Honeymooners lose case for damages

A newly-wed couple from Co Dublin who booked their honeymoon at a luxury Montego Bay hotel in Jamaica, were forced to move to an inferior hotel after only 48 hours, a judge has heard.

The “dream honeymoon” of Niamh Byrne and Declan Eivers, of Brookdale Way, River Valley, Swords, was further disrupted when they had to move again a day later to a third hotel, Judge Jacqueline Linnane was told in the Circuit Civil Court.

David McParland, counsel for the couple, told the court they had sued Travel Republic Ltd — through which Ms Byrne had booked their holiday online — for breach of contract.

The couple claimed they had suffered stress and embarrassment due to uncertainty as to where they would have to spend their honeymoon, after staff at the Secrets Wild Orchid Hotel Resort in Montego Bay had told them they were booked in for only two nights.

Niamh told the court in an affidavit that, on the third day of their holiday, they had been forced to move from Secrets Wild to the RIU Palace Hotel in Negril, which had been of an inferior standard.

She said they had to wait in the RIU Palace’s lobby for eight hours while the hotel decided what method of payment it would accept, and then they had to pay for a single night’s accommodation.

The next day they had to relocate again to The Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Hotel in Montego Bay.

The couple claimed damages of up to €38,000 for breach of contract, as well as an extra €4,250 for special damages, consisting of the €2,765 price of their seven-night stay as well as extras that included flights, extra phone calls, and taxis.

Owen Keany, counsel for Travel Republic Ltd, told Judge Linnane the company, of Surrey, England, was asking the court to dismiss the couple’s claim on the basis that they had sued the wrong entity in the wrong legal jurisdiction.

Mr Keany said Travel Republic had acted only as an agent for Jumbo Tours Espana SL, Palma de Mallorca, which was the accommodation provider.

Travel Republic had merely facilitated the making of a contract between the website user and end provider.

He said there was also a special clause on every page of the travelrepublic.ie website, specifically stipulating that any issues must be dealt with in the legal jurisdiction of England and Wales whether, in this case, against Jumbo Tours or the Secrets Wild Resort.

Judge Linnane said that Travel Republic had entered a conditional appearance in the case for the purpose of contesting the question of jurisdiction.

On the basis of the specific clause having appeared on every page of the website, she decided her court had no jurisdiction to deal with the claim, which she dismissed.


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