Ireland’s most prolific matchmaker has sent a record number of happy couples down the aisle this year.

Willie Daly, a third generation matchmaker from County Clare, has brought together 237 couples this year alone, setting a new record as his most successful year.

The 69-year-old farmer has not been affected by the increasing popularity of online dating and maintains that Ireland’s recession has made singletons more determined to find love.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, he said there is still a great demand for his services.

"It’s been a very good year, in fact it could have been the busiest and most successful I’ve ever had in terms of marriages. I’ve counted up 237 of them in the past 12 months, with many of those over here, but a good few abroad too,” he told the newspaper.

"There’s even been marriages in places like Singapore and the Philippines, where word has been spreading about my services.

"I put a lot of it down to the recession, because people are more desperate to get married than ever before because of the security it gives them.
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"The first thing a lady might have been interested in a few years ago was how the fella looked. But most of them now wouldn’t even mind if hadn’t a full set of teeth or if his hair hadn’t seen a wash or a brush for a while, so long as he had a bit of money.

"The first question they want to know now when they ask me to find them someone is if he’s working or unemployed."

Daly advised all lonely hearts to attend the upcoming matchmaking festival in Lisdoonvarna, County Clare.

“There’s nowhere else in the world like Lisdoonvarna in September. You’ll see dancing all day and fellas proposing four or five times by the time the day’s finished," Daly said.

The 200-year-old festival draws singles from all around the globe in search of that special someone. The month long festival will run from September 2 to October 3.