March 29, 2011

DONEGAL’S Happy Matchmaker Mary Mitchell today showed what a superb woman she really is – by wishing a woman who took a legal action against here ‘all the best’.

And that’s despite being left with a legal bill running up to €10,000!

A judge yesterday rejected a damages claim against Mary’s 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 ruled in Mary Mitchell’s favour and dismissed her claim for €6,348.99 for negligence, breach of duty and fraudulent misrepresentation.

And today Mary declared: “I’m over the moon and relieved at winning the case. This has been a very tough 18 months for us; I even had to let a member of staff go with all the publicity surrounding the case.

“I would still wish Miss McBrearty all the best for the future. Anyone would; that’s the way I am.

“I haven’t had my legal bill yet but I’m hoping that it will be less than €10,000. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

“I always believed what I did was honest and upfront and the story given to the court didn’t tally at all with what I understood happened.”

Mary also revealed: “I’ve spoken to the four men referred to in the case and they would have different things to say about all this.

“They are all good fine and good-looking fellas.”

The Ballintra businesswoman said she has now diversified her business to ‘Speed Dating’ events which had been hugely successful.

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

It was reported that she met one man in a coffee shop near Argos in Letterkenny for 30 minutes.

When she reached to give him a peck on the cheek in “a polite goodbye” she claimed that “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.”

Three other dates had also been unsuccessful, but Mary said today the men she had arranged for Miss McBrearty to meet were compatible.

Mary had told the court of her screening system before matching couples. She said since the case was publicised she had received threatening calls.

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.”

Added Mary today: “I’m just relieved and delighted this is all over and that the court has ruled in my favour.

“All clients are given advice beforehand; to meet in a public place in the afternoon to get to know each other.

“It doesn’t always work out but many many times it has worked out and there are lots of happy couples all over Donegal today who have been brought together via the agency.

“I will move on now, and I hope Ms McBrearty moves on and does find happiness with someone else.”