Singles flock to annual festival of love to touch a book, find a soulmate

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LISDOONVARNA , Ireland — If you’re tired of swiping in the new age of digital dating, taking a quick trip to a small town in Ireland could be your key to putting down the phone and picking up a mate.

Lisdoonvarna, Ireland, booms from a population of 829 to 60,000 each year during the city’s annual festival of love.

Beginning Sept. 1, the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival hosts singles seeking soulmates with six weekends of drinking, dancing and concerts with the end goal of pairing up festival-goers.

Aside from pints and parties, the main attraction at the festival is the local “love doctor,” Willie Daly.

For 45 years, Daly has been making love connections and takes the credit for more than 3,000 happy marriages.

The town is located about three hours from Dublin and, according to the festival’s website, a touch of Daly’s “lucky book” with both hands makes for a happy marriage in just six months.

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