Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The Bertie Cronin Memorial Cup

I had the great pleasure of presenting the Bertie Cronin Memorial Cup last night. In memory of my late father, the golfing trophy was played for at Crover House, and the ceremony took place in The Kesh Bar, which is run by my uncle Cathal Cronin.

Congrats to Frankie Lovett who won this year (Frankie and my cousin Tina recently became first time parents to little Daragh).

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

White Christmas

It snowed in Cavan on Christmas day. Perfection!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Christmas cheer

One of my favourite places in Dublin, and especially so at this time of the year, is The Shelbourne Hotel on St. Stephens Green. It olde world charm is something unique that you just don't get elsewhere.

I met up with my old pal Jason O'Callaghan, former gossip journalist turned Rat Pack singer. He has just completed the sale on his new apartment in Cannes and will be spending new year there with his lovely girlfriend Etain Boyd. We were later joined by publisher of Social & Personal PJ. Gibbons and ledgendary socialite Richard Kavanagh. Discussing plans for the season PJ informed me that he will be spending time in his native Mayo, while Richard will be ensconsed in Foxrock.

Speaking of the surname Kavanagh, I bumped into the gorgeous Sarah Devitt (sister of Jane) who informed me that Sarah Kavanagh is now engaged! Well, diamonds are a girl's best friend.

Later in the night I also met Paddy Bollard, business partner of the talented designer Louise Kennedy. Paddy, who has recently set up his own event management firm, was looking relaxed and full of festive cheer.

Question of the week: Which celebrity couple broke off their relationship a number of weeks ago? However, the girl denies that she is now single, while the boy is playing the field!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The party season

I hosted a small drinks soiree a chez moi on Sunday. The perfect opportunity to meet friends before the holiday break. Wonderful to see Geraldine Mahony before she heads off to Australia to visit the gorgeous Elke Pascoe, who is now resident there with her fiancé Nick McDonagh.

Also present were Bronagh Dorian, who is set to blaze a trail through the recruitment industry when she starts her new job in January, Ciaran Colemen and RTE journalist John O'Driscoll.

Last night I met up with my very good friend Sinead Ryan, or 'PR guru' as she is referred to as in the press. After drinks in Maguires of Baggot Street (which has the best smoking area in the city), Sinead bought me dinner and we bumped into TV presenter David McWilliams and he lovely wife Sian. Abrakebabra Baggot Street is where it's at.

Rounding off the night with Irish Coffees in the Shelbourne and O'Donoghues, we were wise and went home. Nonetheless my head still hurts today.

Friday, December 17, 2004


So, on Wednesday night the 6 strong crew of The Juice, FM104's top entertainment show, hit the town for a Christmas shindig. Sexy presenter Taragh Loughry - Grant, stylish fashion and beauty correspondent Gillian Hyland, the sultry Penny Gray of TV Now, the devilish Daryl Moorhouse, good time Games Guru John Walsh and yours truly went mad.

Kicking off the night with some party startin' cocktails, we had a scrumptious dinner in the Stokes Twins new hip and trendy bar, The Clarendon. After much wine was consumed we continued on to SPY where Cheeky Monkeys and Monkey Magic were consumed. By the end of the second one we were calling them Blue Monkeys, a much better name I think you'll agree.

No party is complete without dancing, so we decended the stairs and boogied on down in Wax. Oh what a night....

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Ah yes, I could live that life ...

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Model behavior

Beautiful models converged on Lillies Bordello last night (what's new?), for the Christmas party of John Compton's Compton Model Agency. John, who is my agent, and friend, really knoes how to party. Somehow I don't think he was in his office today.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

First and foremost

Last night saw the launch of a very important book, called Sport and the Law, the latest offering from First Law publishing. Written by Dr. Neville Cox and Alex Schuster, the book is the first of its kind in Ireland written on this industry and should interest all engaged in sport, whether a participant, sponsor, insurer, lawyer or property owner.

The much anticipated new book was launched in association with law firm, A&L Goodbody, and was held in their headquarters in the IFSC, where the guest speaker for the evening was President of the GAA, Mr. Sean Kelly.

Among those enjoying the evening were RTÉ newscaster Aengus MacGrianna, publisher Bart D. Daly and Senior Counsel and former boxer Mel Christle. Many family and friends also turned out to lend support and all enjoyed speeches by the authors, Sean Kelly and Head of Sport Law at A&L Goodbody, Eoin MacNeill.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Le Weekend

Saturday night I ventured down to 12ten, a club night at The Legal Eagle. I went along to hear the mixing skills of two friends Mark Woods and Hugh Durkin. Hugh is the brains behind, the popular portal for everything stylish in the country. The boy's got talent. anyway, 12ten, a quality night of house, a house with a quality crowd, as a radio advert proclaims correctly.

I spent my Sunday in the wilds of Wicklow with friends Micheal Burke, Ross Golden - Bannon and Mary Kate O'Flanagan, whos most recent appearance was in the hit Irish movie Inside I'm Dancing. We had the pleasure of driving to The Brook Lodge for lunch, which Ross was reviewing for his restaurant critic column in The Sunday Business Post. While he never reveals the identities of his fellow diners, Ross has been known to make use of this carte blanche when it comes to regaling the culinary occasions. I await his writings with anticipation!

From Brook Lodge, which, incidently was lovely, we visited Mary Kates abode, which is on the sprawling parkland of the Mount John estate. A fine lunch, walks in the country and champagne with Trivial Pursuit, it's what Sundays are for.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Fashionable ladies who lunch

I had the great pleasure yesterday of being the compere / MC for the fashion lunch in aid of Our Ladies Hospital for Sick Children Crumlin, which was held in the swish Herbert Park Hotel. The fabulous clothes from Clery's looked amazing and the show was a complete success.

Minister Mary Hanafin T.D., PR Marika MacCarvill and Tomasina Costello of OLH were among those glamourous girls at the lunch. The fashion show was produced by the lovely Trish Fallon of 1st Option and styled by the very talanted Graham Cruz.

Incidently Clery's have just completed a €20million revamp and is looking wonderful. The place to shop.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

A marriage made in heaven

I knew as soon as I receivd the invitation who I would bring as my guest. It was the launch of, and as my fab friend, radio presenter Bronagh Dorian, is getting married in Italy next year, I just knew she would love the party. She and fiancé Nathan Timmons will tie the knot after a whirlwind romance, which was cemented earlier this year with a big rock from Paul Sheeran. Well, diamonds are a girls best friend.

So anyway, we went down the Conrad Hotel where we were greeted by a buzz of excitement as the assembled guests got a glimpse of the new website. Colette O'Loughlin is the editor, and along with Ciara Langan (Liam Lawlor's daughter), there's nothing these gals don't know about weddings.

Enjoying the pink champagne were gorgeous models Glenda Gilson and Katy French (Katy is currently dating Glenda's brother Damien), PR gal Jane McDaid (who just got married this year) and wedding planner extraordinaire Tara Fay, who was responsible for, among others, Nicky Byrne and Georgina Ahern's nuptuals in France last year.

Later in the evening we went along to trendy bar SamSara for the launch of the fabulous new Mandala spa in La Stampa Hotel. This place really is a haven within the hustle bustle of the city centre and well worth a visit.

More pink champagne was consumed (is it the new in drink?) and I spotted Evening Herald fashion editor Bairbre Power, former Rose of Tralee Tamara Gervasoni, stunning model Astrid Brennan and knitwear designer Tim Ryan.

Accross the road in the Round Room of the Mansion House, fashion designer Synan O'Mahony was hosting his first couture show, which was in aid of the Marie Keating Foundation. I hear the night was a roaring success, but unfortunately I didn't make it in time.

It's getting very busy on the social scene!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Broadcasting in Public Life

Author John Horgan launched his book, 'Broadcasting in Public Life', last night in Buswells Hotel. In association with RTE, the publication chronicles the history of broadcasting in Ireland and features many familiar names throughout.

The Minister of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Mr. Noel Dempsey T.D., was the guest of honour and delivered a warming speech. Among those in attendance were restaurant critic, and now NewsTalk broadcaster Ross Golden - Bannon, RTE newscaster Brian Dobson and Sherin Wilde of The Clarence Hotel.

Later on in the evening I popped in to Life Bar, where Lucy Bowen, editor of the Life magazine in the Irish Independent, was hosting a Christmas drinks party. Life Bar / Life magazine - geddit? A good night had by all, though I don't know how many of the guests are feeling lively today.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Rosanna Davison, pictured with my trusty Nokia fone, at this years Newbridge Silverware 70th birthday celebrations.

Congrats Rosanna

I almost forgot to mention the Miss World final, which was held over the weekend in China. Well done to Miss Peru, Maria Julia Mantilla Garcia, who was crowned Miss World 2004.

Congrats also to our very own Rosanna Davison, now forever known as 'Former Miss World'. I have met her many times, the first being in 2003 shortly after she was crowned Miss Ireland (a coveted title itself). She was making one of her first appearances at a special preview of Magee's A/W 04 collection at a champagne brunch in The Clarance. I recall her telling me about her iminent plans to travel to China for the Miss World finals. She was the same down to earth, pleasant and well mannered girl then, as she is now.

The last time we met we were in the Newbridge Silverware showrooms once again, for a special reception with the 2004 finalists for the Rose of Tralee. Rosanna was telling me all about a recent trip to a 3rd World country, where she was part of a chartible deligation, far from the glitz and glam of Miss World.

She has been an amazing world ambassador for Ireland - and no doubt, will continue to be, in whatever she decides to do. For now though, I hear that she has gone back to UCD to complete her studies. Go girl!

Friday, December 03, 2004

Par-tay People

Congratulations to the gorgeous Caroline Morahan who was bestowed with the honour of being Social & Personal Top Party Person of the year. At a reception last night, sponsored by Jameson, in Dakota bar, the bold and the beautiful assembled to have a look at the 100 list. The host, PJ Gibbons (who was unfortunately walking with the aide of a crutch after a recent fall), once again threw a great party.

Caroline was accompanied by her handsome boyfriend Jordan Lee McGrath, and the two caused a stir as the paparazzi clicked away outside the venue. Inside, the assembled guests included jewellery princess Cathriona Hanly, Ferrarri prince Trevor Musgrave, style queen Leann De Cerbo and night club king Robbie Fox. Party people are next to royalty.

Joining Caroline in the Top 5 positions are Bono, model Glenda Gilson, Niall McCrudden of InSight Opticians and music mogul Louis Walsh. Some others making this years list are writer Cecelia Ahern, rugby player Ronan O'Gara, PR Joanne Byrne, agent Celia Holman Lee, TV presenter Amanda Byram, Colin Farrell and brother Eamonn.

Thursday, December 02, 2004


When I arrived for opening party of the brand spanking new H2O+ store on Grafton Street, I thought I was mad late, such was the crowd of people inside. Passing by party organisers Emma Kelly and Mary Crawford of Elevate, I took refuge upstairs. It was as crowded there too though, obviously a great sign of the stores popularity.

Interestingly, the skin care specialists have branches in New York, L.A., Sydney and Hong Kong, among others, but no outlet in the U.K. Quelle surprise! It is a rare occasion that we get something as exciting before the trend setting streets of London.

Quaffing down the champagne were Lucy Bowen of Life magazine, stylist and designer Triona McCarthy, best selling author Marisa Mackle and the gorgeous Caroline Morahan, who officially opened the store.

Arriving late were poacher turned game-keeper, sorry I mean socialite turned gossip columnist Gavin Lambe - Murphy and his party pal Richard Kavanagh. Feeling hot under the collar (or maybe it was just my black trilby) I slipped away into the cold night, but I'll certainly be back to stock up on Christmas goodies.

Question of the night: Which beautiful party girl recently damaged her mobile after jumping, fully clothed, into a swimming pool during some after dark partying?

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Floating down to Monstown

Last night saw the launch party of Dublin's newest holistic centre. Float was the venue for a glamourous well attended party, where bubbles and baloons were the order of the evening.

Andrea Rochford, who owns Float, played the perfect hostess to the likes of Sarah McInerney, writer and broadcaster Quentin Fottrell and stunning New Yorker Tracey Fleming (who is the spitting image of Sarah Jessica Parker).

Providing, amongst other things, therepy and massage, ear-coning, life coaching and colour therepy, Float would be the perfect way to unwind before, and indeed after, Christmas.

Last night I also dined at The Clarendon, the new cafe bar owned by the sauve Stokes twins, Christian and Simon (or as Gayle Killilea calls them 'the Bang Twins', on account of their mother being interior designer and retailer Pia Bang). Beautiful food, stylish surrounds, great staff. The place to be.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Happy Birthday!

Today, and this weekend, I would like to extend birthday congratulations to 3 friends - Frances Winston, Darren Kavanagh and Gavin Downes. Hope you all have a great time.

Frances with Martin King at the Curragh earlier this year
Skating on thin Ice

Rush hour traffic in Dublin is cat. That's why we missed the opening ceremony of Smithfield on Ice, but more of that later.

I made my way (slowly) to the RDS for the VIP evening of the annual Toys4BigBoys show. I love my gadgets and this event is just heaven. Among the highlights are the cars, the lads pad, penalty shootout and various innovations. I spotted DJ Hugh Scully, rugby player Denis Hickie, PR girls Eleanor Cullen and Aileen Eglington and former Taniste Dick Spring among the crowds. Check it out boys.

On then to Smithfield for the opening night of the outdoor ice skating rink. Just as we arrived Tara O'Connor infomed us that we had missed the ceremony. Lord Mayor Conaghan was leaving early, a busy guy no doubt, with no time to waste.

Unfortunately I cannot skate, but that never stops me from trying. Despite the fact that The Sunday Tribune's Roberta Gray took me in hand and helped me on my way, I still managed to fall. Twice. As I staggered off the ice, wet and embarrassed, I spyed Karla Elliott and Ray Senior (are they back together?), Marty Whelan and his children and boyband Zoo. As I settled down with a hot mulled wine I got chatting to Tamara Gervasoni, who told me she is joining the ranks of Social & Personal magazine as their Motoring Correspondent.

Also cutting up the ice were Fair City actors George McMahon (sporting sexy new glasses) and Killian O'Sullivan, while Sky News Ireland presenter Grainne Seoige took the wise option and looked on from the safety of the viewing area.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

The annual Manly Art Auction took place in the Solomon Gallery yesterday evening. A large number of art lovers were assembled for the sale, with one painting acheiving over €25,000. With delicious canapes from Michelin star restaurant Thorntons, the evening was a resounding success.

Among those were socialite and fundraiser Norma Smurfit, who purchased three beautiful pieces. Gallery director Tara Murphy, Christine Ryall of Christies and Fergal Breen of Edelman were also present.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Hitting the high notes

Ah Christmas is round the corner. Too early though, in my opinion, but how and ever.
In order to get into the swing of things I went along to St. Patricks College Drumcondra to a very special choral recital. I had no idea Leonard Bernstein had such mad music.

My dear darling friend Rebecca Jane Higgins was on a flying visit to Dublin, so after my body was stirred by sporanos I met up with her for a few cocktails. Finishing the night in the Bubble Lounge in Renards, we set the world to rights and devised a few new plans. Everyone should have a friend like R-JH, shes a great inspiration and a good laugh too. I hope the people of Marbella, Co. Spain, appreciate her as much as I do.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Having a Ball

The weekend saw two big events take place. The wonderful Miriam Ahern hosted the annual CARI Ball in Jury's Hotel, Ballsbridge, in association with Newbridge Silverware and Mr. Steve Murphy hosted his 40th birthday.

The Cari Ball kicked off with a champagne and Smirnoff cocktail reception, which was attended by An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. RTE presenter Laura Woods did a marvellous job as MC for the evening and ensured that the guests, who included best selling author Cecelia Ahern, the gorgeous Yvonne Keating, TV presenter Laura Bermingham, Fair City's George McMahon and William and Oonagh Doyle of Newbridge Silverware, had a great time.

Plenty of champagne was consumed in Athy, Co. Kildare, as Steve Murphy threw open the doors of his beautiful home to celebrate his 40th birthday party. Among those toasting the birthday boy were the lovely Deirdre Burke, celebrity gardener Dermot O'Neill, jeweller Hugh Statham and TG4 chef Brian O'Donnell.

Life begins!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Blossoming at Catwalks '04

The hugely successful Blossom Hill Catwalks continues with unabated pace. Currently in it's 3rd season, I attended the latest Dublin event last night. Hosted in the historic Clontarf Castle, the assembled guests quaffed champagne and swapped gossip before enjoying dinner and the fashion show, with Lee Bradshaw as MC.

I was a guest of Amy Buckeridge, who is the Ireland publicist for Timberland and who was also busy with Magee who feature in the show. Joining us on Amy's table were Timberland marketing manager Niamh Lyon and her glamourous mother Helen, former Miss Ireland Yvonne Ellard, beautiful diamond importer Marie Collins and hairstylist Paul Hession.

I was lucky enough to be seated next to the lovely Fionnuala Sherry, who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1995 representing Norway with her group Secret Garden. Her violin solo and haunting voice secured the prestigious prize and Secret Garden havn't looked back since. They have had No.1s all over the world and have sold millions of albums. Probably one of the most successful Eurovision winners ever.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Top 100

Trevor White knows how to throw a good party (I may have written that before, but it's still true). Last night an unprecedented amount of people atteded a reception in Browns Brasserie to celebrate the launch of Trevor's highly successful wee book, The Dubliner Top 100 Restaurants, in association with Santa Rita wines. The sheer volume of the crowd was evidence of the popularity of both Trevor and his magazine, The Dubliner.

Spotted enjoying the Santa Rita were the ever glamourous Mafra O'Reilly chatting to Myles McWeeney, restaurant critic Ross Golden - Bannon with Quentin Fottrell, Georgio Casari of The Unicorn and model Roz Lipsett with VIP publisher Michael O'Doherty. Also spotted were the Knight of Glin and Princess Colonna, the Spanish Ambassador H.E. Fernando Doliveira - Neves and the Italian Ambassador H.E. Dr. Alberto Schepisi (who lives in the finest ambassador's residence in Dublin).

I had to laugh at the opening of Trevor's speech: "I haven't seen so many people in the one room since the creditors meeting of Peacock Alley, and even then, Conrad Gallagher still wasn't there".

The Santa Rita People's Choice award went to CafeBarDeli, which was accepted by co-owner Jay Bourke, who was both delighted and surprised.

The Dubliner Top 100 is in good shops now.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Kiss and make-up

Today I met Barbara Daly O.B.E., make up artist extraordinaire. She was in town to launch her new cosmetics line, make-up for Tesco. Barbara has many well known clients, including Gwynth Paltrow, but her most well known would be the late Diana, Princess of Wales. She even did Diana's make-up on her wedding day.

At lunch in the Herbert Park Hotel, I sat next to her husband Laurence Tarlo, who is also her business partner and advisor. He explained that while they lead very busy lives, they divide their time between London, Dorset and Provence, thus striking the right balance for a good lifestyle. Laurence told the story of how Barbara was make-up artist to the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who had a popensity to call Barbara 'Wendy'. Whether the 'Iron Lady' forgot people's names, or just chose to rename them, we will never know.

Monday, November 15, 2004

I spent the weekend in London. My first time flying in to London City Airport, courtesy of City Jet, and I must say that it is the only way to travel there. Its close proximity to the city saves so much travel time.

I stayed in Covent Garden and partyed hard. A weekend of debauchery as it were.

Incidently, people moan about how expensive Dublin is - try London for a weekend of socialising and you'll know all about spending.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Dirty but clean

We decended on the hallowed halls of the old United Service Club last night, for another in the series of Laurent Perrier Culture Club events. Guest speaker was criticically aclaimed author DBC Pierre, whose book Vernon God Little won last years Booker Prize.

Trevor White of The Dubliner, theatre producer Bea Kelleher and style princess Andrea Dillon - Horan were among those who enjoyed a Laurent Perrier champagne reception after DBC's humourous talk.

Repairing to the Horse Shoe bar in The Shelbourne, the tone of the evening to come was set by the collective hilarity of the group I was in. Among them media personality (and he has a big personality) Brendan O'Connor and his beautiful wife Sarah Caden, PR guru Sinead Ryan and Scotland's finest Ross Robertson. DBC was last seen sitting on the hotel steps sourrounded by a gaggle of female students.

Ending the night in Renards, I was surprised, nay shocked, to bump into my old friend Orla O'Connor, who is now residing in the U.K. and is engaged to be married. That last piece of information unsettled me as Orla and I agreed to marry each other if we were still single by the age of 30. Luckily I've got another few years to go yet.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

It's social and personal with Sasha's halo...

Yet again, several great parties taking place on the one night. 5 to be precise! The evening kicked off with a special VIP night at Sasha, in their Stephens Green branch. Gorgeous Fair City star Orlaith Rafter, who is the face of Sasha, was present, modelling some fab clothes for the party season. It really is ironic - in the soap she plays sexy mechanic Robin, who is usually seen in oily overalls, yet that couldn't be further from the real life glamourous Orlaith.

A short distance away in the Odeon on Harcourt Street, a much anticipated party was kicking off. Hosted by PJ Gibbons, the new look Social&Personal magazine was officially re-launched. It really was a glitzy affair worthy of comparison with an international media party. Guests were greeted by a string quartet on the red carpet and enjoyed champagne cocktails and a generous goodie bag. A who's who of familiar faces, the party goers included Terry Keane, music manager Louis Walsh, designers Virginia Macari and Anthony Brennan, business man Derry O'Donovan and his stunning wife Mary and socialite Gavin Lambe - Murphy.

Publisher PJ, who cut a dash in a dapper suit (one lady likened him to F. Scott Fitzgerald's the Great Gatsby!), is doing a sterling job at the magazine, which he took over a few months ago. Just as I spotted TV presenter Amanda Brunker's new blonde curls I was out the door to the next event.

Computer games - I don't know much about them, but I'd heard about the popularity of Halo and it sequel, Halo 2, was no different. Apparently over 1.5 million copies of the X-Box game were ordered in advance. The Metropolitian Bar was jammed full of gamers playing consoles, but in the midst of the geeks I spotted stylist Roxanne Parker, the devine Sarah Devitt and journalist France Winston and Fergal Breen of Edelman.

I continued to Bruxelles, where Mr. Pussy was performing his hilarious Wednesday night show, Swan Alley, where Marie Carr was celebrating her birthday. Dave and Mairead Egan, Dermot Hayes and singer Anne Bushnell were among the well wishers. As the party continued to Lillies, I made my way home in order to polish my halo. A hectic but enjoyable night.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Terry Keane - 'The Queen of Gossip' Posted by Hello

She's back!

I have just received news that the ledgend that is Terry Keane is to return to journalism after a long hiatus. She will join Social & Personal magazine exclusively, as their Travel Correspondent and Restaurant Critic.
For those of you who don't know who Terry is - for shame!

Terry Keane was the original gossip columnist many years ago, writing for the Sunday Independent. I remember avidly reading her column from the young age of 12, facinated by this golden circle of Irish society. Despite the fact that I had little or no idea of who these fabulous people were, I still looked forward to absorbing her weekly slate, The Keane Edge.

Terry never really held back when it came to dishing the dirt, and her cutting edge remarks often ruffled the feathers of the upper echelons of society. Towards her latter years in the SIndo, she took a step back and had a team of snoops infiltrating the party network, digging the dirt for her. I recently met one of her former contributors who regaled me with a few juicy stories and spoke of her time there with much fondness.

Personally, I credit Terry Keane for inspiring me to go into journalism, and in particular to be a social diarist. While I have never written in the oft scathing style favoured by her, I do love it and believe it to be one of the best jobs in the world.

I could ramble on about this great dame, and believe me there is much to write about, but lest to say Terry Keane has had many pretenders, many indeed worthy, but most poor substitutes.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Paul Costello for Newbridge

Newbridge Silverware have just launched their new Paul Costello range of giftware. The beautifully designed gasses, vases, and bowls are a thing of simplistic style.

At an intimate champagne reception in Arnotts this evening I got to meet the talented man himself. I must admit that i am a big fan of Paul's, not only beacuse of his amazing designs but also because of his friendly attitude and all round ground personality. Admiring the range were socialite Mary Irwin, Mary O'Sullivan of the Sunday Independent and Louise Byrne of Looks 1 PR.

The best part? Paul sketched one of his designs for me, dedicated and signed it! I shall treasure it, frame it and display it with pride.
150 years of learning

I am a bit of a culture vulture - when I get the opportunity that is. I love going to gallery openings, but would hardly describe myself as an art connoisseur. Likewise, I adore the opera and similar musical performances, but do not go often enough. So, it was with a spring in my step that I went along to the National Concert Hall for the gala performance of Dream of Gerontious, at the invitation of Dr. Hugh Brady, President of UCD.

Written by Cardinal John Henry Newman and coupled with music from Elgar, Dream of Gerontious was performed to celebrate the 150th anniversary of UCD. Yes, it was on the 3rd of November 1854 that Newman opened the doors to his new college on St. Stephen's Green, an educational institution that would change the course of learning in Ireland. The man had great vision.

After the exilerating 2 hour performance by the RTE Concert Orchestra (conducted by Proinnsias O'Duinn), Our Lady's Choral Society and the UCD Choral Scholars (with solos by Alison Browner, John Elwes and Ian Caddy), guests enjoyed a private reception. Former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds and his stylish wife Kathleen looked relaxed and Cardinal Desmond O'Connell looked like retirement was treating him well. Also spotted was H.E. The British Ambassador Stuart Eldon. I spoke briefly with the Lord Mayor Micheal Conaghan, who thoroughly enjoyed the evening and thought it 'a bit different'.

Tonight the Foundation Day Dinner takes place in O'Reilly Hall. The black tie event will be attended by President Mary McAleese, who is guest of honour, as a well as many UCD supporters, business leaders and alumni.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The birthday banquet (taken with the fab Nokia 7250)

Happy 180th Birthday!

That grand old dame of St. Stephen's Green, The Shelbourne Hotel, celebrated it's 180th birthday this year. Over the last month the hotel has hosted a variety of events in honour of this great milestone. Last night saw the culmination of the celebrations with a lavish party in the Great Room.

I love The Shelbourne. It has a certain style and grace about the place that other hotels can only imitate. Many a long day I have spent in either the Horse Shoe or the Shelbourne Bar (the latter being my preference, though many would disagree), where we would discuss lifes loves and labours. It really is a smorgasbord of Dublin society and one should never be surprised at who might be sitting at the next table, be it famous musician, politician or journalist.

The chefs were out in force with a banquet fit for a king - Eastern, Italian and Japanese dishes followed by a sumptuous chocolate fountain and decadant profiteroles (pictured above, thanks to my trusty Nokia). The invitation requested 'Lounge Suit' and there were certainly plenty of suits in attendance. Among those enjoying the hospitality were former Ireland international player Packie Bonner, style guru Leann De Cerbo, model Roz Lipsett and fashion correspondent Bairbre Power.

Question of the night: Which property magnate owned the new chauffer driven Mercedes Maybach parked outside? This D4 resident is one of the first in the country to take delivery of the €400,000 dream machine.
Posted by Hello

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Edge of Reason

Ah, Bridget Jones, I remember you well. It's not often that I get the chance to read the original literary offering before seeing the big screen version, but Bridget is an exception. Granted, I think the original books are funnier than the films but I guess it would be impossible to include every joke and humourous incident.

Last night saw the Irish premiere of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Indeed as Paddy Kelly of UIP informed us, we were seeing the film a full week before it's UK premiere - a rare occurance.

There was a traffic jam on the red carpet as FMI and top model Andrea Roche was posing for the paparazzi. She knows how to work the lense. Inside the theatre I seemed to have been seated in the RTE TV section - ID presenters Laura Woods and Steve Curran in front, presenter Ray D'arcy to my left and Afternoon Show presenter Anna Nolan behind me.

The movie itself is very funny. Hugh Grant plays the cad Daniel Cleaver with tradmark ease and Paul Nicholls makes a brief appearance too. Bridget is such a lost cause but a heroine to so many girls - inspiration comes from the strangest of places I suppose.

At the Rat Pack inspired after party in Lobo at the Morrison, guests enjoyed rather generous glasses of chardonnay (Brid's fav) and an even more generous free bar. Moving and shaking were Ray Shah, Alan Hughes of Ireland AM, Derek Mooney chatting to Judith Giltinane, Tara O'Connor with Elaine Roddy and the lovely Katie French.

Question of the night: Which well known presenter did not introduce his late arriving guest to the people he was with? Was he embarrassed by what his 'friend' worked at?

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The Italian Job

Tamara Gervasoni pictured at the Newbridge Silverware 70th Birthday celebrations (using Nokia)

I received an e-mail from Tamara Gervasoni last week. It was her final day in her PR job at Burrell and she was thanking all and sundry for their help and assistance. Tamara, just in case you have been living abroad for the last 3 years, was crowned Rose of Tralee in 2002. After a shaky year, in which she battled an eating disorder, she came out on top and appeared in Celebrity Farm. Since then she has been flirting with the media world and been working for NewsTalk 106. Lady O'Reilly has even named a race horse after her.

I had a brief conversation with her recently and she told me she has landed a few gigs and hopes to be joining 98fm in the near future. That's what I adore about Tamara - her 'get up and go' attitude. Watch that space.

Monday, November 01, 2004

While I was in Belfast enjoying myself, the Irish Film & Television Awards ceremony took place in Dublin's Burlington Hotel on Saturday night. Otherwise known as the IFTAs, the event attracted a few big names, such as Pierse Brosnan, Andie McDowall and John Cleese as well as a plethora of Irish stars.

Last year I did not enjoy the night, so I was not too bothered about missing it this year. Seems like I was right, judging by the report that Henry McKeen delivered on NewsTalk106 fm.

Congrats to TV3's Claire Byrne who won TV Personality of the Year.

Sunday, October 31, 2004


Went to the big Hallowe'en party in Belfast on Saturday. It has been years since I'd visited the city and it's as great as ever. Super shopping and food (check out Altos Restaurant on Fountain St.). We stayed in the fab new Radisson SAS hotel, located in the old Gasworks area. Actually, the hotel had it's official opening on Thursday, which was a resounding success by all accounts.

Mylo played a stormer at Shine, as indeed did all the DJs. Padraig Burke's party, which he hosted in his fab penthouse apartment overlooking the Lagan river, was a fantastic event. Most of the guests were in fancy dress, from a warewolf and builder to fairies and Inspector Clouseau.

Ah Belfast, what about ye?

Friday, October 29, 2004

X is 10

My day has not started well. I have just received a call from a rather irate publicist bitching about the fashion feature I did on TV yesterday morning. Apparently a marketing communications campaign worth hundreds of thousands of euro has just been wiped out by a few minutes of "mis-communication". I disagree and think that it went very well (I was looking particularly spunky!). As a friend said "what a great start to your Hallowe'en weekend - you've already been attacked by a witch."

Last night I wandered over to the beautiful surrounds of Dublin Castle, to the Chester Beatty library to be precise. It was the celebration of the 10th birthday of X Communications. Be-decked in orange, with pumpkins galore, the organisers did a sterling job on the gig. Pioneers in their field, X Communications was set up from a research group in Trinity College, and has been designing, tweeking and implementing ever since. It's thanks to them we have great design and functionality on the net.

Afterwards we headed to Ho Sen for dinner. An authentic Vietnameese restaurant, Ho Sen has not been open long, but has already gained a dedicated fashionable following. Our very own President McAleese is a fan. I highly recommend, as does my friend Ross Golden - Bannon, who is a restaurant critic and awfully hard to please.

So, to Le Weekend! Hurrah, it's Friday. I'm off to Belfast tomorrow to attend a Hallowe'en party hosted my my good buddy Padraig Burke, who is now a high flyer with the BBC. We are also planning on a trip to Shine, the ledgendary club at Queens University, where my current fav DJ, Mylo, is playing live. I shall be staying in the newly opened and uber stylish Radisson SAS hotel.

Witch attacks notwithstanding, much fun will be had. Happy Hallowe'en!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Love All, Serve All

Last night saw the official opening of Dublin's Hard Rock Cafe. Located in bustling Temple Bar, it is the 143rd worldwide branch to open. It was a miserable rainy night, but that didn't put off the party people from coming out in force. Among the bods were Def Leopard's Joe Elliott, Louis Walsh and model Astrid Brennan. As the drink flowed and the delicious burgers kept on coming, we enjoyed a performance from The Piranhas, who beat over 180 other bands to secure the party performance.

Also rockin' away were celebrity magician Keith Barry, TV babe Emma Buckley with her fiance Frazier Browne (who will tie the knot in a couple of weeks), Fair City bad boys Killian O'Sullivan and George McMahon (Lorcan and Mondo respectively) and showbiz agent Naoise Nunn.

Another special guest was Rita Gilligan, who is the Hard Rock Ambassador. She was their first ever employee and is still going strong, travelling the world and living it up. Working the room and telling great stories she sure knows how to party.

As I ran to my car in the rain I knew I was leaving a great party early but I had to be up at 5.30am to be on TV3. So did somebody else, but that didn't stop him from partying on late into the night. Guess which one of us made it in to the studio?

Incidently, I met Rita this morning again on the set of Ireland AM where she was being interviewed. She got to bed at around 3am. As I said, she knows how to party.Posted by Hello

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Good news and bad

Beautiful model Corina Grant has just gotten engaged to photographer Chris Doyle. Congrats to both.

Ledgendary BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel suffered a fatal heart attack in Peru yesterday.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

TV presenter and former Miss Ireland Pamela Flood models the 2004 Rose of Tralee tiara - a pic I took at the Newbridge Silverware show rooms in Co. Kildare the day we met the Roses. Now that I know how to post pictures expect more. Taken with my Nokia 7250Posted by Hello
Home is where the heart is

So I went home on Friday to attend a family function. Not normally my thing but I am happy to report that it was fun. Got to say hello to some relatives that I hadn't seen in a while.

Saturday I met up with my good friends Cathriona and Siobhan. We just missed going to the nightclub, which was probably just as well. Fun was had regardless. As I always say, we could be in a barn in Leitrim with a bottle of vodka as still have fun (i.e. the venue is irrelevant, but booze is essential).

Back to Dublin on Sunday and off to the Front Lounge and Spy later that night. Full of cuties :-), including Aengus MacGrianna, Aoife Donohoe and Ciaran Colemen. Nice to see Jonathan back on the door too.
We hosted an improptu party after the club. One thing I don't like about the wintery months (and there are many things) is the dark mornings. During the summer, the dawn of the day is my cue to go home. These days though it doesn't get bright until after 8 and that just ruins my weekend as I lose precious sleep.
Maybe I'm getting old but my hangovers are certainly getting worse and I need all the sleep I can get. Maybe it's just thant I mix my drink.

On a happier note though, today is Tuesday. Huzzah!


Friday, October 22, 2004

Smile :-)

My smile has been voted into the Social & Personal Top 100 Smiles. I am honoured. Least because I don't think my smile is all that, but I guess everyone is their own worst critic. I'm under the catagory of 'Willing Smiles'. Yes, I'm willing.

Publisher PJ Gibbons hosted a party in 4 Dame Lane to celebrate the Top 100, which was sponsored by Reach.. Top smile went to the ledgend that is Ann Doyle, with Miss World Rosanna Davison, footballer Sean Og O'Halpin, model Glenda Gilson and radio and TV presenter Ryan Tubridy making up the rest of the top 5.

Smiling broadly and among those enjoying the Fruice cocktails were Jim Morahan, TV3's Alan Hughes, socialite Richard Kavanagh and Glenda Gilson, who was sporting a head of straight hair!

Home, James.

When I received the invitation to the launch of Liberty Limousines I just knew I had to go along. Not just because it was being held in No. 5 at The Unicorn, where the food is amazing, nor because it promised a champagne reception, but because I love cars.

Two brand new stretch Lincoln Towncars greeted us at the entrance to No. 5, it was like the red carpet at the Oscars. Inside I met fashion designer Robert Jacob, who was accompanied by Virginia Cole McColgan. Robert is very busy with his Autumn / Winter collection and is burning up the jet fuel with frequent trips to Poland, where his beautiful wife Hanna is minding their ranch. Virginia Cole McColgan on the other hand is working with a big name Hollywood star at the moment - sorry, I've been sworn to secrecy.

The food was delicious, as it always is in Unicorn. The cars are pretty cool. My friend Paul Trainer, from The Dubliner magazine, likened them to mobile nightclubs, such is the flash interior. Should you so desire, Tom Colton of Liberty can also provide you with jets, helicopters and "close personal protection"... sounds good to me.

P.S. My fonts have gone crazy in this post - if anyone knows how to fix it I'd be obliged if you would let me know.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Stormy weather ....

I wouldn't have put a milk bottle out in the weather we had last night. Wind and rain galore. Fret not folks, I've seen the future of staying in and it's called

Basically, visit the ScreenClick website, open an account and select what DVD's you want to see. Now, the beauty of this is that ScreenClick post your DVD's out to you; when you've watched them you post them back. No 'overdue' payments to shell out. How many times have you rented out a video or DVD, watched it and then forgotten to drop it back? The original film cost you €4, but by the time you fish it out from behind the sofa and leave it back to the shop it could end up costing you 2 or 3 times that.

Staying in has never been so easy (but normal life resumes tomorrow).

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Tuesday 19th - Alright Alfie?

The newly revamped Savoy on O'Connell Street was the venue for the Irish premiere of Jude Law's new movie Alfie. A re-make of the 1960's Michael Caine classic, the movie is brimming with style in every shot. Susan Sarandon co-stars (and looks wonderful), and editor of Vanity Fair Graydon Carter has a small cameo appearance also.

Renards was also brimming with style later in the evening for the after party. PR Sinead Ryan, models Lee Bradshaw and Barry O'Sullivan, Ray Shah of Big Brother fame and singer George Murphy all loved the Finlandia Vodka cocktails.

Downstairs in the Plu bar, Ireland AM presenter Alan Hughes was celebrating his birthday with champagne. I left the party early, as did Alan and co. - he had to be up at 5am to wake up the country on TV3.

Sunday 17th - Happy Birthday Raybo!

Publisher and Editor of, Ray Senior, celebrated his 30th birthday with a massive party in Lillies Bordello (which was not sold at auction last week) on Sunday night. Packed full of beautiful people, I am reliable informed that the party continued in his Temple Bar penthouse apartment 'til Monday morning.

Saturday 16th - The Crystal Ball

The inaugral Crystal Ball was held the the unusual sourrounds of the Round Room at the Mansion House on Saturday night. The theme was Winter Wonderland and I must say the venue looked amazing, a credit to the event managers. We were guests of Wall 2 Wall PR, courtesy of M.D. Toni Wall, who looked fab in a gold obi belt ensemble. Her colleagues Elizabeth Fitzpatrick and Joanne Rochford raised the bling bar with impressive jewels.

Our dinner partners for the evening were Carl Broderick and Debbie O'Donnell, and to say fun was had would be an understatement! Jewellery designer Caitriona Hanly, champion snooker player Ken Doherty and RTE's Bryan Dobson were among those enjoying the 'ChamBull' cocktails (M&C Champagne and RedBull...yum!). In aid of the Make A Wish Foundation, the event raised much needed funds, with the auction alone taking in over €44,000!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Wednesday 13th - The best gifts come inside the orange box!

Oh the sheer glam of it all!! It's finally arrived in Dublin ... the unmistakable orange of Hermès.
Yes folks, we are truly a fashionable city now that the French luxury brand had established their store in Brown Thomas. Where else were we supposed to buy handbags for between €4,000 and €6,000 - and go on a waiting list for the privilage? Oh, the fabulous silk ties and scarves, and don't get me started on the watches!

Admiring the new store were Social&Personal publisher and good friend PJ Gibbons with TV3's Debbie O'Donnell; fashionista Celia Holman - Lee and husband Gerry; model Astrid Brennan chatted with Judith Giltinane; Executive Vice President of Hermès Christian Blanckaert with the lovely Caroline Kennedy, who organised the champagne fuelled event. Guests left with a goody bag containing amazing Hermès scents. I think mine is perfume, but I love it so much I don't care and will wear it anyway.
Pamela Flood was there also recording for her Off The Rails show.

Tuesday 12th - More beer please ...hic!

It's that time of year again when the Germans celebrate Oktoberfest - beer at its best. I've never been to Oktoberfest, but I hear it's good - very good! The closest I've come to it is The Porterhouses's party this evening. Dublin's best independent brewer, The Porterhouse, hosted a special party to launch Oktoberfest. Sampling the beers on offer were the stylish Leanne De Cerbo, the dapper bow-tie wearing Kieron Wood and rugby correspondent Derek Foley. No need to go to Germany to taste good beer - hit Temple Bar instead.
Well, after a hiatus of over 2 years and due to popular demand, I have decided to start blogging about the Dublin social scene again. Sit back and (hopefully) enjoy...

Monday 11th - Inside I'm Dancing premiere

The much anticipated premiere of the film Inside I'm Dancing was held in the Four Seasons hotel this evening. My date for the night let me down at the last hour (a movie premiere in the Four Seasons, who wouldn't want to go?), but my gorgeous cousin Kerri Galligan stepped in to save the evening.

As we were driven through Ballsbridge en route, a motorcade zoomed passed us, lights a flashing and sirens blaring. Probably Kofi Annan, we thought, as he was in town for a few days. As our car pulled up outside the hotel we saw that it was our very own President Mary McAleese and her husband Dr. Martin McAleese (and their entourage), who were guests of honour for the evening.

Inside I'm Dancing is a touching story about 2 wheelchair bound guys and how they cope with life, love, ups and downs. Its a hilarious tear jerker - now there is an oxymoron if I ever wrote one!

Also in attendance were singer, songwriter (and now novelist) Brian Kennedy. He is delighted at how well his debut nove, The Arrival of Fergus Flynn, is currently doing. Looking ravishing on the night were TV presenter and FMI Pamela Flood, Fair City's Tatianna Ouliankina and author Marisa Mackle, each of them blonde, each of them beautiful.

Well, after a hiatus of over 2 years and due to popular demand, I have decided to start blogging about the Dublin social scene again. Sit back and (hopefully) enjoy...