The speed-dating nights costing between €20 and €29 per person; events in Dublin take place in either Cafe en Seine or Howl at the Moon, while in Cork and Galway the venues are the Long Island Cocktail Club and the Skeff Bar, respectively.

For those looking for a halfway house between a full-service site and the real-world bar scene, the relatively new dating app Tinder has been proving popular with college-age and early 20s daters since its launch in late 2012.

Pretty much the digital equivalent of ‘hot or not’ — the app finds people nearby who are also on Tinder, and connects them only if both parties swipe the screen to indicate they’re into the other.

POF differs from some other well-known dating sites in that it allows prospective users to search for matches before setting up an account (essentially letting them ‘check out the talent’).

Casual users are allowed scroll through several pages of profile before being told they must sign up to continue using the site.

The tactic has paid off over the years — the site has a huge number of Irish users (a random search for 29-year-old women within ten miles of Wexford throws up 152 accounts, for instance — not entirely scientific, but it certainly indicates the popularity of the service).

Several single people who spoke to for this piece said they had also turned to another free site recently — Ok Cupid, citing a more up-to-date design as one of the main reasons.“It seems people wake up after the hangover and burst out of the gates — so we’ve a lot of events planned for the next few weeks.We would do mix of online dating and in-person events.) Come January, ads for the some of the biggest global dating service brands gradually replace those Guinness ‘White Christmas’ TV spots, while the same companies bombard news outlets with press releases aimed at steering casual daters onto the internet.One such story from this year pinpointed 5 January as the most popular day of the year for internet dating.The app now sees some 350 million swipes a day worldwide, with Ireland having one of the highest adoption rates.