Friday 2 December 2016

Numbers soar at Lisdoonvarna's LGBT 'Outing'

Gordon Deegan

Published 05/10/2015 | 02:30

Brendan Courtney and contestants taking part in Blind Date on stage
Brendan Courtney and contestants taking part in Blind Date on stage
Signing up for Willie Daly’s matchmaking skills
Christina Riley, Miss Panti, Kellie Maloney and Eddie McGuiness at The Outing LGBT festival in Lisdoonvarna. Photos: Brian Farrell
Matchmaker Willie Daly with Siobhan O’Brien, Co Clare, and Deborah Hopkins, Germany

The organisers of Lisdoonvarna's LGBT matchmaking festival were 'walking on sunshine' yesterday as they celebrated record numbers.

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The organisers of Lisdoonvarna's LGBT matchmaking festival were 'walking on sunshine' yesterday as they celebrated record numbers.

The creator and director of The Outing, Eddie McGuinness, spoke of his joy as thousands descended on the sleepy north Clare town for the weekend.

They were entertained by Panti Bliss, Brendan Courtney, Katrina from Katrina and the Waves and others. 

Katrina entertained party -goers on Friday with tunes including her 1980s hit 'Walking on Sunshine' at the Hydro Hotel. The Hydro was heaving again on Saturday night as revellers awaited Brendan Courtney to present a live version of 'Blind Date'.

Heading into the two-hour turnaround required to transform into Panti-Bliss on Saturday evening, Rory O'Neill said that "there is nothing like this festival anywhere in the world".

On Saturday night, the town centre was bedecked in pink love-hearts and rainbow coloured bunting.

O'Neill said: "The town really makes a lot of effort - I think the first year they were a little bit suspicious, but now thinking 'this is grand'."

The man who makes the magic happen throughout the month of September, Willie Daly, was armed with his well-thumbed matchmaking book.

Willie admitted that he was "feeling his way" into the matchmaking for the weekend.

Yet to make a match for an LGBT couple, Willie said: "It is a new beginning for me and requires me to adjust my perspective and my mind-set.

"When a man comes up to me this weekend, it isn't a woman he is looking for - it is a man."

Marcus White, MD of the White Hotel Group, said that numbers at The Outing are up 25pc on last year. One of the attendees this year was Kellie Moloney, formerly the boxing promoter Frank Moloney.

Kellie underwent her gender re-assignment procedure earlier this year - and enjoying the atmosphere in Lisdoonvarna, she said: "It is a wonderful event. I have had just the most amazing time."

Kellie confirmed that she danced with a number of farmers over the weekend.

She quipped: "I could have ended up a farmer's wife."

Irish Independent

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