INTRO’s Feargal Harrington contributes to this original Irish Independent article by Wayne O’Connor. Original source can be found here
Lovelorn singletons feeling precious about politics forced a matchmaking agency to ask clients how they feel about a grand coalition.
In the wake of the recent general election, Intro Matchmaking has had to alter its customer questionnaire for the first time in seven years after a spike in the number of clients refusing to meet people with other political interests.
Many customers are requesting “anyone but Fianna Fail”, “anyone but Fine Gael” and “anyone but Sinn Fein”, according to Intro chief executive Feargal Harrington.
He said the number of new clients setting out political parameters before any potential courtship has spiked by 70pc since the general election. Most are Fianna Fail and Fine Gael supporters, he added.
“As a rule we would not normally ask someone their political beliefs but we have had to change our questionnaire because of the volume of people who see this as important to them.”
The matchmaking agency, which has 3,200 clients nationwide, organises 100 dates every week. Before the dates are arranged, clients meet a member of staff to discuss preferences and interests. Harrington says this can point to new societal trends.
“When the water charges issue arose we had people coming to us saying ‘please don’t get me anybody opposed to paying for water. I could not sit with them for a meal and have a discussion if they felt like that’.
We had a lot of similar requests with [US President Donald] Trump. They would say ‘no Trump supporters please’, or ‘no Brexiteers please’.
But more recently it has been political groupings closer to home that have prompted the drawing of demarcation lines. As a result, Intro now takes note of a client’s political persuasion before matching coalition partners.
“We have seen nothing like the volume of people who are coming to us now and insisting ‘anything but FF’, ‘anything but FG’, ‘anything but SF’. They are coming in in their droves and saying ‘I have no interest in anyone who even thinks about them running the country’.”