It is 1995 in Clare County, and at age 52, Eamon Hagerty has set his mind to find a wife. However, his first and only love, Mary Rooney, left Ireland over thirty years ago to care for an ailing aunt in the states.
Over the years Eamon has filled his life with hurling and traditional Irish music being somewhat of a local celebrity in each undertaking. But a few years ago his mother passed away and he now finds that life is not only lonely but also difficult on his own, with his aptitude for cooking and homemaking leaving a lot to be desired.
Meanwhile Mary moved to Dogtown, an Irish community in St. Louis, Missouri. There, after not hearing from Eamon for years, she fell in love, married a policeman, and raised a son. After her husband's recent death and her son's engagement, Mary decides to return to Ireland to help her mother run a Bed & Breakfast in the house she grew up in.
Eamon, unaware that Mary is coming home, is working hard to gain a bit of financial security with his newest business concern, a seaweed bath business he's joint venturing with a local spa in Lisdoonvarna. He feels that his pending success will make him a much more attractive candidate in the marriage market.
As he begins his search for a new life as a married man, the women of Ballylaneagh are secretly sworn to helping him along his rocky way. Eamon is like one of the family and no less than the perfect match will do for their "Bear". After a series of troubled meetings with a woman not up to their standards, the town's women decide that Eamon's happiness lies in a meeting with the areas matchmaker, one of the oldest traditions in Ireland.
A strange series of events including a tornado, Ballyaneagh's first armed robbery, and numerous near misses culminate in the old lovers being reunited with almost tragic results.