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Tag Archives: Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival

Lisdoon traders unhappy at loss of festival, but open for business

BUSINESSES in Lisdoonvarna has confirmed they are still open and will continue to trade next September, despite the cancellation of the popular matchmaking festival for the second year in a row. Lynn Connolly, who runs the Rathbawn Hotel, asked if Tesco decided to pull out of Ennis, would people say Ennis is closing for shopping? Acknowledging a marquee will not be permitted to operate this year due to Covid-19 restrictions on large crowds, she believes it was unfair to other business to cancel the entire festival for the second year in a row. She said businesses don’t know if they will be allowed to host musicians yet. “Musicians are booked and are rearing to go. We are in limbo, which is fine under the circumstances, as we all have to stay safe. “We can’t say whether we will have music. We want to have a good September, but we have to follow the government guidelines.” She said businesses were not …

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Matchmaking festival film puts Clare on centre stage

HOT on the heels of the huge publicity boost for North Clare created by the TV show ‘Smother’ and the two-part documentary ‘The Burren: Heart of Stone,’ Lisdoonvarna is set for a visitor boost this summer after inspiring a movie on the world-famous matchmaking festival. Entitled, ‘As Luck Would Have It,’ the movie premiered on the Hallmark Channel last week. It stars Irish actor Allen Leech, who played Tom Branson in the hugely popular ‘Downton Abbey,’ and US actress JoAnne Garcia Swisher from the Netflix series ‘Sweet Magnolia’. The film’s plot revolves around JoAnne’s character, Lindsey, who travels to Ireland to acquire land to build a resort. She decides to enter the local matchmaking festival to prove her investment and win over a handsome local. The film is one of two major television productions to reference the festival in recent years. The multi-award winning ‘Schitt’s Creek’ features a Singles Week in the series four finale, with a serious nod to …

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‘He never gave up hope of finding love’ – Time runs out for bachelor farmer

A 97 year old bachelor farmer who attended the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival for 72 years has passed away without finding his soul mate. Mick Bourke from County Tipperary began attending the festival in 1946 when he was 23 years old and never missed a year until his health began to fade a few years ago. His death caused by pneumonia was announced last week. “Mick was well known and loved by many in Lisdoonvarna and messages of sympathy have been pouring in all week to us, via social media. People are speaking of his warmth, his sense of fun and his razor-sharp dancing skills. He was a legend in Lisdoonvarna and he never gave up hope of finding love in over 70 years, attending”, said Julie Carr, Marketing Manager of Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival. Back in 2016, a party was organised for Mick at the Spa Wells in the village, where he was presented with a cake by Matchmaker Willie Daly. …

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Tributes paid as tourism campaign brings staycationing Tánaiste to Clare

TÁNAISTE Leo Varadkar was welcomed to Clare by members of the local authority, along with the thousands of others who have chosen this county for their staycation this summer. Warm tributes were paid by councillors on the success of a major tourism marketing campaign, launched in conjunction with the re-opening of the country and the easing of some lockdown restrictions. Calling on the council to provide extra support for the county’s tourism networks, Councillor Joe Killeen said it was wonderful to see so many people “staycating” in Clare, and that extra resources should be given to local organisations to enable them to offer visitors the best possible experience. “Around a quarter of Clare people work in tourism,” the Fianna Fáil member noted. “The sector is vital. Clare gets around 5% of all domestic tourism on average and I would expect that to be much higher this year. We have huge strengths in our tourism networks and huge expertise because they …

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Patients sought for RTÉ medical series

A new RTÉ medical series is making its final call for people to book free doctors’ appointments in North Clare this weekend. You Should Really See a Doctor has travelled around the country with its mobile clinic over the summer and the final show in the series will be filmed in Lisdoonvarna on Saturday (September 19). Dr Pixie McKenna and Dr Phil Kieran will be at the Matchmaking Festival, offering on-the-spot consultations and health checks. “We are particularly interested in hearing from people who have researched their symptoms online and would like a real doctor’s advice. “Most of us have been there; you feel a mild pain in the head and next thing you’re reading an internet article about a rare tropical disease that you think you might have. From stomach problems to sleep issues to skin problems – the real doctors want to hear from you,” a spokesperson for the show stated. The doctors are happy to hear from …

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Kellie Maloney to join matchmaking trail

A FORMER UK boxing promoter is to attend the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival this September, just months after completing a sex-change operation. Kellie Maloney is a well-known transgender person and was formerly known as Frank Maloney, before completing her transition 16 weeks ago. As Frank, she managed Lennox Lewis to the world heavyweight title. Kellie, 61, heard about the festival last year when she was in Dublin for an interview on The Late Late Show. “I tried to get accommodation but there were no hotels available. This year I booked a small cottage, where I can bring my dogs with me,” she said. Kellie is heading to Lisdoonvarna from September 25 to October 4 and also plans to attend the LGBT festival, The Outing. “Now I have completed my journey, I have to decide whether I want a partner or companion. I am going to go to as many events as possible and see what happens. I will throw the dice …

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Great times ahead for Lisdoonvarna

Lisdoonvarna looks set to attract even more visitors to its annual matchmaking festival this September after its most famous son featured in the New York Times recently. The North Clare Spa town, by all accounts, attracted record tourist numbers during the five-week festival last year. However, one local hotelier says interest is already surging, from the United States in particular, following Willie Daly’s extensive coverage in the well-known paper. “This article appearing in the New York Times certainly is a bonus for us. Usually, interest in the festival really gets going in May and June but this is worldwide coverage and getting into something like the New York Times, a well established and world-famous paper, is amazing. That type of press coverage will definitely help Lisdoonvarna this year,” said Marcus White of the White Hotel Group, of which the Hydro Hotel, the Imperial Hotel and the Burren Castle Hotel are all part. The socio-economic demographic of NY Times readers increases …

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Spa Wells helps drive dancers to Lisdoonvarna

September has been the busiest month in a decade for Lisdoonvarna, according to local business people, with one hotelier highlighting last Saturday, in particular, as “well up on last year”. After eight years, the Spa Wells reopened this season and many are attributing increased visitor numbers in part to that. “We are getting about 200 people a day,” said Paddy Dunne, chairman of Lisdoonvarna Fáilte, the voluntary committee behind the reopening. “This committee only took over in January. The numbers are more than we expected. Word of mouth spread rapidly and we are getting good visitor numbers here every day. There is nothing like this anywhere else. There is this hall which holds 350 in the Spa Wells itself and then the Pavillion, which holds 650 and it is owned by the community and run by the community and everything goes back into the facilities we have here,” he continued. “This has been the biggest festival in 10 years and everyone would …

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