The following is a transcript from the LIVE Community Chat held here at TheWildGeese.com on Friday, August 8, 2014 with with Annette Counihan, the organizer behind the Cupid's Crusade singles' tours. Some editing has been applied for clarity.
The Wild Geese: Céad míle fáilte, a chairde! So glad to see each one of you who have stopped by for this evening’s LIVE Wild Geese Community Chat here at TheWildGeese.com.
With us as our special guest today is a Dublin native who has been living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the past few decades.
She’s Annette Counihan, and she heads up Cupid’s Crusade. Described as “upscale singles’ adventures,” Cupid’s Crusade is all about experiencing the magic of Ireland’s west while searching for love and creating memories to last a lifetime. We’ll have Annette tell us all about this as we talk with her today.
Annette, welcome. So glad you could join us today.
Annette Counihan: Hello, everybody.
Fran Reddy: Hello, Annette. :)
Annette Counihan: Anyone in the mood for love and adventure??
Gerry Regan: LOL, who isn't?
The Wild Geese: Annette, the next Cupids Crusade adventure heads off to Ireland soon, correct?
Annette Counihan: Yes, that's right. September 14-22. We'll be in attendance at the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival. The Matchmaking Festival takes place every year during September and October in Lisdoonvarna, County Clare. The matchmakers of old would attend street fairs, getting to know the farmers with eligible sons and daughters around the country, and the traditions carry through to present day.
Gerry Regan: Annette, is there anything like this anywhere in the world, much less Ireland?
The Wild Geese: Please tell us what you mean when you say these are "upscale" singles' adventures.
Annette Counihan: Cupid's Crusade is enticing and worth the adventure. The product is pursuing a strategy that focuses on a trendy model for the matchmaking industry. A concept packaged with culture, history, vacation and romance. The program is affordable. The Falls Hotel is a lovely place to sleep surrounded by a waterfall. You will feel like a local when you leave.
Gerry Regan: Annette, I find the first day of tour packages revealing about the personality of the tour, and the tour leaders. What's Day one like, the in-gathering, if you will? Where and how does everyone come together?
Annette Counihan: From flying across the pond, nothing crazy. Check into the Falls Hotel, have a welcome beverage and snacks. The Irish coffee is a must! At 10:00 a.m. sleep, then meet the matchmaker in private at his pub. We have dinner, and then have our fortunes told. Finally, we enjoy some and music with some great craic.
Bit Devine: Annette, how did you come to choose this niche?
Annette Counihan: I am single myself, and it's a jungle out there. I desired a new dream, and I love ireland and know it is a special place.
Bit Devine: That makes sense.
The Wild Geese: We want to make sure to mention that Annette is making a limited time offer exclusive to members of The Wild Geese community of $100 off this September's tour price. A most generous offer, and one that those who are considering joining next month's tour would do well to snatch up! Visit www.CupidsCrusade.com while this offer is still on the table.
Annette Counihan: Yes, now fellow Wild Geese. $100 off to everyone that takes a walk on the wild side.
Ryan O'Rourke: The price (even without the members' discount) looks to be very reasonable for me given what's included. And September is often a lovely month (weather-wise) here in the west of Ireland.
Annette Counihan: Yes, do the maths and you'll see.
Gerry Regan: It's clear to me there's no comparable experience in Ireland, perhaps worldwide.
Gerry Regan: Bit, I recall you did find your Irish guy, in your backyard, so to speak.
Bit Devine: Willie told me he was as young as the dew, and as ageless as the wind. I asked him if I could use that line in my Photography book.
Annette Counihan: You see Bit? He is a druid. Anyone out there looking for love, come with us. You will not escape love. Ihad the pleasure to have Willie the matchmaker all to myself at our meeting. It ended with whiskey and a flute playing haunting tunes.
Annette Counihan: We have eight now, but we want to keep it small and personal. We have a few seats remaining.
Annette Counihan: Every day during a Cupid's Crusade tour, there is lovely sightseeing. A feast at Bunratty Castle and history of how the Irish/Celts lived over the centuries. We also have a day to walk upon the Aran Islands -- a place that time has not touched. Also, an evening in Ennis to explore the best Irish pubs in Ireland. You will walk from pub to pub, and you will meet the "League of Nations" -- great people, music, and fun.
Ryan O'Rourke: Plenty of young-ish folks at that festival, from what I've seen.
Annette Counihan: If you want to dance, you will. Sometimes I wasn't looking the best after a hike and I was still grabbed.
Alannah Ryane: It is such a great idea, Annette. I went to Ireland last September by myself as a single senior backpacker, so I did not go to any pubs or even venture out of the Dublin train station.
Annette Counihan: Well, Alannah, come again. We drive you to Lisdoonvarna every night and pick you up look at the Falls Hotel. Absolutely lovely. You may fall in love.
Annette Counihan: Guys, you can walk up to a girl on street and invite her for a drink ...its the matchmaking festival..
The Wild Geese: Okay, folks ... we'll have to wrap it up there for this evening. We'd like to thank Annette Counihan of Cupid's Crusade for being with us in this live chat. Thanks, also, to every Wild Geese member who joined us here in the chat room this evening.
Alannah Ryane: Thanks Annette!
Annette Counihan: Thank you, one and all. I enjoyed the chat.
Fran Reddy: Thanks, Annette. :-)
The Wild Geese: Have a great night, everyone. Oiche mhaith, gach duine. :-)