Woman loses damages case against dating agency


A JUDGE yesterday rejected a damages claim against a Co Donegal dating agency by a woman who said she had not found romance.

Annmarie McBrearty (35), of Oldtown, Letterkenny, told Donegal District Court she was introduced to four men through the The Happy Matchmaker agency without finding romance.

Judge Kevin Kilrane dismissed her claim for €6,348.99 for negligence, breach of duty and fraudulent misrepresentation.

She claimed it became clear after four introductions that the “prospective suitors” had not been vetted or screened in any way.

So as a result she was “groped, assaulted and battered without lawful excuse”. The judge made no order on costs, saying he found both sides “absolutely honest”.

Ms McBrearty told of paying €600 to the Ballintra-based agency in January 2009 for introductions to 12 men.

The first person she was introduced to was so shy that he uttered no more than two sentences in 45 minutes on their only date.

Then she was put in touch about a month later with another man for 30 minutes in a coffee shop.

She said: “After taking my number he said he would be getting back on to the agency to see what else they had to offer.”

Date number three appeared to have “been extremely desperate”. Ms McBrearty added: “Anything would have done him.”

He became verbally aggressive and called her “a fe****g bitch”. She left a Donegal town hotel bar “in tears” and went straight home. He apologised later and she gave him a second chance. It was then he invited her to stay at his home for a weekend “to get to know him better”. They did not meet again.

She met man number four in a coffee shop near Argos in Letterkenny for 30 minutes.

She decided she wasn’t attracted to him at all. Outside, she reached to give him a peck on the cheek in “a polite goodbye”. She added: “He put his arm around me and as I leaned forward he put his tongue down my mouth. I was disgusted. It was not that we were going to start snogging in a shopping centre in the middle of the day.”

Mary Mitchell told the court of her screening system before matching couples. She said since the case was publicised she had received threatening calls. Her business went downhill and she had to let go her one employee.

The judge said Ms McBrearty, was not vulnerable but articulate and well able to state her case. “Four men were introduced to her and they all appeared to be within the range of compatibility.”