Friday, December 30, 2005


As another year comes to an end so one of the biggest party nights is on the horizon, New Years Eve. Personally I think it's completely over rated with people putting too much emphasis on having the night of their lives. Just enjoy it like any other night!

In the final part of the series I asked the movers and shakers what their plans for NYE were. Seems I'm not the only one who doesn't buy into the hyperbole.

What are your plans for NYE?

"As yet undecided!"
- Caroline Morahan, TV presenter, Off the Rails.

" I hate New Year so I'm gonna be at home in bed on the stroke of midnight whilst the rest of the world goes mental."
- Daniel Sandler, celebrity make-up artist and spokesperson for Bourjois Cosmetics.

"Something wild with someone wild in a wild place somewhere in the wilderness of the Dublin suburbs!"
- P.J. Gibbons, Editor of Social & Personal, Ireland's original society magazine.

"Haven't planned anything properly so it'll just be a party with friends thrown together at the last minute. Not a fan of New Year's though because it means Christmas is well and truly over :-("
- Karen Koster, TV presenter, Ireland AM.

"I usually dread New Years Eve, as I find that it never lives up to the hype. But so long as I spend it with the wonderful Malachy Geelan, no matter what we do, or where we go, I'll be the best New Year's Eve ever!"
- Sinead Ryan, PR guru, Presence Communications.

"I come home on Dec. 31st from Italy, so I'm still open to suggestions..."
- Quentin Fottrell, writer, broadcaster and socialite.

"New Years Eve tends to be more hassle then it's worth. I like to have a dinner, at home, a friends house or a restaurant. This year has not been decided yet "
- John Compton, model agency boss, Compton Models.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Seasons Greetings!

Merry Christmas to one and all!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Chrimbo fun!

Last night's FM104 The Juice Christmas par-tay in The Clarendon was a hoot. Pictured above are Deborah Magee from TV Now magazine (our TV correspondent) and presenter Taragh Loughrey - Grant.

The party was a double celebration as Taragh announced her engagement to TV producer boyfriend Adrian Carthy. He proposed at the Rockefeller Centre in New York last week with a brilliant cut solitare diamond ring. The happy couple have been together over 2 years and met while working for TV3. Congrats!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Wishful thinking

So, what's on your Christmas wish list? Me? Thankfully I want for nothing but love and happiness for everyone (and thankfully I already have both). Oh, and maybe one of those nice Louis Vuitton iPod cases.

Talking of cases, let's find out what would my fabulous gang like for Christmas…

What's on your Christmas wish list?

"A yellow diamond ring (for my right hand) - keep wishing eh!"
- Caroline Morahan, TV presenter, Off the Rails.

"I haven't really got a list as I'm pretty happy with my lot. But there's no harm in asking Santa to come down my chimney and give me my hair back, rid me of dark circles, and transform me in to Brad Pitt. Its not much to ask, is it?????"
- Daniel Sandler, celebrity make-up artist and spokesperson for Bourjois Cosmetics.

"A Land Cruiser and crate of Alka-Seltzer."
- P.J. Gibbons, Editor of Social & Personal, Ireland's original society magazine.

"MAC make-up palettes and a few lie-ins! The early morning's are killing me! That's all I want!"
- Karen Koster, TV presenter, Ireland AM.

"Anything from the new DunnesHome at George's Street - it's like Crate & Barrel without having to go to New York! A Philip Stein Teslar watch from Anike in BT - I could do with it's miraculous powers! And if I really could choose anything - a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year for my family, friends and everyone!"
- Sinead Ryan, PR guru, Presence Communications.

"Spending Christmas in Lake Como with my sister, her husband and my niece."
- Quentin Fottrell, writer, broadcaster and socialite.

"Health, happiness and a fruitful and peaceful future"
- John Compton, model agency boss, Compton Models.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

2005: A retrospective

As the social year draws to a close it's time to look back on what has been a great year. I've looked back through my diary and counted that I have attended 241 parties in 2005. The final party I have to attend will be the Christmas bash for FM104's The Juice radio show - how fitting that it should be the last one (and will hopefully bring the grand total to 242).

So out of all those shindigs what was the best one? That is a nigh on impossible decision to make. Maybe the BMW 3-Series launch or the Jameson launch of the new J-Bar at Dublin Airport. Could have been the H&M opening parties, the Nokia 8800 party or the Savoy 75th Anniversary celebration. The Eurovision in Kiev had many great parties. Perhaps the Hennessey Literary Awards, the L'Oreal Colour Trophy Awards or the Nokia Young Designer of the Year Awards. Or the many fashion shows, like Ben de Lisi for the Design Centre, Nicky Wallace, the UCD show or the two DIT shows? For me, every one was as good as the other and long may they continue.

Anyhoo, enough about me. I asked a coterie of fabulous people what they thought the best party of 2005 was for them. This is the first in a 3-part series, stay tuned for more!

What was the best party you attended in 2005?

"My friend Tracey Jane Cassidy's wedding reception held in the Natural History Museum in London. Words fall short - beyond description!"
- Caroline Morahan, TV presenter, Off the Rails.

"My friend got married 2 weeks ago and her reception was the most beautiful wedding ever. She's from one of England's finest families and no expense was spared. They had a 80`s pop star sing at the disco, we drank Bolly all night, and somebody sexy gave me their number!! The rest is a total blur.....hic!"
- Daniel Sandler, celebrity make-up artist and spokesperson for Bourjois Cosmetics.

"The Social & Personal Christmas Party at Cafe en Seine; for obvious reasons!"
- P.J. Gibbons, Editor of Social & Personal, Ireland's original society magazine.

"The combined launches of Fire followed by Club XXI, a great night where we checked out the gorgeous nibbles like quail eggs at Fire, followed by lounging on the beds of Club XXI, the best way to spend a Wednesday night. Also Miss Ireland this year was a fantastic night where we whooped and hollered for the MC Alan Hughes, Ireland AM's finest compere."
- Karen Koster, TV presenter, Ireland AM.

"The launch of H&M on Mary Street - cool tunes by Poppy Lloyd, excellent canapés, delicious champagne and the first chance worldwide to purchase from the Stella McCartney range - and, for a change, a really desirable goody bag - a lovely scarf by Stella."
- Sinead Ryan, PR guru, Presence Communications.

"My birthday dinner party in L'Gueuleton!!! ;-)"
- Quentin Fottrell, writer, broadcaster and socialite.

"My Christmas party on the 15th Dec in Pal Joey's ... it was just fantastic!"
- John Compton, model agency boss, Compton Models.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Social Prague

Pop star Dara Rolins with yours truly, pictured at the Winter Snow Party in Prague last weekend.


I'm just back from Prague, where I was enjoying some pre-Christmas cheer and much needed snow (it doesn't look like we will have a white Christmas here, unlike last year). Prague is a beautiful city, not much to do, compared with cities like Paris or London. Then again who has ever compared Prague with London or Paris?

I bumped into pop sensation Dara Rolins while on a night out. She's like the Czech Republic / Slovakia's version of Samantha Mumba or Rachel Stevens, a little blonde babe whose full of energy (actually she's more like Britney Spears). She performed her latest single, a cover of Last Night A DJ Saved My Life, at a club in Prague accompanied by her troupe of dancers.

I stayed in the fabulous Hotel Josef in the old part of the city and dined in great restaurants like Escape, La Perle de Prague, Fischer Café, Chez Marcel and No Stress, all of which I highly recommend should you find yourself there.

Friday, December 16, 2005

+++ bits + pieces +++

Anyhoo, I explained to her that the social scene has been all over the place, what with it being Christmas, and I'm currently sampling the delights of Prague until next week but she still wanted her fix.

So I told her .....

- My good pal Damian McHugh won a coveted Justice Media Award last Tuesday at the, you guessed it, Justice Media Awards, which were hosted by the Law Society at a luncheon in Blackhall Place. He won it for his best selling book Buying and Selling a Home in Ireland: A Need to Know Guide which is published by First Law. My lunch companion was none other than Michael Irvine, President of the Law Society, who told me he was looking forward to a skiing trip to Italy next week. Other winners included Mary Wilson and Philip Bouchier - Hayes of RTE and Joe burns from The Sunday Times.

- The Irish premiere of the much anticipated movie King Kong took place on Tuesday evening. It's absolutely awesome and you should miss it at your peril! Among those I spotted at the opening night were Joe Elliott of Def Leopard, TV presenters Anna Nolan and Pamela Flood, with her beau Michael Sharpe, Caroline Downey, Jean Crowley of Lillies and the Galligan sisters, Kerri, Bernardine and Leona (who have just moved into the fab new penthouse in Dakota Court) with Lisa McGovern.

- Top shirt maker T.M. Lewin has arrived in Dublin. The traditional tailor, which originated in Jermyn Street, London, has opened a store on South Anne Street, just off Dublin's busiest shopping thououghfare, Grafton Street. With beautiful shirts in all shapes, sizes and colours, you'd be hard pressed not to find something you like - I picked a gorgeous blue with orange stripe, long sleeved, double cuff Royal number.

At a champagne reception, hosted by the inimitable duo of David O'Brien and Puffin Moynihan, on Wednesday morning (where talk was of the King Kong premiere the night before) were Triona McCarthy, Ross Golden - Bannon, Pamela Flood, Bryan Walshe and the lovely Glenda Gilson (picking out a Christmas pressie for Brian perhaps?).

- Phone lines and e-mails – even jungle drums - were buzzing last night as the illusive Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas were being tracked down to Killarney. Surprise, surprise no hoteliers would confirm whether the beautiful couple would be sleeping under their roofs. A case of no room at the inn maybe as since the Christmas in Killarney activities have commenced, record bed nights have been reported, but what hotel would turn down the A-listers? Or more importantly suffer their wrath by releasing details that they were staying at the hotel in the first place? I for one appreciate a bit of privacy when I’m away.

The Zeta-Jones Douglas’s are big fans of Killarney - peace and quiet, great shopping, excellent golf, ice skating as good as Central Park and all without the glare of the dreaded paparazzi. My bet is on the Killarney Park Hotel.

- Newbridge Silverware, my favourite Irish luxury brand, have just announced that Yasmin Le Bon is to be the new face of it's jewellery collection. The top model will feel right at home among the other beautiful faces of Rosanna Davison, Samantha Mumba, Andrea Roche and Keith Woods. OK, maybe not Woods, who is the face of Newbridge Home. It was speculated that none other than Naomi Campbell was to do a deal with Newbridge, but I'm sure MD William Doyle, marketing boss Phil Donnelly and the girls at Looks One PR would much prefer to deal with Miss Le Bon.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Festive Urbanites

Niamh Farrell and Andrew O'Donoghue at the Urban Outfitters Christmas party.

Urban Christmas

Dublin's edgiest fashion and lifestyle store, Urban Outfitters, hosted a Chrimbo Bash in their store on Ceclia Street, in Dublin's Temple Bar last week. The funky guests, who were greeted by store manager Andrew O'Donoghue, and included Italian Vogue model Sorcha Tunney, enjoyed some yuletide spirit with WKD Original Vodka Red (very tasty!) and Ben & Jerry's Karmel Sutra (most delicious!).

Music scene regulars Shona Murray and Mimi Duffy, enjoyed some festive fun while catching up on the latest trends that include Vivienne Westwood, Sonia Reykiel and Kartell designer furniture. Captivating singer songwriter, Jenny Lindfor performed on the ground floor while kickin' Carbon DJ's DJSilth and Graham Goodwin from Fake were on the decks on the mezzanine.

Lemme hear say ho ... ho, ho.

All I want for Christmas ....

Gorgeous socialite Nadine Wai - O'Flynn peruses the Urban Outfitters fashion section at the stores recent Chrimbo Bash.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Wedding Bells

Conrad Gallagher, the enfant terrible of the Irish culinary world (and the art and business world's come to think of it), is set to wed this week. The former celebrity chef will marry his fiancé Candice in Cape Town, where they are now based.

Gallagher, who ran restaurants Peacock Alley, Mango Toast, Lloyds Brasserie and Ocean, was once the toast of the town. When things turned sour (remember the FitzWilliam Hotel stolen art fiasco?) he moved to London and then New York, where he also had short lived restaurant success.

Happier times are on the horizon though, and the chef, who is now with the Table Bay Hotel (Cape Town's best hotel), can look forward to settling down with his bride. Past loves have included Domini Kemp (with whom he has a daughter), Karla Elliott and model Micheala Brady.

Also looking forward to a life of wedded bliss is blonde model Vivienne Connolly, who wed her fiancé, scion of the Dunnes Stores family, Mark Dunne at Ballintubber Abbey recently. The couple have been together for a few years and have a young son. She wore Vera Wang, he wore a smile. They enjoyed a lavish reception at Ashford Castle, where guests included Glenda Gilson and Brian O'Driscoll, designer Ciaran Sweeney and John Compton.

Speaking of weddings, congratulations to fashionista Ciara Elliott who picked up an award for her wedding magazine, Confetti, at the recent PPA Awards, which were hosted in the Four Seasons Hotel last Thursday.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

It's Magic!

International man of mystery Keith Barry recorded his latest TV show on Tuesday night in Spirit Dublin (as opposed to Spirit New York). It was recorded for broadcast on RTE over the festive season and was full of psychological illusions, mind control and magic. What's Christmas without a bit of magic?

Keith's star continues to rise, as the success of his MTV show 'Brainwashed' prompted loads of interest in the USA and resulted in his own prime-time show with CBS, America’s No.1 Network. He's tricked the likes of Justin Timberlake, Colin Farrell, Kelly Osbourne, Joey Fatone, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan - though some might say it's not hard to trick that lot.

I can vouch for this guy's talent as I've seen him in action. A couple of years ago I met him at Slane Castle and he performed some pretty impressive tricks for me. He made a bottle of champagne appear from an exploding balloon. The champagne disappeared pretty quickly too, if you know what I mean.

Apart from looking like a member of Westlife, Keith’s talents range from sleight of hand effects (manipulating objects such as cards, coins, etc) to mind control effects (metal bending, reading people’s minds) to the "beyond belief" (making it snow in Dublin, catching a bullet in his teeth and driving while blindfolded on a public road).

Among those in awe on Tuesday night were Jim Corr, comedian Jason Byrne, Ray D'Arcy, rugby heads Denis Hickie, Brian O'Driscoll and Gordan D'Arcy. The lovely Glenda Gilson was there too, as was Liam Cunningham, Shay Healy, Robbie Fox, property magnate Johnny Ronan, Colin Devlin, boyband Zoo, Thomas Black and glamourous TV gals Caroline Morahan and Pamela Flood.

The Conway Sisters took to the stage, much to the delight of the guests (unlike their post X-Factor performance at London club GAY, where they didn't fare as well).

Keith Barry Live with Friends will air on the 29th of this month on RTE.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Hair apparent

Melanie Morris, editor of Image magazine, pictured with James Brown at the Clairol Root Touch-Up launch in No. 10 Ormonde Quay on Thursday.

+++ bits + pieces +++

- Ray D'arcy and his team over at Today FM launched their latest project on Wednesday night, in association with Meteor. A pictorial book entitled 'Us' chronicles a typical day in Ireland, namely the 1st of October 2005. It was the brainchild of Ray and created by the listeners of his show who sent in over 20,000 photos. The book contains 2,000 of these and is a riotous display of fun and laughter, sadness and meloncholy - an emotional rollercoaster if you will. Proceeds are in aid of ChildLine and it's available in bookstores now (be quick though, it's selling fast).

- What has your boss organised for the christmas party? Whatever it is I'm sure it's not a patch on the Christmas party that Sinead Ryan and Joanne Byrne of Presence Communications have organised for their company. The PR princesses have taken their workforce to New York for a long weekend of pre-Chrimbo shopping. Nice!

- Celebrity hair stylist James Brown is a country lad at heart, or so he tells me. He was in Dublin yesterday to launch Clairol's new Root Touch-Up product at a lunch in swanky No. 10 Ormonde Quay. James, who is based in NYC, built a house in Galway sometime ago and spends as much time possible there, where he has a number of horses. He'll even fly over for a day if he can!

- "Ich bin ein Berliner", so said JFK. Will model Andrea Roche be saying that too this weekend? She is travelling over to Berlin tomorrow to attend the European Film Academy Awards as a special guest of Jameson, who continue to support the arts. Flying the flag for Ireland at the ceremony will be Mark O'Halloran, who wrote and starred in Adan & Paul. He is up for the European Screenwriter Award.