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SCARIFF’s James Treacy is creating a dating agency as he bids to divert from planning pilgrimages to making marriages.

Thursday of this week was supposed to be the departure date for a tour led by James where a group of forty men were to travel to Ukraine where they hoped to find a wife, the tour was scrapped following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “I got a huge response from all over Ireland and I could have got a bigger response if there wasn’t a war in Ukraine which wasn’t my fault”.

According to James, 100 men expressed an interest in the dating tour and he is confident a large cohort of these will sign up to his new dating agency. “The tour to Ukraine was supposed to be a dating but the war broke out and then the Ukrainian women came to Ireland so I thought we could tap into that.

James said that a Ukrainian woman in her fifties now living in Dublin is among the early clientele for his agency, having heard James speak on national radio. “She wants to find a farmer down the country, she has been living in Ireland for a while”.

Initial demand has been positive, he stated. “The demand has been good, it is €170 for men to join it. It was $4,000 to go on the trip to Ukraine for ten days but you would have had to come back again if you met someone you liked”.

Farmers appear to be his biggest base, Treacy admitted. 46 is the average age of persons to express an interest with a 21 one year old male also making contact while a 72 year old Clare farmer with 45 acres of land also made inquiries to the East Clare man, he said. While men are charged €170, there is no cost for women to sign up. “You would be surprised how many lonely people are out there who have money to spend on this this type of thing the age range was from 21 to 72,” he remarked.

Defending the prices, he told The Clare Echo, “In America people buy coffee for $6 and all that does is make them need to go for a wee. From the service I have, you could get a family from it”. He added, “There are plenty of other dating sites out there for Ukrainians such as and and and they are successful and they are charging a lot more than I am and they have been around for years. If you get one postal address introduction from a woman in Russian or Eastern Europe it will cost you over $400 to get their postal address. Whereas I am giving multiple introductions for a quarter of that price”.

Having used the monthly Catholic newspaper Alive when advertising trips to Jerusalem when he worked with Joe Walsh Tours, James believed it would be worthwhile to hit the same demographic when advertising his dating agency. “I’ve seen dating agencies advertise in it before. I’ve seen dating things before in the paper”.

When he was a user of the website, A Foreign Affair, James said he met “a lovely Russian doctor” in Saint Petersburg, “She was going to come to live with me in Ireland but she got a great job in Russia”. This plus the health of her elderly mother were cited by James as reasons for the relationship not progressing.

“I would be calling myself the East Clare matchmaker, I’m Ireland’s newest matchmaker,” he commented. Plans are at an early stage, while his 82 year old mother Bridie is hopeful her son will himself find a wife, James remarked that being cupid does not mean he himself has to be a successful swooner. “I’m only the organiser, my mother is expecting me to find a wife but sometimes a roofing contractor has a bad roof on their own house or a cobbler has bad shoes but I’m hoping I’ll find a match myself”.

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