World's only LGBT matchmaking festival takes place in Lisdoonvarna

International media is descending on Clare to cover the event

World's only LGBT matchmaking festival takes place in Lisdoonvarna

Image: Fáilte Ireland

The fourth annual 'Outing Festival' is underway in Clare this weekend.

The LGBT music and matchmaking event takes place in Lisdoonvarna, and is expected to attract thousands of visitors.

The Outing Festival is growing into a major off-shoot from the main 160-year-old traditional matchmaking festival.

This year a group of international media, with a combined circulation of almost six million, are here to document it.

The trip - organised by Fáilte Ireland in conjunction with Tourism Ireland - will allow the journalists from Canada, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France and the UK to meet some influential figures in Ireland's LGBT community.

Organisers say the group will experience Dublin on a gay walking tour of the city and attend 'The Outing in Lisdoonvarna' - the world’s only LGBT matchmaking festival.

They will also take in some experiences along the Wild Atlantic Way.

The head of international publicity for Fáilte Ireland, Ciara Sugrue, said: "This is without a doubt one of the largest press groups we have hosted for this festival, and the sheer circulation of the visiting media will undoubtedly position Ireland as a must-see place to visit in 2017 and beyond."

Eddie McGuinness, director of The Outing Festival, added: "We are delighted to see the interest from so many countries on the world’s only LGBT Music and Matchmaking Festival here in Lisdoonvarna.

"We are delighted to be able to extend a big Irish welcome and to be able to entertain this group of overseas media during their time in Ireland.

"Since the referendum, Ireland has shown the world that its doors are open to the LGBT market, as more and more people from the gay, lesbian, bi and trans community come to Ireland not only to visit but to find love and even marry here.

"It is now up to us, and the wider tourism sector, to provide our famous Céad Míle Fáilte so that we can make the most of this opportunity."