Last January, 71-year-old Artane widower Michael Lynch decided his life needed a bit more fizz: "I wanted to do something a bit different. I heard an ad on the radio for a dating agency and I rang and made an appointment – they were open to all ages.
"I gave my details and they said they'd try to match me with somebody of similar interests and age.
"I had my first date in early February, and since then I've enjoyed loads of dates! I've been out with a lot of nice ladies on lunch dates and dinner dates.
"I love socialising and eating out and I've always liked a bit of style! Most of my dates were in their mid- to late-60s – they'd be widowed, separated or divorced.
"Since I started dating, my confidence has increased. I always enjoyed meeting people and I love getting out. Although no relationship has come out of it yet, life is actually more interesting.
"The dates are something to look forward to. The agency sets it up and briefs you very well so you have an idea about their interests and what they would like to talk about.
"Often we'll chat about children or grandchildren – I have two in Ashbourne Co Meath and four in America, with another on the way. I got myself an iPad recently so now I can talk to them that way and see them; it's like Skyping.
"If a relationship happens it happens. For me, the social element has brightened up my life and given me more confidence to meet strangers.
"This year has been more interesting than any year since my wife Eilish passed away in 2007 and I'd really recommend it.
"However, it takes time to get to a point where you're ready to go out and meet people again.
"There is life after bereavement but it takes time to get yourself to a point where you are ready to do it, and for some reason I reached that point last January."