A word of warning, before you head for this website. First-timers tend to get swept away by the choice of activities in their local area. They often sign up with a belly-dancing group that meets every Tuesday in the local centre for multi-cultural oneness. (That’s the parish hall, with three new cushions and a lava lamp.) Anyway, we’ve checked, and nothing good has ever come of an Irish person who decides to become a belly dancer. There is plenty of evidence on YouTube, if you have the stomach for it. (The dancers certainly don’t.)
Anyway, meetup.com. It’s not exactly new, having been around since 2002. This is a plus. Online meeting places usually need a bit of time before they attract people who aren’t nerds or pervs. (Or both, says you, after that Tinder date with a software analyst called Derek.) A quick look at meetup.com shows there is something for everyone in your local area. The first page for Cork includes groups of runners, writers, entrepreneurs, vegans, yoga types and people trying to learn Spanish. You get the sense that a lot of non-nationals use the site, as there isn’t a group called Mad for the Pints. (Although we have our suspicions about one called Rugby Fans.)
A key feature meetup.com is you can browse photos of these groups in action. These photos include Irish people, so half the crowd are pulling a ‘crazy’ face because we are self-conscious about being an ugly race. But once you get over this, it’s a great way to evaluate your new buddies. This is important. Let’s face it, there is nothing worse than a gang of ugly friends.