Matchmaking festival in ireland 2014

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Lisdoonvarna and Matchmaking

Discover ireland and ended up, soaks, ; matchmaking service for. Unfortunately, the spa closed a decade ago, but the matchmaking tradition has survived. Every September, Lisdoonvarna organizes a grand scale dating festival, visited by tens of thousands of hopeful visitors, including a few hundreds of foreigners. Over the years, it has become a practice that youngsters attend noisy parties at the weekends, whilst elderly people visit dance parties during the quieter week days.

Quietness is of course relative, live music is played from noon to dawn at every place suitable for dancing, that is in restaurants, hotels and clubs.

1st Weekend

I visited the area in the middle of the week, but I was immediately enchanted by the good mood. Although I did not get involved either in dating or in dancing, I still loved watching the carefree elders dancing.

Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival 2016

It is not only people looking for a partner who crowded the dance floor, but also happy couples who had previously found each other here. Many of them have been returning to the festival for three to four years, with near religious devotion.


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  • A couple who first met 47 years ago on the dance floor, have been returning every year since then to evoke the dawn of their love. The proud parents of three children and grandparents of six grandchildren have even asked one of their children to change the date of their planned wedding to avoid conflict with the festival. Many people love coming here simply because the festival brings back memories of their youth.

    They can get dressed gorgeously and dance till dawn, just like in the good old times. Finding a partner is possible on the dance floor, as anyone can ask whomsoever to dance, or use the skills of the match-maker. The legendary professional match-maker of the town is called Willie Daly. His father and grandfather played a similar role before, in point of fact, he is a third generation match-maker. His consulting hours are held in a separate room of the Matchmaker bar, where I join him for an evening to see how he works. Both youngsters and elderly, men and women, arrive driven by an earnest goal, to look for a partner in marriage.

    Willie as he is simply called by everyone talks to every one of them, tries to get to know them a little bit, then has them fill in a simple form. For this amount, a few telephone numbers are received for a year. They belong to ladies and gentlemen who can be potential partners according to Willie. But the main field of dating is the festival. For one month, Willie walks around with his eyes open day and night, as he keeps on introducing potential partners.

    The accomplished mediator told me that he has matched over three thousand couples during his operation spanning decades. There is no exact data available of how many matchmakings have ended in marriage, but numerous wedding invitations land in his post box every year.

    Lisdoonvarna matchmaking festival in Ireland

    Willie Daly is a real old-fashioned gentleman, he communicates exclusively in person, maybe by telephone, and he refuses to use the internet. He prefers assisting gentlemen of the country, he does not like bothering with men arriving from the capital. How could I find a woman for them here in the country, where the ratio is exactly the opposite? Matchmaking has its dark sides, too.

    Matchmaking Festival | Singles | Dating | Willie Daly | Lisdoonvarna | Ireland

    After a few decades of marriage and seven children, Willie was left by his wife because he spent too little time at home. His work involves going to parties almost every evening where one is in continuous discussions, plus watching and shepherding couples. This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. All our journalism is independent and is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative.

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