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"Hilarious Tales of Irish Matchmaking: Where Marriages Were Made in Public Houses" | Limerick Gazette Archives

“Hilarious Tales of Irish Matchmaking: Where Marriages Were Made in Public Houses”

The topic of Irish matchmaking was discussed by Judge Adams, the County Court Judge of Limerick, during his speech at the Irish Social Club. He highlighted the humorous aspects of Irish match-making. Contrary to the popular saying that marriages are made in heaven, those familiar with rural Ireland knew that many marriages were often arranged in public houses. These unions typically took place on Shrove Monday, and the conversations between the parties involved revolved around topics like cows, sheep, pigs, and feather beds, rather than love, constancy, blue eyes, or golden hair.

It was not uncommon for a bride and groom to meet for the first time at the altar. In one anecdote, a young girl burst into her friend Mary’s house, exclaiming, “Mary, Mary, I’m getting married tomorrow!” Her friend inquired, “Oh, really? To whom?” The bride-to-be replied, “To one of the boys from the Donovans.” Perplexed, her friend asked, “Which one of them?” The bride answered, “Well, it was rather dark near the fireplace, and I wasn’t exactly sure.”

The Judge also mentioned another case where a mother called out to her daughter early in the morning, saying, “Wake up!” The daughter asked, “Why, mother?” to which her mother replied, “You’re getting married today, Mollie.” Curious, the daughter asked, “Indeed, and to whom?” Annoyed, the mother retorted, “Now, what does that matter to you?”

Dundee Evening Telegraph – Thursday 11 December 1902