As part of Red Line Festival

Looking for love – the most human quest of them all – has been transformed in recent years, with new technology removing the need to be in ‘the right place at the right time’. Dating has never been more convenient, varied or disposable and we Irish have taken to it with gusto … and not just in cities.

Join Journalist Liadán Hynes as she discusses the highs and lows of courting in rural Ireland with Sophie White.

Courting: Tractor Dates, Macra Babies and Swiping Right in Rural Ireland tells a variety of honest and touching stories of trying to meet The One in a rural setting, where the ingredients for successful dating – choice, proximity, free time and, for some, alcohol and anonymity – aren’t always guaranteed.

Liadán Hynes travels from family farms to tiny islands, village pubs to remote communities, to sit down with childhood sweethearts, long-lost loves and singles, ever hopefuls and lonely hearts, as they navigate this quest through tractor dates, Macra, dating apps and more. They candidly describe swiping for love and moving for it, hooking up and settling down, all while inheriting a 24/7 farm job or coming out, returning to the home place or joining the pandemic exodus. Revealing the importance of community, diversity and, above all, hope and resilience, Courting is an insightful and unique window into dating in rural Ireland today.

Liadán Hynes is a journalist who lives in Dublin with her young daughter. She writes for a number of publications including the Sunday Independent, the Irish Independent, and Image. Liadán hosts How to Fall Apart: A Podcast About Picking up Pieces, which examines how people coped, or didn’t cope, during the difficult times in life. Her first book, the bestselling How to Fall Apart, was published by Hachette in 2020. She is also a founding member and editor of

Sophie White is a novelist, essayist and podcaster from Dublin. Her first four books, Recipes for a Nervous Breakdown (Gill 2016), Filter This (Hachette, 2019), Unfiltered (Hachette, 2020) and The Snag List (Hachette, 2022) have been bestsellers and award nominees. Her fifth book, the bestselling memoir Corpsing (Tramp Press, 2021), was shortlisted for an Irish Book Award and the Michel Déon Prize for non-fiction. Her sixth book, Where I End (Tramp Press, 2022) lands this Halloween. Sophie writes a weekly column ‘Nobody Tells You’ for the Sunday Independent LIFE magazine and has been nominated for numerous media awards. TV adaptations of her first two novels are in development and she co-hosts the chart-topping comedy podcasts, Mother of Pod and The Creep Dive.

Presented By: South Dublin Libraries & Arts
Duration: 60 mins. No interval