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Tag Archives: Willie Daly

Lockdown dampens St Valentine’s Day Romance

LOOKING for love, without the pub has been described as “a threatening and scary prospect” by legendary Lisdoonvarna matchmaker Willie Daly. Ahead of a Valentine’s Day like no other, the love guru said Irish society remains without a key social and romantic outlet, as Level 5 restrictions mean pubs and restaurants must remain closed. “Irish men in particular are feeling alone and isolated,” he said. “They’re looking for love without the pub and while I’m not advocating abusing drink, Arthur Guinness was always a marvellous back-up and a source of energy for fellas who might have been on the sensitive and conservative side. They came into their own with a few social drinks in the pub and that’s not available now. The Irish man feels very naked at the moment. His mind, body and soul are in a different place. Love without the pub is a strange situation. I’ve seen it at the [matchmaking] festival. Fellas are shy at 7 …

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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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Creative trio breathe new life into Ennistymon venue

THE working from home revolution, prompted by the pandemic, has inspired a creative trio to make the move to the Banner county, where they hope to breathe new life into a much-loved North Clare venue. Kymann Power, Áine Leech and Diarmaid Keane who are all digital creatives, with a strong interest in arts, culture and music, have made Daly’s in Ennistymon their new home. The three have been reaching out to musicians and those in the arts with a view to using their digital skills to support them in finding new audiences online and on social media. “Before the pandemic, I was working from home in Dublin,” explained Áine, a Westmeath native. “I was tired of looking at the four walls and got out just before lockdown.” Clare was the destination of choice according to Kymann. “I had travelled here with Áine a few times and when we were looking for a base in the west of Ireland, we happened …

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Love still blooming in a time of lock-down

LOVE in a time of lock-down is still continuing to flourish, with many prospective couples using old-fashioned methods to get acquainted, according to match-maker Willie Daly. The Lisdoonvarna love guru told The Champion that the extraordinary times we are living through have seen a surge in the number of people putting romance to the top of their post lock-down priority lists. “Certainly, the restrictions are making life difficult. So many people have lost their jobs and the lack of social opportunities is making people very lonely,” he said. “It’s very hard on people living alone in small apartments at this time. In the last two to three weeks, I’ve had a definite increase in the number of people coming forward to ask for help in finding a partner and there’s a greater urgency too in their calls and letters.” Mr Daly, who claims credit for around 3,000 marriages over his half-a-century of match-making, said the unprecedented change in people’s lifestyles …

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Lisdoonvarna hits the screen in Oz

LISDOONVARNA and other areas of North Clare featured in an episode of a popular Australian TV show, The Living Room last week. The show aired on Network Ten and included an interview with matchmaker Willie Daly, and a visit to the Cliffs of Moher Filming took place last autumn and was supported by Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland. The Living Room is presented by Dr Chris Brown , an Australian veterinarian, TV personality and author, famously known as the ‘Bondi Vet’. Sofia Hansson, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Australia, said, “Tourism Ireland is delighted that Dr Chris and the team from The Living Room chose to film in County Clare. With an audience of about 700,000 viewers per episode, it’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase Lisdoonvarna and the county to a huge Australian audience. TV and film are recognised as strong influencers on prospective visitors and Tourism Ireland regularly works with TV and production companies around the world, to facilitate the making of travel …

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70 years looking for love in Lisdoon

A BACHELOR farmer, who has been coming to Lisdoonvarna for the past 70 years, is still hopeful he will meet “the one”. Ninety-two-year-old Mick Burke, a sheep farmer from Borrislea in County Tipperary, first came to Lisdoonvarna with his mother in 1946. Mick, who was 23 at the time, said, “I fell in love with the atmosphere, the music and the dancing and, of course, the women. After that I was hooked and have been coming back every year since, still hopeful I will meet someone. “I never married. I had a lot of lucky escapes. I fell in love with several women I met in Lisdoonvarna,” he said. A pocket-full of phone numbers he picked up on his visits to the Spa town in September was, he said, “ my fodder for the winter”. He had no shortage of dates and would go dances but had no notion of getting married. “I had a few girlfriends over the years; …

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Looking for Lisdoon Love

Forget about Tinder, Plenty of Fish and Grinder, Clare’s resident matchmaker says when it comes to dating, nothing beats the real thing. As preparations get underway for the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, Willie Daly says, “I know a lot of people have gone computerised on things like Plenty of Fish but there’s nothing like the real thing. When these guys are out dancing and they have an arm around a woman and feel the lovely softness of a woman and hold her hand, there’s a saying that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. It is very hard to beat the real thing.” The festival kicks off a little later than usual on September 3 but with it running until October 9, there will be plenty of opportunities for those looking for love. The festival is attracting a lot attention from the US and the matchmaker says men and women are flocking to Lisdoonvarna to find an …

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Drink driver to seek ‘nice woman’ in Lisdoonvarna

Lisdoonvarna Matchmaker Willie Daly could be facing an unusual challenge in September. A Kerry bachelor farmer, convicted of driving with excess alcohol, will not be put off the road until he has an opportunity to “find a nice woman” at the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, who could drive him around. John O’Shea, aged 60, of Derrinadin, Mastergeeha, had previously pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Tarmons, Waterville, on July 25, 2014. Mr O’Shea’s  solicitor John O’Dwyer, son of the famous Mick O’Dwyer, reminded the court in Cahersiveen that “football had been his downfall on the day.” On the date of the offence, he had gone to Waterville for animal feed for his cows and ended up talking about Kerry’s performance in the Munster Final, forgetting to eat and drinking too much, hitting the ditch on the way home in what was a single vehicle accident. The blood-alcohol reading was 198mg so the offence carried a three-year penalty, the court …

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