Friday, December 28, 2007

Lexus Chase at Leopardstown

The highlight of the festive season of racing at Leopardstown was undoubtedly the feature race of the Lexus Chase. Many friends and supporters of the luxury car brand were there and Mark Teevan and Aidan Conolly of Lexus Ireland were on hand to greet the large number of guests invited for a special luncheon. Among them were rugby player Brian O’Driscoll and his actress girlfriend Amy Huberman and top model Roz Lipsett, who returns to New York this week. TV news anchors Elaine Crowley and Anne Doyle were also there and enjoyed tips from sports presenter Shane O’Donoghue.

Dr. Tim O’Mahony, Chairman of Lexus Ireland mingled amongst the crowd and chatted to H.E. Keiichi Hayashi, Japanese Ambassador to Ireland. They reflected on a magnificent year, one which saw the 50th anniversary of relations between Ireland and Japan.

Style queen Lisa Fitzpatrick was in great form and was looking forward to spending the New Year in Dromoland Castle with her husband Paul and their two children. She also had the tough task of selecting the Best Dressed Lady on the day. After selecting a large group of fashionable fillies she whittled it down to Michelle Murphy-Lawless from Galway who was a vision in a black and cream ensemble.

With many guests delighted at having backed the winning horse, Denman, it was off to the nearby Beacon Hotel and further a field to the Four Seasons to celebrate.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Lancome Festive Season party

Luxury beauty and cosmetic company Lancôme recently hosted a festive champagne soirée in the beautiful surrounds of the library at the Royal College of Physicians on Kildare Street. International brand ambassador Yota Filpoulou flew in especially for the event to showcase her talents as a top make-up artist.

MD Trevor Tye welcomed guests and bestowed seasons greeting on all in a warm speech. Among the guests on the evening were fashionista Bairbre Power, Triona McCarthy and Hugh Hanley, Isabel Hayes and Sarah McInerney (who is busy with writing a new book), stylist Cathy O’Connor and Anne Boylan, who was fresh from her recent meeting with HSH Prince Albert of Monaco in New York.

Pictured at the party were: 1. Debbie McVicar, Trevor Tye, Yota Filopoulou and Helen Fealy; 2. Leanne De Cerbo, Sandra Bothwell; 3. Marthaline Wer and Yota Filpoulou; 4. Wayne Cronin Sarah McInerney.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Jameson 60 Second Film

Jameson Dublin International Film Festival last week launched the Jameson 60 Second Competition at a special event in Meeting House Square in Temple Bar, followed by a screening of It's A Wonderful Life. The competition invites film fans to create their own 60 second Jameson trailer with the strap-line, Jameson – Great Taste in Film. Entrants must use two props, a green director’s chair and a bottle of Jameson - more details at
Enjoying the festive cheer were: 1. Mitzy Dunne and Dave Coffey; 2. Ciara McDonald and Sonia Harris; 3. Louise McDermott and Roz Lipsett; 4. Norman Pratt and Karena Graham; 5. Juile Devine and Daniella Moyles.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Go racing!

Pictured at the launch of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival were: 1. Sandra Byrne and Nadine Wai - O'Flynn; 2. Mark Teevan, Marietta Doran and Andrew Nasskau; 3. Dee Breen and Joe McVeigh; 4. Kathryn Thomas, Eamon Dunphy and Tamso Doyle; 5. Trina Cooke.

Leopardstown Christmas Festival

The racing set were out in force on Tuesday night as Horse Racing Ireland & Leopardstown racecourse held a reception to launch the largest racing festival of the winter season - The Leopardstown Christmas Festival. This year is shaping up to be bigger and better then ever and judging by the large crowd at the launch, people are gearing up for the event already.

Amongst the horse loving crowd were Eamon Dunphy who made a heart warming speech on how proud he is to be Irish and how our trainers and jockeys are the best in the world. National Hunt jockey’s Davy Russell, Paul Carberry and Grand National winner Robert Power were there along with trainer Tony Martin, HRI Chief Executive Brian Kavanagh, Paddy Power, Lexus Ireland’s Mark Teevan, Clio O’Gara of Bewleys Hotels and HRI’s Michael O’Rourke all enjoyed the Christmas songs that were performed by Owen Brady on the night.

Regular Ladies Day attendee Faith Almond looked fabulous in a Moschino coat and was chatting to Horse Racing Irelands own Tamso Doyle (who was wearing this seasons black – a Jenny Packham dress) about what she will wear at the The Lexus Chase, on December 28th. The prize value on the day is €15,000, making it the richest Ladies Day prize in winter racing. The ‘Best Dressed Lady’ will win luxury Lexus chauffeur transfers to the five-star Ritz-Carlton, Powerscourt, where they will stay in the ultra-exclusive Presidential Suite for two nights, enjoying dinner for two at Gordon Ramsay, luxury ESPA Pampering, plus a €2,000 voucher for Brown Thomas - worth fighting for, I think you'll agree.

Others eager to find out more about the Ladies Day prize were socialites Nadine-Wai O’Flynn, Sandra Byrne, Emily O’Donell and jewellery designer Rebecca Davis who came along with her sister Emma. Liam Durkan came with his brother Neil and father Bill. The Durkans will be sponsoring the opening day of the festival and the feature race the Grade 1 Durkan New homes Novice Chase with a prize fund of €324,000.

Horse Racing Ireland Fashion Ambassador Kathryn Thomas looked stunning after just stepping off a flight, having been travelling in Asia and Australia for 5 weeks, she was chatting to author Marisa Mackle and actress Rachel Kavanagh. At the launch Tom Burke, Manager of Leopardstown Racecourse, said “The National Hunt Festival at Leopardstown is the highlight of the Christmas calendar and we expect attendance to exceed last years record numbers. The overall prize-money of €1.3 million will attract the best horses providing top class racing to entertain the crowd.”

Go racing!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Bee Movie premiere

It was all about black and yellow last week as a swarm of well known faces gathered for the Irish premiere of 'Bee Movie'. The animated flick takes a closer look at the world of bees through the eyes of one in particular - Barry B. Benson (voiced by Jerry Seinfeld) - who gets himself into all sorts of trouble when he breaks away from his hive.
Pictured at the premiere screening and party were: 1. Valerie Roe and her son Josh; 2. Actress Emma Bolger and Sarah Bolger; 3. Brian Ormond and his daughter Chloe; 4. Sinead Coffey and Amy Murphy; 5. Aoife Desales.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Katy French

It has been such a rollercoaster of a week in which, ultimately, Katy French lost her battle for life. I was shocked and deeply saddened by her death, as were most of the people in Ireland.

I knew Katy a few years, we were not close nor were we very good friends, but we would meet at various parties and social gatherings and chat briefly. She always had a smile on her face and an interesting story to tell. She was bright, clever and engaging and anyone who ever met her will attest to that. Never taking herself too seriously, and with her great sense of humour (and distinctive husky laugh!), Katy was always great company.

In her short life she managed to accomplish a great deal, perhaps more that most. She utilised her celebrity status to raise mush needed funds for charity, a favourite of hers being GOAL. I remember after she returned from a humanitarian mission to Calcutta a few months ago she was full of empathy, sincerity and hope for the people she met there. Touched by her experience, Katy was full of news and had, I’m sure, a lot more work planned to do.

In an article in the Sunday Independent she wrote: “Importantly, my journey to Calcutta helped me build on my own sense of self-worth. I realised that we are all here under the eyes of God to help each other and that He doesn't require us to succeed, only to try. In so doing, little by little, bit by bit, perhaps each one of us will reach our Goal.”

The last time I met Katy was at her 24th birthday party. She looked amazing and was the belle of the ball. That’s how I will remember her. It’s still unbelievable that a week later she was gone and only a few days ago I was paying my last respects at her funeral. So much more than a model and socialite, Katy French was one of the brightest sparks in Ireland and I’m delighted to have known her.

Sadly missed, but fondly remembered.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

S&P Top 50

Social & Personal magazine, Ireland's society bible, recently hosted its annual Christmas bash where they revealed the 50 Most Invite people in Ireland. Topping the list was style icon Celia Holman - Lee, who looked amazing, as always, on the evening. Pictured at the party were: 1. Rachel Montahue; 2. Celia Holma - Lee and Carmel O'Sullivan; 3. Becky Sutherland and Jessica Morris; 4. Lynne Kelly and Melissa McDermott; 5. Carmel O'Sullivan, editor PJ Gibbons and Rosanna Davison.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Corban Walker

Internationally renowned Irish artist Corban Walker recently hosted a solo exhibition in the Green on Red Gallery, his first in Ireland for many years, in association with Veuve Cliquot. With his glass sculptures of intricate construction, Walker has amassed critical acclaim and a core following of art aficionados over the years. Now based in New York, he flew in especially to meet and greet many friends and fans alike, including singer Maria Doyle Kennedy, RTE's Barbara McCarthy, artist Louis Le Broquoy and his wife Anne Madden and Nobel winner Seamus Heaney.
This opening night also marked the end of a series of premium art events that Veuve Clicquot has sponsored this year including Tacita Dean solo show at the Hugh Lane Gallery, Sean Scully exhibition at the Kerlin Gallery, the RHA Annual Exhibition at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Gerhard Richter exhibition at the Glucksman Gallery in Cork and The Eternal Now: Warhol and the Factory at the Model Art and Niland Gallery in Sligo.
Pictured above on the evening were: 1. Fergus Martin, Jerome O'Drisceoil and Daniela Sabatini; 2. Freda Woolfe and Fredrick Souty; 3. Seamus Heaney; 4. Harry and Alison Crosbie; 5. Molly Mishkas .

Irish Tatler Women of the Year Awards

The recent Irish Tatler Women of the Year Awards in the Mansion House honoured women who have made significant contributions to society. Publisher Norah Casey and Brian Dobson were the dynamic duo who MC'd on the evening, while some of the guests included Irish Tatler editor Elaine Prendeville, Michael O'Doherty, stylist Sonja Mohlich and Alan Bruton, Debbie O'Donnell of TV3 and Sarah Keating of L'Oreal Luxury Products. The main accolade of Woman of the Year was won by Baroness May Blood, who has worked tirelessly for peace in Northern Ireland. Among the other winners were Nina Carbery (Sports), singer Luan Perle (Music), Deborah Veale (Fashion) and Mary Finan (Public Life) and Lorraine Keane (Entertainment).
Pictured above are: 1. Roz and Sarah Lipsett; 2. Liz O'Donnell and Susan Callery; 3. Colette Fitzpatrick and Neil McDermott; 4. Laura Bermingham; 5. Helen Fealy of Lancome with Woman of the Year Baroness May Blood and Trevor Tye (CEO Lancome) with Elaine Geraghty, Media Woman of the Year.