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The luck of the Irish smiles on most of their endeavors, except perhaps on romance, where the feet-on-the-ground influence of a third party may be needed to redirect the lonely toward a wee bit of happiness. Today, it may be cyber wooing – even in the glen – but not many decades ago the practiced art of matchmaking brought lovers together. That’s the premise of “The Matchmaker,” a sentimental, briskly comic exercise in turning one and one into a more significant combination of two, at the Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury. Phyllis Ryan ‘s adaptation of John B. Keane ‘s “Letters of a Matchmaker” is a nostalgic look back at the Ireland of the s and ’60s, when inarticulate but yearning Irish singles turned their hopes – and pocketbooks – over to matchmakers, who shopped for the right partners. The bios, stats and vitas they used were primitive data compared to the computer-generated printouts of today’s marital candidates. Now it’s prenuptial agreements, blood tests and blind trusts; then it was: Are you alive, functioning and Irish?

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Pre ‘s style love! Looking for love? Ireland’s most famous matchmaker will be at the annual Hollywood Fair in Co. Wicklow this weekend.

My mother never forgot this barb, and it helped to inspire the play Body and Blood. They continued to be well into the s. Marriages were arranged by matchmakers and the girls were often taken to the altar against their will. The girls were matched from the age of 15 onwards and their dowries were balanced against the land and livestock of the men they were matched with.

Irish farmers often deferred marriage until they were well on in years so they needed much younger wives to bear them sons to inherit the land and keep the family name alive. Once matched into a loveless marriage, the girls often found themselves living on remote farms faced with animals to be fed, bread to be baked, bacon to be boiled, cattle to be milked, and turf to be carried. This cultural background formed the early lives of the characters in Body and Blood but the story begins when they come to London as part of a major wave of Irish immigration in Will the characters make the sacrifices required to stay true to their cultural roots or — infused with their new-found freedom in London — break free to control their individual destinies?

Which of them will have their own Easter Risings? Click here to listed to actress Sorcha Brooks, who plays Pegeen in the play talking about rural Ireland. Letter from the Bishop of Galway warning of immodest dress

25 movies about Ireland and Irish people you should watch on St. Patrick’s Day

Search Search. Menu Sections. From matchmakers to dating websites, the ways Irish people look for romance may have changed over the decades, but the goal remains the same, writes Ronan Abayawickrema. A n estimated , Irish users a month visited online dating sites in These days, finding your soulmate — or enduring an excruciating failed date — is potentially just a click away. But how did Irish people look for love in earlier decades?

Set in the rural west of Ireland of the s the play follows the efforts of Kerry Matchmaker as he makes suitable matches for the lonely and.

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The Matchmaker

Extended exposure to two actors reading personal letters aloud could be a numbing theatrical experience were it not for the understanding heart and endearing humor that Des Keogh brings to his share of the task. A veteran character actor in his native Ireland, Keogh applies his ingratiating style to a warm portrayal of a rural Irish matchmaker named Dicky Mick Dicky O’Connor. By Marilyn Stasio. Keogh needs only a change of headgear and a shift in posture to get under the skins of the farmers, horse-breeders and blacksmiths who look to Dicky Mick Dicky for a bit of human warmth to get them through the long nights in the remote Irish countryside.

But, lacking more range and depth of feeling, their sorry lives fail to strike us full in the heart.

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The tradition of matchmaking reaches back a long way into the history of West Cork and its people. It was the belief of the people that matches were made in heaven even if some of them later produced a semblance of hell on earth. Negotiations were set afoot, and the matchmaking wrangle was normally carried out in a special room in one of the pubs in town with only the go-between in attendance to put forward split-the-difference suggestions at the right times and in the correct places.

The farm duly walked, further negotiations began, and if the fortune was finally fixed and the transfer of the place from the father to the son, agreed, then the match was made. Many a match was not made, however, because twenty pounds, sometimes less than that, was between the bargainers and neither side would give way in an era when matchmaking differed only in species from a purchase or sale at the local fair. Both were based on bargaining and both depended on whether or not the bargain -makers reached a final agreement.

The marriage ceremony was, in the eyes of the neighbours, the least important part of the occasion. If everything was lavish it was a dacent wedding. A honeymoon-was unknown in the country at that time. Gone is the matchmaking, gone the matchmaker. Gone, too,is the country wedding as we used to know it. Whatever reservations one might have about the matchmaking only fond memories can remain of the country wedding.

With its full and plenty, its dancing and songs and general merriment, a dacent country wedding was an event to remember for the rest of your life.

Green Curtain Theatre

There have been many movies about Ireland that are not actually filmed in Ireland. I have spent many years collecting my favourite movies about Ireland and this is my personal list of the best Irish movies that are actually filmed in Ireland and are about Ireland to watch to feed your need for that wicked sense of humour a bit of craic and some incredible vistas and landscapes. These Irish movies, or films as the Irish call them are all set in Ireland and filmed in Ireland movies — it is not meant to be definitive by any stretch of the imagination but I have seen all of these and although some are not brilliant pieces of cinematic art they can be great fun, tragic, educational and above all will allow you to see Ireland in all its glory, good and bad.

Are you planning your trip to Ireland — here is everything you need to know. How to find your ancestors in Glasnevin cemetery. Would you like to move to Ireland?

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I know that’s something that seems almost sacrilegious to most Irish Americans , but I would wager it’s an experience shared by most of us raised in Ireland. From the opening train scene where the locals are shown to be dithering and nosey, incompetent enough that a train would arrive at its destination four hours late, the stereotypes came fast and furious.

The Irish are generally portrayed as a drunken, rural people whose men are always in the pub or betting, and the women are all fiery and bad-tempered or gossips. Acknowledging that The Quiet Man was, of course, first released 65 years ago, there was a point at which I could condemn the sexism and backward portrayal of the Irish people in the movie and move on with my life accepting that it was a different time, different place, different era and while still not unacceptable, it could be remembered as something that should not be replicated in the present or future.

I found myself increasingly gritting my teeth, however, as the many reasons that I could hate this movie as a feminist and an Irish person just kept coming. However, it is the excuses of those who really love the film that really got to me. Yet, there is absolutely nothing innocent or aspiring about the Irish society portrayed here and nothing that should lead us to think that we should ever return to it. Have we really moved past the sexism of the s if we still are determined to defend its representation on film because of our own starry-eyed idea that this was the best of Ireland?

What on earth could be innocent about a Catholic priest becoming incensed with a woman and telling her it’s a sin for her to make her husband sleep in a sleeping bag?

Is The Quiet Man misogynistic and outdated?

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shelter for freedom fighters on the run during the Irish War of Independence The husband, Gerry Whelan, proved skilful at matchmaking and he brought.

Matchmaking is the process of matching two or more people together, usually for the purpose of marriage , but the word is also used in the context of sporting events such as boxing, in business, in online video games and in pairing organ donors. In some cultures, the role of the matchmaker was and is quite professionalised. The Ashkenazi Jewish shadchan , or the Hindu astrologer , were often thought to be essential advisors and also helped in finding right spouses as they had links and a relation of good faith with the families.

In cultures where arranged marriages were the rule, the astrologer often claimed that the stars sanctified matches that both parents approved of, making it quite difficult for the possibly-hesitant children to easily object — and also making it easy for the astrologer to collect his fee. Social dance , especially in frontier North America, the contra dance and square dance , has also been employed in matchmaking, usually informally. However, when farming families were widely separated and kept all children on the farm working, marriage-age children could often only meet in church or in such mandated social events.

Matchmakers, acting as formal chaperones or as self-employed ‘busybodies’ serving less clear social purposes, would attend such events and advise families of any burgeoning romances before they went too far. The influence of such people in a culture that did not arrange marriages, and in which economic relationships e. It may be fair to say only that they were able to speed up, or slow down, relationships that were already forming.


Many single people in their 30s and older find bars and clubs hostile environments in which to meet somebody, and can find themselves increasingly isolated and lonely as the rest of their friends pair off, settle down and have children. Thomas 35 was single for over a year when he heard about a matchmaking agency, Intro, and signed up. I had heard some bad experiences of internet dating, but I liked the idea of the introductions agency because it was very discreet.

Having been in two serious long-term relationships, Thomas found himself single while most of his friends had settled down with partners and young families.

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