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'out of control' Wedding planner who took cash for wedding while going bust said Spain like the 'wild west'

I am guilty about their wedding, that I personally impacted so negatively.”

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Suzanne Danker also known as Suzanne Mulvey

Suzanne Danker also known as Suzanne Mulvey

Suzanne Danker also known as Suzanne Mulvey

A wedding planner who asked a couple for money for their Spanish wedding even though her business was going bust previously claimed doing business in Spain was “like doing business in the wild west”.

Suzanne Danker, who now goes by her maiden name Suzanne Mulvey, pleaded guilty three counts of deception and three counts of theft after taking €10,000 from a Dublin couple for a wedding in Spain in September 2012.

Mulvey’s company Spanish Dream Weddings ran into financial difficulties in early 2012 but continued to trade until September that year when it had no money to pay contractors.

Mulvey (48), of Boroimhe Ash, Swords, Dublin continued to ask Sarah Foran and Colm Moriarty for money to organise their dream wedding in Spain in September 2012 even after she realised her company was insolvent.

Gardai said she knew she was not in a position to facilitate the wedding going ahead but still asked the couple for payments.

She then stopped taking their calls as they started to realise what was happening and in the end the couple were left with six days to organise their own wedding with €12,500 owed and had to take out a loan to fund it.

Mulvey and her then husband featured in an RTE documentary called the Great Escape about moving from Dublin to Spain to set up their business in 2007.

The Sunday World called to her home this week after she was given a suspended sentence but Mulvey said she did not want to comment on the case.

However, Mulvey, who currently works as director of sales and marketing at City North Hotel in Gormanstown, Co. Meath, spoke to the Sunday World back in 2015 to say she wasn’t a scam artist.

“I’m sorry but things got out of control,” she said.

She claimed she did not “swindle” people out of money.

She said her finances got out of control when she was owed money by suppliers and got into tax difficulties in Spain. She said she was also affected by the dwindling wedding market in 2012.

She told us that several couples had contacted gardai about money owed to them in relation to weddings.

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She had set up the business with her husband Howard Danker, a brother-in-law of former justice minister Alan Shatter, but the couple split up a number of years ago.

She said she had high hopes for the business when it began.

“I started off the wedding business and did a bit of research and thought it would work. There was one year I did 62 weddings, but obviously the economy changed.

“Lots of other people decided to become wedding planners, businesses were closing all over the place.

“But the difficulty in trading in Spain is getting paid, it was like doing business in the Wild West.“

“When it got to the end of 2010, things were dire. There was a tax embargo put on me.”

She said she moved back to Ireland her marriage broke down and she said she juggled her cash flow irresponsibly.

“I couldn’t cope with it. It may or may not be my fault, I ended up with no money.”

She told us that she felt particularly guilty about the case of Colm and Sarah.

“I am guilty about their wedding, that I personally impacted so negatively.”

In a victim impact report Ms Foran said she and her husband were a young couple who had worked hard and saved hard to pay for their wedding. She said their marriage began in debt after they had to borrow to pay for the wedding a second time.

She said the humiliation and shame of that will always be with her and that Mulvey manipulated her and her husband.

“We are both fair and reasonable people, we would have worked with Suzanne,” she said. She said that because Danker cut off communications, they were left feeling powerless at such an important moment in their life.

She said Mulvey’s actions left their wedding day tarnished and tainted.

Judge Martin suspended a three-year prison term on condition that a sum of €9,500 which was brought to court be paid over to the victims and that another €5,000 be paid in the next two years.

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