Out on the wild and rugged west coast of Ireland in the ancient county of Clare, the centuries-old tradition of matchmaking lives on. Two hundred years ago, there were matchmakers in every Irish town, people who instinctively understood what was required to bring a couple together.
For those of you looking for love (or just fun-seekers!), each year Matchmaker Ireland revisits this tradition in the small village of Lisdoonvarna, in a series of events that make up the famous Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival (31st Aug – 7 Oct) – 6 weeks celebration of love music and dancing for singles and couples.
At the helm of operations is local matchmaker Willie Daly, a self-confessed charmer, who is the third generation, at the very least, of his family to practice the subtle art of matchmaking. Each September, Lisdoonvarna is flooded by thousands of hopeful singles from all over the world, seeking the help of Willie, who draws on his extensive files, notebooks and ledgers, a remarkable memory and a highly-tuned antenna to find potential romance.
The festival kicks off with the horse racing weekend from Friday, August 30 and Saturday September 1 with music and dancing afterwards in all the pubs and hotels where you can check out potential partners while enjoying the best country bands Ireland has to offer. There are also Festival Dance Weekends happening from September 7 - 30, while the Matchmaking Final Weekend happens on October 6 & 7 where the King and Queen of the burren will be crowned for 2012
For those couples who can’t get enough of it the first dance starts at 12 midday at the newly renovated Town Hall Pavilion and continues all day at different venues over town till closing time. Mid Week Dancing goes on all September with Sam Doherty PJ Murrihy and Alan Kelly. Check out www.matchmakerireland.com for details and schedules.