People sit down in pairs and chat with one another for five-minute intervals before the host blows a whistle noisily.They scribble onto index cards their rating of the compatibility they felt with the person they’ve just met.Then they move on to the next guy or girl with smiles, handshakes and introductions.
He’s come along tonight with hopes of meeting like-minded people.
Mark, 29, is originally from Limerick and says that he’s here tonight because he feels we Irish can be quite insular at home.
“When we’re living as expats we tend to be very outgoing and sociable but here at home people tend to stick to their own friendship groups,” he says.
“People are trying to connect with each other in new and different ways now though.
“Back home in Limerick the Men’s Sheds have become a great way to socialise.
“This is my first time speed friending but I’ve gone to board game meetups before and I met people there that I’d be in touch with on a regular basis now.“I’m not just friends with them out of convenience like when you’re thrown into a class with people at college.We all share a love of games and that bonds us.” Twenty-seven-year-old Ruth moved to Dublin just over a year ago and it’s also her first night friendship-seeking. “I found it hard to meet new people ever since moving here. “They all have families and young children to go home to in the evenings and nobody is interested in going out.“I have gone to evening classes to try to get to know more people but you’re not really able to start chatting to somebody at a yoga class.” Her verdict? Organiser Dereck Phelan is originally from Kilkenny.“This is definitely a nice idea.” By nine o’clock, I have three new friends, or rather, three new email addresses. He also found it difficult to get to know people when he initially moved to Dublin.The speed friending event is organised through the group’s “We get a lot of people who work in companies like Google and Facebook.