Thursday 15 November 2018

Chats about tea, Taytos and being a garda - First Dates Ireland finale was probably the most Irish ever

First Dates finale
First Dates finale
Maitre D' Mateo Saina of RTE's new show First Dates. Photo: Tony Gavin

Vicki Notaro

The final episode of the first season of First Dates Ireland didn’t disappoint, In fact, the show has been popular that 4,500 singletons have applied to take part in season two.

And the last episode was as Irish as it comes, with a Garda, conversations about tea and crisps and rows about Leinster versus Munster. Let’s discuss…

First in to the restaurant, Katie is a tall gal and men are intimidated by her height. However after competing in Miss Curvy Ireland she feels like she’s accepted herself for who she is and is ready to meet someone. She’s in luck because Daniel likes tall, big boned women with ‘child-bearing hips’. We’re sure that’s meant to be a compliment.

Daniel’s ready for a relationship. He’s mature at 34, and has made the transition from journalism to medicine. He likes Irish women, the poor sod.

Katie’s interest in making prolonged eye contact was quite obvious.

…and on the phone to her mammy she told said he was “educated, tall and handsome” and revealed she was wearing her mother’s shoes on national television.

Katie reached Peak Irish when she said she couldn’t go a day without a bag of Taytos. The nation LOLed collectively.

They both felt the spark, and another date was on the cards. SUCCESS!

Next in, English literature student Tadhg has never had a boyfriend, and is looking for love. He sees his romantic nature as his downfall  because he’s been let down in the past.

His blind date is recruitment exec Joe, and the first words out of his mouth on screen are “I love myself’. Single for a while, he fears it’s made him selfish. He’s also worried that there’s nobody he doesn’t already know in Dublin.

Straight off the bat, Twitterers were quick to point out that the two lads looked pretty alike, and that’s not the first time this has happened on the show.  

The two lads bonded right away over Pokemon, and whether they preferred Jigglypugg or Scyther. What about Pikachu guys?!

The lads swapped dating horror stories, but was Joe a little too experienced for poor oul Tadhg?

The lads swapped coming out stories and bonded over the shared experience.

However, Joe put Tadhg in the friend zone. Boo.

Single mum Sinead is looking for someone to share her life with, and she’s nervous. She’s a teetotaller for four years, and thinks life is simpler without alcohol – but dating isn’t!

Sinead’s date Niall says he’s been single for ever, and hasn’t had a relationship longer than a couple of months. He hasn’t a clue what his bad single habits are, but he wants to find out.

The two soon bond over a mutual fondness for rugby, but they don’t seem to have much in common. Niall says he anticipates settling down, but doesn’t seem to know how to go about it.

And his chat wasn’t exactly up to scratch – even he knew things were bad when he started talking about tea.

Neither of them felt a connection, but many were disappointed for the very cool Sinead – or Siobhan, as Niall called her.

Katie has really bad taste in men. She’s been told she’s good looking but hasn’t got a great personality and says she tends to go for charmers who play the field. When she said “I don’t know where all the nice guys are”, a nation collectively nodded along.

Katie’s date is Garda Barry. He’s been single for eight months after an eleven year relationship. He’s looking for a girl to bring home to Limerick that’ll talk to his friends and family. Katie is a friendly sort, so it’s looking promising.

Until she became very enthused by the thoughts of him being a Garda.

When talking about Barry’s past relationship, Katie could empathise despite not ever having been in love. She knows there are no guarantees in matters of the heart, though – “sure just look at poor Cheryl Cole!”

Twitter was beguiled with Katie’s innocence and enthusiasm. She was thrilled at how white his shirt was, he was delighted she didn’t want a starter, and they had a scintillating conversation about tea. Is this real life?

Everyone was surprised when Katie rejected poor oul’ Barry – and after letting him go first and all.

And the last dater of the series, Doris, is a self-described giddy goat. She knows she talks too much, but wants to slow down her words per minute. The Cork native has been single for eight years because she swore to her eighteen year-old self that she wouldn’t bother with a man again until she was madly in love.

Right off the bat, barman Aidan recognises Doris from college. A promising sign or worrying symbol of just how small this feckin country is?

Aidan is a man comfortable discussing fashion and even noticed Doris’ top and earrings matched. He even goes salsa dancing, the modern man himself. Doris does pole-dancing – a match made in lithe, swivelly-hipped heaven?

Twitter fell in love with Doris’ giddy goat personality, but wasn’t so sure about Aidan. He did talk about his mammy a lot, and how thrilled she was that he wasn’t gay. Errr…

Still, the Internet was gunning for them as a pair.

And we were rewarded! After a season where the Friend Zone dominated, there was hope at the end.

That’s how you draw us in RTE! See you next season for more chat about tea.

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