North Clare farmer Willie is one of the last traditional matchmakers in the country and has set up around 3,000 marriages since he started following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps over 45 years ago.
Each year his tiny home town of Lisdoonvarna (population 800) hosts a matchmaking festival that attracts 40,000 visitors from around the world.
The annual Matchmaking Festival in Ardara takes place over a weekend and also includes fortune-telling, tarot cards, traffic-light dating, blind date and speed dating as well as live music.
Described as “the horse-whisperer of matchmaking”, Willie’s top tips for love are:
Never quit looking.
Avoid looking at love through the eyes of another person.
Love can be around the next bend in the road.
Always hope that it will happen sooner than you expect.
Treat love with respect and it will respect you in return and you will enjoy the magic of romance.
If there is someone in your dreams don’t be afraid to open your arms and tell them that you love them.
Believe and you will, you will, you will find love and be happiness for the rest of your life.
Love is a wine of a rare vintage and is waiting for you to uncork and indulge.
Willie Daly also swears by his 150 year old “Lucky Book”. If you touch the book you’ll be married and in love inside of six months. If you are already married, you will recreate the honeymoon period you first had.
He said he realised there was a need for matchmaking when he saw his Neighbours living and dying alone.
“I saw my neighbours, good, fine people, dying off, alone, and the farmhouses and our way of life going to ruin. There was no one for them and without a real knowledge of what I was doing, I started introducing people to one another.”
Meet Willie and you could also find the love of your life at Ardara Matchmaking Festival, November 7th, 8th, 9th.