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12 best nuggets from the New York Times interview with the Lisdoonvarna matchmaker
Everything about this is just wonderful.

ONE OF IRELAND’S last traditional matchmakers in Lisdoonvarna has been featured in none other than the New York Times this week – and the whole article is filled to the brim with pure brilliance.

Willie Daly is the matchmaker and star of the show. He conducts his business in a pub during the Lisdoonvarna matchmaking festival

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While the festival is on, Mr. Daly conducts business in a pub. For a small fee (usually $10 to $15), he takes down the details of those seeking partners. He keeps these details in a large, overflowing book held together with tape and a shoestring, inherited from his matchmaker father and possessed, he says, of supernatural romantic powers.

The fact that LOL means “lots of land” in the matchmaking world

Willie’s key to matchmaking success isn’t grand gestures

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“There’s a good deal of magic in it,” says Willie. “I’m not a big believer in too many words.”

Willie is doubtful of the internet’s potential

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“I know a lot of people are going on the Internet now,” said Mr. Daly, who has just recently decided to learn how email works. “But it’s cold — it’s a machine.”

This quote about Italian folk

The fact that Willie’s actual age is unknown

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Mr. Daly — who thinks he is in his early 70s but does not know precisely because, he says, the priest who kept such records drank a lot — has been thinking about love most of his life.

This beautiful metaphor

The delightful story of Willie’s first match, aged 15

Seeing that a farmhand named John had blushed when he walked past a young woman at Sunday Mass, and that she had blushed, too, he decided to help them meet.

Romance is alive and well on the West coast

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“Proposals are more likely when you’ve been drinking,” says Willie.

This entry from a bygone age

A look through Mr. Daly’s matchmaking book shows how things have changed. While details now include “personal preferences,” like a love of travel, an entry from his father’s time reads, simply: “12 cows.”

The demands being placed on Willie by modern life

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“One fellow wrote and said his future bride had to be ‘untouched by scalpel,’ ” said Mr. Daly, whose daughter had to explain what the man meant. “Around here, cosmetic surgery, it means getting false teeth.”

And this sensational sign off

Everyone should be in love, all their lives, Mr. Daly said.

Hear, hear Willie.

Read the full profile in the New York Times here.

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