2: The Claddagh – the original wedding ring
The Claddagh ring’s evocative design, with two hands clasping a heart, is thought to have originated in the fishing village of Claddagh on Galway Bay. The villagers used this design as a wedding ring for over 400 years and, according to Thomas Dillon’s in Galway – the original makers of the Claddagh ring and the oldest jewelers in Ireland – the ring’s motif can be explained in the phrase: "Let Love and Friendship reign”. Step into the bright red and yellow shop of Thomas Dillon on William Street, and they’ll tell you the secret to wearing this precious symbol of love: wear the crown pointing towards your fingernail and your heart is taken; wear it out and you’re yet to fall in love. Simple.
3: Modern-day matchmaking
Haven’t found true love yet? Then Willie Daly is the man to meet! One of Ireland’s last true matchmakers, since Willie started out 45 years ago he’s set up an incredible 3,000 marriages. He's been helped by his 150-year-old lucky book, which has been passed down through his family for generations. Touch it and you’ll fall in love, apparently! The spa town of Lisdoonvarna, County Clare, is where he brings together over 60,000 people for the annual Matchmaking Festival (August-October), now Europe’s biggest singles event. It also includes an LGBT offshoot called The Outing. With dances, festivities and fun every day and night, even if you don’t find love, you’ll definitely have a good time looking for it.