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Belfast couple whose honeymoon was ended by son’s leg break given happy ending by cinema boss

By Claire McNeilly

A Belfast couple who had to give up a £4,000 honeymoon after their young son broke his leg have thanked a big-hearted businessman for offering to pay for another holiday.

Newlyweds Lee and Colleen Finlay were forced to abandon the trip of a lifetime to America when four-year-old Spencer was rushed to hospital the day after they got married.

Their travel company, American Holidays, told them that the cost was non-refundable because they hadn't taken out travel insurance, and they said they couldn't afford the £3,000 required to change the dates.

But tears of sadness have now turned to joy after Movie House Cinemas owner Michael McAdam stepped in just hours before his own wedding on Saturday to give the Finlays a happy ending to their tragic tale.

"If they want to change the holiday, my company will give them the money," he said.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph yesterday, 32-year-old Lee said that he and his new wife Colleen (31), a make-up artist, were "touched to the bottom of our hearts" by the cinema boss's kindness.

"We were bowled over that someone could be so generous to people they have never met," the chef said.

"We can't thank Mr McAdam enough for his offer."

When they bought the £4,000 package with American Holidays last June - which takes in San Francisco, California and Las Vegas - the Finlays say they weren't told they needed to purchase travel insurance at the time of booking.

And to their horror, it was only in the aftermath of Spencer's fracture on April 30, when Lee tried to reschedule a time that his son would be fit to travel, that they learned the trip was "100% non-refundable".

When American Holidays, based at Lombard Street in Belfast, then began pricing how much it would cost to reschedule the honeymoon, Lee was told it would be another £3,000 - which he said they couldn't afford.

The Finlays, who were due to fly out from Dublin on May 5, will continue to spend every waking moment by Spencer's hospital bed until he is discharged later this week.

Consumer law expert and solicitor Fiona Donnelly said that customers should be made aware of the terms and conditions at the point of sale.

"Clients should be told when the booking can't be changed or cancelled because that's information that is relevant and it should be given at the time of booking," she said.

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