Two Cork travel agents to pay £44,000 to compensate clients
TWO Cork travel agents will have to pay more than £44,000 between them to 29 people who found themselves without hotel accommodation, flight tickets and tickets for the Ireland games during the World Cup in the US two years ago. A third travel agent made undisclosed out-of-court settlements with six clients.
One of the agents, Mr Pat Dawson, of Dawson Travel Ltd, Princes Street, Cork, said he had to remortgage his house to raise, £30,000 to pay for replacement flights from Orlando to New York for his clients. His firm had £30,788 awarded in total to 18 clients, and costs.
McCarthy Travel, of Patrick Street, Cork, had £13,750 in total and costs awarded to 11 clients. City Travel Ltd, of Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork, settled out of court with six clients.
Mr Dawson said his business almost collapsed twice in two years and he nearly lost his home because of "a complete disaster" after Sportex, the unbonded British tour operator through which the trips had been arranged, went bankrupt and closed.
Judge Gerard Haughton said he had great sympathy for the Cork travel agents and hoped they would be able to recoup their losses from the Sportex trustees. He awarded sums of between £750 and £3,750 to 29 people.
Mr Dawson told Cork District Court he booked 79 fans with Sportex and had remortgaged his house to bail them out.