Crowds flock to opening weekend of Matchmaking Festival

Crowds flock to opening weekend of Matchmaking Festival


Nathan Carter with winners of the Superfans competition Geraldine Cullen and Caroline Mitchell – Photo: Eamon Ward

Huge crowds turned out for the opening weekend of this year’s Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival – which was launched by top country music stars Mike Denver and Nathan Carter.

The weekend was the first of two big country music events in the village;  Lisa McHugh and Derek Ryan, will be performing in the marquee next weekend, 8th and 9th September.

The event, follows the success of last year’s inaugural Country music event, featuring Nathan Carter and Derek Ryan – which was one of the busiest weekends, Lisdoonvarna has ever had.

“We had a brilliant opening weekend and despite the rain, people turned out in their droves.” said Marcus White, Managing Director of the White Hotel Group and organiser of the event.

He added that all businesses around the town benefited from the large influx of people in the town, reporting a very strong start to the month long festival.

RTE Television presenters Anne Cassin and Mary Kennedy of Nationwide were also in the village to capture the unique atmosphere of the event. This is the first time, Nationwide has filmed the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival.

On Friday night, Anne Cassin interviewed Mike Denver, who started his career in Lisdoonvarna, at the Matchmaker Bar many years ago. She also met South African widow, Marleze Kruger who made headlines all over the world, after she revealed she is planning to move to Ireland to find love at the festival.

On Saturday, Mary Kennedy met couples who met at the festival and visited the Spa Wells to try the sulphur water and dance in the Wells complex. The Nationwide programme is due to be aired in mid-September.

TV presenter Francis Brennan will also be making his final visit to the Spa Wells next Sunday 10th September to film the final episode of this ‘At Your Service’ programme for RTE.

The Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, continues for five more weeks, culminating in ‘The Outing’ LGBT festival on the 6-8th September. For more information go to

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.