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Matchmaker Willie Daly in Lisdoonvarna. Photograph by Arthur Ellis.

Big Apple or Ennistymon dilemma for Willie

North Clare matchmaker, Willie Daly has been invited to New York for St Patrick’s Day, following the recent publication of an interview with him in one of the best-known newspapers in the United States.

The Lisdoonvarna man was invited to the city by a group of publicans in Brooklyn, to conduct a matchmaking weekend there, after an article about him appeared in the New York Times on February 3.

“I was invited off the back of the article but, really, I always have St Patrick’s Day at home with my grandchildren and we always participate in the Ennistymon parade, so I have to weight it up against that,” he said.

Last year, following national headlines made by whistleblowers, Willie and his family entered the parade as the tin whistle blowers.

“I have suggested to the people who have invited me that maybe April 1 or May Day might be alternative times for a matchmaking weekend. St Patrick’s Day is busy enough, perhaps it would be better to do it at a time when it is more needed but I suppose after the piece in the paper, they probably want to strike while the iron is hot,” he said.

“In New York, I don’t know there might be 10,000 or maybe a 100,000 people watching it and there wouldn’t be a head among them that I would know. We have a small parade in Ennistymon with maybe 100 people watching and I would know nearly all of them,” he continued.

Willie has yet to fully decide whether or not he will travel to New York for St Patrick’s Day but he is leaning towards staying at home.

“It is a small parade in Ennistymon but I thoroughly enjoy it. The New York one, you hear about it being very colourful but, really, would it be that much better than watching it on television. At my age, you have to think about that. The people who invited me, I think they will try to convince me a bit more but we’ll see,” he concluded.

By Nicola Corless

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