect.
“If a deposit is paid and the business fails, they (couples) will find themselves at the bottom of a list of creditors behind the likes of banks and the Revenue Commissioners,” Mr Jewell continued.
He added that the only glimmer of hope for people caught up in such situations could be the hope that the venues will re-open under new management teams who may be sympathetic to their plight.
“What can happen, if someone takes over the business, is that they may try to facilitate them to save the trading name from being bad-mouthed,” he explained. “What may also happen is that the former owners may feel embarrassed by the loss of their business and could try and help customers find alternative venues.”
“It's very frustrating,” he admitted.