Willie meets his match as 'intrigued' Kellie seeks love in Lisdoonvarna
In 50 years of business, Lisdoonvarna's renowned matchmaker Willie Daly thought he had seen it all. Until now.
He scratched his beard thoughtfully as he considered the latest application from his client.
"I can usually put a song to each one of the people who come to me, and I've been thinking the song that suits this one is 'I've Never Met a Girl Like You Before'.
"I think it sums it up alright."
The girl in question is Kellie Maloney, formerly Frank, one of the UK's top boxing promoters.
As Frank she was famed for managing Lennox Lewis, and has three daughters and two grandchildren.
Kellie travelled to the month-long Lisdoonvarna Festival after completing her gender reassignment procedure earlier this year.
This year, LGBT event The Outing, hosted by Panti Bliss, takes place on October 2-4 as part of the matchmaking festival.
It has been a growing offshoot of the traditional matchmaking events for the past three years.
Kellie was delighted to take the opportunity to experience Lisdoonvarna for herself yesterday.
Explaining her decision to attend the festival, she said: "I read an article about it in one of the English newspapers.
"I was intrigued, so I've decided that I would like to find out what it's all about."
Accompanied by her friend Christina Riley, she quickly got down to business with Willie in the Matchmaker Bar in the west Clare town.
The fee of €20 changed hands - but Kellie acknowledge the extent of the job ahead. "I'll be your hardest task," she said, smiling.
But Willie was more interested in getting a proper background profile of Kellie before settling into the job of finding the right partner for her.
For instance, did she like housekeeping and could she drive a tractor?
That would be a no - to both questions.
"Do these hands look like they're used to housework?" she asked.
Tackling the elephant in the room, he wanted to know why would a man want to become a woman anyway?
Kellie explained that she was born a woman, but it just took her a long time to accept it. She was a much happier person now and was really enjoying herself.
So, would it be a woman or a man she was looking for, he wondered? "I don't know. I'm still discovering. I would just like to meet someone who is honest and has a good personality".
"Ah but, they all say that!" said Willie.
As for her prospects? He'll see what he can do.