The organisers of The Outing matchmaking festival in Lisdoonvarna are aiming to host Ireland’s first gay wedding at the festival over the next two or three years.
The festival, which is the world’s first gay matchmaking event, attracted nearly 3,000 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people to North Clare – where Lisdoonvarna matchmaker, Willie Daly, and Irish Gay icon Panti, matched couples together.
Last year was the first time that a gay element was included in the 157 years of the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival and according to Outing organiser, Eddie McGuinness, the event produced a number of long term couples.
“We had a nice few matches last year, not just by Willie Daly himself but also Panti, who tried her hand at some matchmaking.
“I personally know three couples who are still together from last year, which isn’t a bad result at all,” said Eddie.
“It is brilliant that real, long-term relationship are coming out of this festival. We have teamed up with the Marriage Equality organisation this year to get the message across that it all about love, commitment and finding the right person.
“Hopefully in a few years we will be able to go out and have a good old wedding in Lisdoonvarna.
“Hopefully next year or the year after we will be able to have a wedding in Lisdoonvarna, during the Outing. That would really be something amazing.
“The people of Lisdoonvarna and the surrounding villages really opened their arms and embraced The Outing last year.
“It was amazing to be in Clare for the weekend. My mother is originally from Clare and to be in Lisdoonvarna and such a great Clare welcome was something very special.”
This years event will run from October 3 to October 6 and will be the last weekend of the five week long Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival. TV personality, Brendan Courtney, will host blind date as part of the festival while singer Brian Kennedy will also perform.
For more information visit www.theouting.ie.

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