iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Lisdoonvarna – Ireland’s Love Capital

Play now 25 mins

Lisdoonvarna – Ireland’s Love Capital

Duration:
25 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 11 February 2012

It's an unlikely venue for international romance, a small town on the edge of a stark, scarred limestone plateau; but Lisdoonvarna in the Republic of Ireland has been a matchmaking centre for hundreds of years.

Every September, once their harvests were in, farmers from County Clare and the surrounding counties would flock to the town in search of a companion. These days the festival attracts hopefuls from all over the world.

They come to seek the help of one man – Willie Daly, a third generation traditional matchmaker (who does a little horse-trading on the side).

This time the hopefuls include BBC producer Alison Finch (single, own car, good sense of humour) who makes the pilgrimage to Lisdoonvarna to seek Willie's help.

Throwing herself into the helter-skelter of matchmaking season, Alison encounters a lonely lorry driver who sees Lisdoonvarna as the 'World Cup' of socialising; a happily-married couple who haven't missed a festival in almost 50 years (not even for their son's wedding); and a farmer who claims to know a little bit about everything from the space shuttle to slurry.

Signs are promising: men greatly outnumber women; Willie the matchmaker is confident of finding Alison a partner (especially if she's prepared to move to the countryside) and a jovial American assures her there are cupids in the trees.

However, she doesn't count on some serious competition in the form of international music star, Sinead O'Connor!

Will Alison record her own happy ending? Or will she discover that although the odds are good, the goods are odd?

  • Lisdoonvarna - Ireland's Love Capital

    You must enable javascript to play content

  • Lonely hearts flock to Lisdoonvarna

    Lonely hearts flock to Lisdoonvarna

    If internet dating, speed dating or even the lonely hearts columns have not worked for you, then the Irish spa town of Lisdoonvarna may have the answer

    Read more on the BBC News website
  • Wille - traditional Irish matchmaker

    Wille - traditional Irish matchmaker

    Willie Daly explains how the world's biggest matchmaking festival works, and even gives us an insight into the lucky book

    Read more on the BBC News website

Broadcasts

Free downloads

  1. Image for Documentaries

    Documentaries

    An indepth look at stories and issues from around the world. This podcast offers you the chance to…

  2. Image for Documentaries 2007

    Documentaries 2007

    Throughout the week BBC World Service offers a wide range of documentaries and other factual…

  3. Image for Documentaries 2008

    Documentaries 2008

    Throughout the week BBC World Service offers a wide range of documentaries and other factual…

  4. Image for Documentaries 2009

    Documentaries 2009

    Throughout the week BBC World Service offers a wide range of documentaries and other factual…

  5. Image for Documentaries 2010

    Documentaries 2010

    Throughout the week BBC World Service offers a wide range of documentaries and other factual…

  6. Image for World Service Music Documentaries

    World Service Music Documentaries

    All the World Service's music podcasts gathered into one place. New documentaries will be added…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.