Lisdoonvarna tops the bill on TV show

Lisdoonvarna tops the bill on TV show


Matchmaker Willie Daly pictured with country singer Nathan Carter – Photo: Eamon Ward

Lisdoonvarna Matchmaker Willie Daly literally stole the show on last week’s RTE’s ‘Saturday night with Miriam – after he took a phone call live on air.

Willie who was being interviewed by Miriam O’Callaghan, pulled his phone out of his pocket and proceeded to answer the call, much to the amusement of Miriam and the audience.

Willie and his daughter Elsha were on the show to talk about offline dating and the popularity of the festival and were also joined by a couple Willie had matched in Lisdoonvarna, Una and Hugh.

The Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival which kicks off in three weeks’ time is also to feature in three more RTE programmes in September. Producers of RTE’s flagship programme ‘Nationwide’, will be in the village on the first weekend to film a 30 minute special on the festival. The programme will be broadcast later in September.

It is the first time that the Lisdoonvarna matchmaking festival will be featured on Nationwide,  which has been running for over 24 years and attracts up to half a million viewers.

Julie Carr, press officer for the festival: “It is fantastic that RTE have decided to come to Lisdoonvarna to film three programmes this year.  Nationwide is one of the most popular programmes in Ireland, so to get this kind of publicity is unprecedented”

“We’ve recently had articles in the Huffington Post and Chicago Tribune – where else would a small village in Ireland get such international publicity.”

Nationwide’s TV presenter Mary Kennedy will be in the village to interview local business owners, singles, couples and top country music stars Nathan Carter and Mike Denver who will headlining in the marquee on the first weekend of the festival.

The festival starts on the first weekend of September with Nathan Carter and Mike Denver followed by Lisa McHugh and Derek Ryan on the 8th and 9th September at the Marquee, in Lisdoonvarna.

The festival, which is 161 years old has music and dancing in all venues around the village, for five weeks from 11am to late, culminating in “The Outing’ LGBT festival on the 7th – 8th October. For more information go to and to book tickets for the events go to

See Willie’s TV interview here.


Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.