The World Matchmaking Festival will take place in Bundoran, Donegal from Friday, 29 September to Sunday, 8 October.

The festival will include 35 bands in four venues over ten days and nights with performers such as the Tumbling Paddies, Tina Turner Tribute Show, Derek Ryan, Robert Mizzell, Patrick Feeney, Declan Nerney, Ciaran Rosney and Johnny Brady.

Renowned matchmaker Willie Daly will also be making his way to Bundoran to host a variety of matchmaking sessions, such as speed dating, a first date show and a blind date show.

Matchmaker Willie Daly (from Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare) is a third-generation traditional matchmaker who inherited his gift of matchmaking from his father and his grandfather.

Last year, Willie was responsible for up to 300 matches at the Lisdoonvarna annual event and over 160 couples now have plans for marriage.

Willie expects to greatly exceed these numbers at the Bundoran event. Willie has also written a book called The Last Matchmaker, where he tells stories of couples falling in love along with some of his own stories.

A festival for everyone

The festival is not confined to catering for singles. Angelina Nugent, spokesperson for the event said, “The matchmaking festival is for everyone and that sounds strange, obviously its aimed at people who would like to meet a match, but with the entertainment lineup it’s for anyone.

“We have groups of women who are just going for their annual weekend away and we also have couples going to hear some good music. There is also talk of a group of forty women coming from Texas who are interested in country music.”

The festival is set to bring a great boost to the local community. Shane Smyth, Bundoran tourism officer said: “Bundoran is ideally placed to host a festival of this magnitude with a wide range of accommodation across the town with plenty of entertainment and dining options. Guests will enjoy the famous Bundoran hospitality as well as having some of the most scenic views of Donegal Bay and the Wild Atlantic Way on their doorstep. They can relax in between dancing sessions! Sitting at the southernmost tip of Donegal, guests can also avail of the wonderful scenery in the surrounding counties of Sligo, Leitrim and Fermanagh.

“A ten-day festival like this will bring great economic benefit to Bundoran at a time that’s normally a bit quieter and sitting in the ‘shoulder’ season. We hope that our trade partners across the town will see a lift with all of these extra people in town”.

Festival Schedule

On Friday 29, September the festival will begin in the Allingham Arms hotel with the Tumbling Paddies and then in the Great Northern hotel, David James and Hugo Duncan will be playing with their bands.

Saturday, 30 September will see Johnny Brady in the Allingham Arms and Ciaran Rosney in the Great Northern hotel.

The Allingham Arms hotel will then see Derek Ryan on Sunday, 1 October, Patrick Feeny on Friday, 6 October and Robert Mizzell, Country Kings and guests on Saturday, 7, October. The festival will finish on Sunday, 8 October in the Allingham Arms Hotel with Declan Nerney with his band and guests.

Across the 10 days there will also be a range of nightly entertainment, featuring singers such as TR Dallas, Pat McKenna, Fhiona Ennis, Andy Ferry, John Molloy, Trevor Moyles and the Moynihan brothers.

The event is organised by Showtours, with James Cafferty as managing director. James promoted Joe Dolan from 1982 until his sad passing in 2007. Showtours now runs the most popular Joe Dolan tribute shows in the country.

Package deals with accommodation and entertainment are available starting from €89. Tickets are available to purchase online or at the door, subject to availability. For more information visit If you are interested in registering in the blind dating, first dates show or speed dating send your details to

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