*Eddie McGuinness and his matchmaking contacts book with Elle Uminati , Phil T Georgous and (back) Grainne Kneez, Eire Comme, Anita Hero and Carlos V Garcia at the opening of The Outing Festival : the world’s only LGBTQ+ matchmaking festival at the Inn at Dromoland on Friday. Photograph: Eamon Ward

Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community has descended on Co Clare this Valentine’s weekend (February 9-11th) for The Outing 2024.

What is the world’s only LGTBQ+ matchmaking festival has returned to The Inn at Dromoland in Newmarket-on-Fergus with a fusion of music, comedy, ceilí bands, queer arts, drag artists and DJs.

Organised in conjunction with The Outing Queer Arts Collective with support from Fáilte Ireland, the Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau, Blacknight Solutions, Visit Clare, Limerick Pride, and Quare Clare, the award-winning festival is being hosted by ‘The Queen of Matchmaking’ Eddie McGuinness and Victoria’s Secret.

McGuinness, who is the Festival Director of The Outing, commented, “People have travelled from all over the world to our festival in previous years to enjoy pop-up clubs, drag performances, comedy, live music, arts, literary and film festivals and interactive events”.

He continued, “Matchmaking plays a huge part in the festival. With more than a hundred relationships and two marriages, I have helped play a part in putting together our event in recent years. The Outing also acts as a celebration of the LGTBQ+ community, so whether you’re single or taken gay, trans, straight or bi, all are welcome to this fun weekend”.

Organisers of the Outing are also working with the Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau, Shannon Chambers, Quare Clare and Limerick Pride to submit a bid to bring EuroPride to Limerick, Clare and the Mid-West Region in 2028, which would mark the first time that the pan-European international event has been held in Ireland. Attracting over 100,000 people from all over the world annually, EuroPride is hosted by a different European city each year.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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