If you’re looking for an Irish mate, this may be for you – Europe’s largest Matchmaking Festival draws throngs of people to Lisdoonvarna each year, and if you cannot find that special person at one of the many events, there are matchmakers on hand to assist.
It’s an extraordinary event in so many ways that I’m not sure where to start, it sort of defies description. This video gives something of the flavour of the event.
Dancing and music beginning most days at noon (or earlier) and continuing non-stop into the small hours of the morning.
Having fun at ‘Lisdoon’ is a serious business! Age is definitely no barrier – those attending range from 18 to 80, and the older participants are regularly the first up and last to stagger home to bed late at night.
The best known of the matchmakers is Willie Daly, who deals in horses when not dealing in love and who claims to have been instrumental in getting hundreds, if not thousands, of couples to the altar.
Do NOT go expecting a sophisticated or upmarket event. This is where many Irish farmers traditionally go to find a wife, though most farmers who are having trouble finding love are likely to head to the Internet these days, and you will mostly meet ordinary Irish people who are in town purely for the ‘craic’.
Some nods to change are incorporated – there are speed-dating events these days – but mostly the modus operandi is to provide lots of opportunities for people to get together at dances, sessions and in the pubs.
Each weekend the events are focused on some activity, from horse racing on the opening weekend, country music the following one, three weekends devoted to dancing then the final fling where the Queen of the Burren and Mr Lisdoonvarna are crowned.
It’s all carried off in good spirit, everyone is friendly and it’s great fun if it’s your kind of thing and it’s well worth dropping by for a day or so – but only the determined or the really desperate will stand the pace for more than a couple of days!
Date and details for 2022 subject to confirmation.
Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare
Aug : https://www.ticketweb.ie/event/lisdoonvarna-1st-country-the-marquee-lisdoonvarna-tickets/8121245?pl=MMI Sept: https://www.ticketweb.ie/event/lisdoonvarna-2nd-country-music-weekend-the-marquee-lisdoonvarna-tickets/8191575?pl=MMI
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When Willie Daly first started out in the matchmaking business some 50 years ago, many of his clients were older men seeking young women. “Now it tends to be the other way round,” he says, sitting in his kitchen overlooking what should be Liscannor bay in north Clare, but covered in a thick fog. “I...