Orla Vaughan is a local woman living near Lisdoonvarna who, over the next coming months, will be giving us an insight into the upcoming Outing in Lisdoonvarna from a very local perspective
What do we know about the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival? It’s held in Lisdoonvarna, Lisdoonvarna is in Co. Clare, Christy Moore wrote a song about it, which has nothing to do with the matchmaking festival but rather to do with music festivals that were held there in the 70’s and 80’s. Sinead O’Connor has been – don’t let that put you off your search for true love and happiness! Is that it? Well pretty much as it’s not been for ‘our’ kind really, it’s for farmers, Hens, Stags and the heterosexuals of Ireland and beyond.
A tradition that came about through accident, culture, necessity or just dodgy water that could cure “anything” whatever, it’s here and it has stood the test of time. Does it work? Well yes is the short answer. I am a product of the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, my parents met there, my mum from Co. Meath, my dad from a village down the road, they married and had three kids. That is a successful match, is it not? I have lived my whole life in said village down the road from Lisdoonvarna and the matchmaking festival is a huge part of our lives. As kids we would go and sit at the turn for Lisdoon (here’s a little local lingo for you ‘Lisdoon’ or The Spa is what Lisdoonvarna is known as round these parts) and count the cars turning up the road. That may sound boring now but these were the days of two TV channels! All the B&B’s, self catering, pubs and shops in our village benefit from it. The teenagers, young adults, middle aged and more mature people all ‘pull’ in the Spa. Sheep are safer in September – FACT!
A tradition that has been around for centuries exclusively for the heterosexual in our society is now extending cupid’s arrow to the Gay and Lesbians communities of Ireland and further afield. Why now? Is it because we all deserve happiness, is it good business with the allure of the ‘pink pound’? What do the locals really think and will they buy into it? Does the match maker himself buy into it? What does the reported 5-year plan really consist of, publicity stunt or a genuine plan? Do I as a lesbian and a local think this will work? These are some of the questions I hope to answer before we commit our hard earned pink pound to the north Clare village of Lisdoonvarna at the end of August.