Friday, December 30, 2011

Dublin - Dubai - Dublin

Emirates Gala: 1. Sharon Corr & Margaret Shannon; 2. Lionel Richie with Emirates representatives; 3. Edel Shanahan & Jennifer Mulligan.

With less than one month to go to Emirates’ inaugural flight from Dublin to Dubai, senior executives from the award-winning airline arrived in the Irish capital tonight , to host a gala dinner for over 900 guests at the Convention Centre Dublin.

One of the most high profile celebratory events in Dublin this year, representatives from the world of business, sport, music and the arts celebrated alongside government and state guests, as well as guests from the travel, tourism and aviation industries. The red carpet gala evening included an introduction to Emirates – its products, services and the carrier’s home city of Dubai.

The was huge excitement with a surprise performance from Lionel Richie who played an amazing set of his best known songs. Emirates also showcased a life-sized First Class suite, into which guests could sit and experience life onboard an Emirates’ aircraft. It certainly was a night to remember and fittingly marked the launch of this important trade and tourism route.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Liz's Lunch

Lunch with Liz: 1. Yasmin Velloza & Liz O’Donnell; 2. Bridget Cleary & Siobhan Mahon; 3. Siobhan Carnegie & Ailish Smith. (Pix. Brian McEvoy)

Over 160 supporters of Adi Roche’s Chernobyl Children International (CCI) came out in force to support an annual fundraising event organised by former Minister of State for Overseas Development and Board Director of CCI Liz O’Donnell at The Clarence Hotel, Dublin.

Along with Adi Roche, Liz greeted the many guests who represented the arts and culture, government and commercial sectors. The monies raised from ‘Liz’s Lunch’ will go to support life-saving cardiac surgeries for children on critical waiting lists in the Chernobyl regions.
Over 6,000 children are born every year with heart defects in Ukraine but only half of these children go on to receive surgery and survive beyond their first 2-3 years.

Professor Mark Redmond was one of the distinguished guests at the lunch. He had just returned from a life-saving cardiac mission in October and witnessed at first-hand the tremendous work of the volunteer surgical teams who work around the clock to save as many lives per mission as possible.

A glittering array of auction and raffle items included an exquisite gold and diamond mythology alphabet amulet and gold Saturn chain by Annoushka at Brown Thomas, jewellery by Deborah Veale, a tailored dress and coat by Roisin Leanne at the Design Centre and a wool and leather trim belted coat by Edun donated by Ali Hewson.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

NYE premiere

Movie fans: 1. Daithi O’Se and Rita Talty; 2. Siobhan O’Connor; 3. Ciara Le Foy and Sean Munsanje.

Christmas time is always a good time for movies with loads of new blockbusters opening at the cinemas across the world, and looking to land a festive No. 1 is “New Years Eve” which premiered at Cineworld.

The film revolves around the events of NewYear Eve and the countdown to it in Time Square. It involces an ensemble cast of characters from Aston Kutcher and Halle Berry to Michelle Pfeeifer, John Bon Jovi and is from the directors of Pretty Woman & Valentines Day.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Keith Duffy Masquerade Ball

Having a Ball: 1. Chris Gascoyne and Kym Marsh; 2. Brendan and Jenny O'Carroll; 3. Mairead and Keith Barry. (Pix. Brian McEvoy)

The 5th annual Keith Duffy Masquerade Ball took place at the luxurious Ritz Carlton Hotel in Powerscourt, Co.Wicklow recently. This black tie gala night offered guests a sparkling Christmas evening of glitz, glamour and entertainment where all proceeds went to Irish Autism Action and Saplings School for Autism in Rathfarnham.

Among those who attended included Keith and Lisa Duffy , Brian Ormond and Pippa O’Connor, Paul and Claire Scholes, Brendan and Jenny O'Carroll, Coronation Street Actors Chris Gascoyne and Kym Marsh, actor Liam Cunningham, Denis Desmond and Caroline Downey.

Speaking at the ball, Keith said ‘I am delighted that despite these recessionary times, the ball went ahead for the 5th year in succession. Irish Autism Action is a charity very close to my heart and as it’s patron for the last nine years I have seen firsthand the difference the charity can make to the lives of those affected by autism. The Ball raises much needed funds to allow Irish Autism Action and Saplings school in Rathfarnham to continue vital work for those so desperately relying on them".

Guests on the evening were greeted by the magic of Christmas at the Ritz Carlton Hotel where they began the festivities with a champagne reception. They were then treated to a sumptuous 4 course dinner accompanied by the soothing sounds of the Gospel Choir and Cole Page. Following dinner, there was a wonderful night’s entertainment from a host of celebrities including Keith Barry, Brian Kennedy, Ryan Sheridan and Niall Breslin.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Skating in a Winter Wonderland

Ice, Ice Baby: 1. Sadhbh Kelly Cahill and Ciaran McKay; 2. Kirsteen O'Sullivan; 3. John Hayes and Katie Kelly. (Pix. Kieran Harnett)

A host of Irish celebrities including Lorraine Keane, Bernard Dunne and Lisa Murphy attended the opening night of 7UP Winter Wonderland, Ireland's newest and largest free-to-enter Winter Park, at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin.

7UP Winter Wonderland is the first event of its kind and scale in the country and featuring Ireland's largest covered ice rink with a dedicated children's rink, a Christmas circus, cosy bars & cafes, foods and crafts market stalls, and rides and attractions for all ages. The Winter park is open until the 8th January 2012. A multi-generational Christmas attraction, it is anticipated that the event will boost visitor numbers to Dublin from both home and abroad.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

SABA: The Cookbook

Yum yum Saba: 1. Chloe Townsend and Katie Cone; 2. Sarah Grey and Paul Cadden; 3. Karen Griffin and Siobhan O Dowd. (Pix. Leon Farrell / Photocall)

SABA: The Cookbook, not only a collection of great Thai and Vietnamese recipes from one of Dublin’s best-loved restaurants but also the story of Saba, was launched at a reception in the popular eatery recently.

Jammed with recipes from tasty appetisers to wok dishes and sides, from soups to curries and everything in between, this book invites you through the doors and into the kitchen and heart of Saba. The energy jumps off each page as you feel the ebb and flow of a passionate team doing what they love.

Written by owner Paul Cadden and Executive Chef Taweesak Trakoolwattana, this is the story of Saba’s first five years. Authenticity is the key, and the food in Saba remains true to the origins of Thai/Vietnamese cuisine. It is beautifully illustrated throughout, and all the recipes have been tested in a domestic kitchen.

All proceeds from sales of this book will go to The Bone Marrow Transplant Unit in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin and to The Thai Red Cross Society. Published by SABA, it will be available from all good bookshops price €30.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Your Consumer Rights

All Right: 1. Tina Leonard and Maura Derrane; 2. Claire Byrne; 3. Claire Devereux and Tina Leonard. (Pix. Londubh)

According to Your Consumer Rights, a new book by Tina Leonard, Ireland’s leading consumer expert, Irish people are losing millions of euro every year by not knowing their rights as consumers and not insisting on retailers and service-providers fulfilling the terms of their contracts.

It’s a leaner, tougher economic environment. Yet people who are intelligent and savvy in other areas are losing hundreds, even thousands of euro by not being vigilant when shopping online, by not reading contracts with service providers properly and being penalised when they change providers, by not complaining effectively when they feel that the product or service they have paid hard-earned money for is not doing the job it was supposed to do.

Above all they are losing money by not knowing their statutory rights. Armed with this knowledge consumers become powerful negotiators and satisfied consumers means better business for everyone. Tina Leonard’s Your Consumer Rights in Ireland is a clear, foolproof guide to knowing your entitlements and making sure you get them.

Tina Leonard is an independent consumer expert and was formerly Director of Ireland’s European Consumer Centre. She writes the weekly ‘Smart Consumer’ column in the Irish Independent and has a weekly consumer slot on RTÉ Radio 1’s Today with Pat Kenny and on RTÉ TV’s Four Live. She was joined by friends and fans alike at the launch of the book which is published by Londubh and available now.

Xmas at Lara

Lara: 1. Andrea hayes and Olivia Leahy; 2. Deric Hartigan and Tiffany Stanley; 3. Joanne Martin and Doireann Gately. (Pix. Brian McEvoy)

Followers of glitzy fashion turned out for Christmas at Lara recently. Lara’s gowns have graced the red carpets of every celebrity event in Ireland over the last decade and her boutiques have seen more starlets and stylists, screen sirens and catwalk queens than most.

The boutique is a treasure chest of jewel box colours and designer labels such as Forever Unique, La Femme, New Couture, Love, Muddz and many more. But Lara is not just about all that glitters, she also carries an eclectic mix of exciting day wear with Robin Hood and Mett Jeans teamed up with soft and luxurious jackets and sky high boots, blazers and tops adorned with skulls and crystals and unique carefully selected pieces for that perfect capsule wardrobe.

Landing Katie Price’s new label, Day 22 exclusively in Ireland has been yet another coup for Lara. Created by Katie Price, aka Jordan, and Lamis Khamis, Day 22 is a fashionable and stylish collection that is comfortable, edgy and of quality.

Guests enjoyed cocktails made with new Dubliner whiskey liqueur now cruising social circles, bubbles and bites from Pichet and tunes from DJ Owen Clarke. Among the crowd were Miss Ireland Holly Carpenter, models Hazel O’Sullivan and Tiffany Stanley, Alison Canavan, Animal A&E presenter Andrea Hayes and singer Claire Malone.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sky’s the Limit: 1. Eva Hogan; 2. Chris O’Dowd & Ashley Banjo; 3. Baz Ashmawy. (Pix. Kieran Harnett)

The Sky 1 HD Winter Showcase event took place at the Guinness Storehouse, highlighting the array of content viewers can expect to see over the coming months.

At the event Sky announced a brand new comedy commission, Moone Boy, from Chris O’Dowd (The I.T. Crowd, Bridesmaids). The six part series – adapted from O’Dowd’s own Little Crackers comedy short for Sky 1 HD last December - is currently in production in Boyle, Co. Roscommon and Dublin, and will be broadcast on Sky 1 HD next summer.

The series, following O’Dowd’s early years growing up in Boyle, will cement the promise to increase Sky’s investment in original home-grown content by over 50% in the next three years. By 2014, Sky expects to invest €700 million a year in UK and Irish programming across its portfolio of channels.

This commitment follows the success of home-grown content such as entertainment hits Got to Dance and A League of Their Own, dramas Mad Dogs and Strike Back and the Bafta-winning documentary Flying Monsters 3D.

Chris O’Dowd was in attendance at the event along with Sky 1’s Director Stuart Murphy and Head of Comedy Lucy Lumsden, Got To Dance judge Ashley Banjo, Siobhan O’Connor of 98, Dave Fanning and Baz Ashmawy.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Tommy Hilfiger Holidays

Holiday mood: 1. Carmen Castro and Paul Hegarty; 2. Roz Purcell and Hanah Devane; 3. Karl Patrick Smith and Rebecca Ryan. (Pix. Brian McEvoy)

Tommy Hilfiger hosted its annual Fashion Event at the flagship Grafton Street store, giving Tommy fans the opportunity to bag some great pieces for the holidays. The Fashion Event, celebrating the third anniversary of the store, was hosted by Pamela Flood.

Attendees included Leinster rugby player Kevin McLaughlin, stylist Maria Fusco, models Rozanna Purcell, Holly Carpenter and Hannah Devane, Dr. Eva Orsmond, Sarah McGovern with baby Jude and radiant mum to be Virginia Macari.

The evening included two fashion shows, debuting the winter collections for men, women and kids including the festive Preppy Holidays collection. Guests were treated to a wine reception by Jacob’s Creek, American style canapés and prize draws, as well as music by pianist Luke Slott and DJ Will Kinsella.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Government Inspector

Opening Night: 1. Lynn Enright and Domnall O'Donoghue; 2. President Micheal D Higgins with actor Don Wycherley; 3. Luisne and Síofra Mac Conghail. (Pix. Kieran Harnett)

This Christmas Roddy Doyle returns to the Abbey Theatre with his version of Nikolai Gogol’s satirical comedy, The Government Inspector. Directed by Jimmy Fay, this production boasts top class Irish talent including Don Wycherley, Marion O’Dwyer, Gary Cooke, Mark Doherty, Ciarán O’Brien, Joe Hanley and Rory Nolan.

The rest of the 19 strong exceptional cast includes Clare Barrett, Daithí Mac Suibhne, James Murphy, and Nyree Yergainharsian making their Abbey stage debut alongside Robert Bannon, Peter Daly, Liz Fitzgibbon, Jonathan Gunning, Damian Kearney, Michael Glenn Murphy, Karl Quinn and Stephen Swift.

Roddy Doyle is one of Ireland’s best loved writers and takes his signature wit to a Russian masterpiece which casts a satirical look over bureaucracy and corruption. In commissioning him to take on The Government Inspector, the Abbey Theatre took into account Vladimir Nabokov’s quote that, “None but an Irishman should ever try tackling Gogol.”

A colourful and lively Abbey Theatre commission, The Government Inspector will provide ideal Christmas entertainment.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fitzpatricks Shoes at 50

A toast to Success: 1. Declan & Catherine Fitzpatrick; 2. Nadine King; 3. Marco Moreo & Rachel Armstrong. (Pix. Richie Stokes)

One of Ireland’s iconic family-owned retailers, Fitzpatricks Shoes, which was founded in 1926, celebrates 50 years at their landmark Grafton Street store this month. To mark the 50th Anniversary the store held a special celebration with champagne and shoe themed cup cakes for glamorous guests who included rugby stars Rob Kearney and Fergus McFadden, actress Suzie Amy, TV presenter Claire Byrne (who hosted the event) and Rachel Kavanagh.

To celebrate the milestone Fitzpatricks unveiled a new online store and also launched a 50 piece signature Fitzpatrick own-label high fashion collection. These classis designs are sure to be a big hit with fans of the upmarket boutique and proved very popular on the evening. Other top brands carried by the store include high end names like Marco Moreo (who flew in for the party), Dubarry, Sorel and Barker.

Owner Declan Fitzpatrick, who is understandably proud of the rich history and success of the store, announced a new fourth generation to help continue the great achievements - his son Andrew Fitzpatrick and head buyer Rachael Armstrong both join the Board of Directors and will see the business into the next 50 years.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Christ Church Cathedral is pleased to announce the return of its popular Christmas Market following its phenomenal success last year. The market, now in its second year, benefits from an impressive, unique location in the atmospheric 12th Century crypt of the Cathedral, the oldest structure in Dublin.

There will be a total of 15 stalls creating an intimate festive shopping experience and will feature Arts, Crafts, Jewellery and craft stalls including those by up and coming Irish designers. This year there will also be food stalls outside in the Cathedral grounds and entry to the market will be free and all proceeds of the Christmas market will go towards the Cathedral restoration fund

The final date for the Christmas market is Saturday 17th December, 11am-4pm.

Khan Do

Khan Do: 1. Isabelle Traber; 2. Rachel and Deryn Mackay; 3. Suzanne Jordan. (Pix. Kieran Harnett)

Khan in Blackrock, Co Dublin, one of Ireland's leading designer boutiques, has just completed a six-week intensive expansion and refurbishment project. Khan is now twice its original size - a spacious 900 sq ft of retail space, after knocking through to the unit next door.

With the help of Bill Simpson, ex Brown Thomas Interior Designer, the overall minimalist Khan "look" is still dominant throughout. The new Shoe Studio displays fabulous boots and shoes from iBlues, Robert Clergerie, Schumacher and Hoss, while the accessory area overflows with great hats, jewellery, scarves and bags.

Deryn Mackay opened her first Khan in Blackrock in 1994 and then, her second in Mullingar, Co Westmeath in 2007. "You discover pieces here, often the missing link to an outfit you already had, as well as new head-to-toe possibilities," says Deryn.

"I believe in sourcing the best of Irish and International designers. Roisin Linnane, Rachel Mackay and Lucy Murphy are such great Irish designers who my customers just can't get enough of, mixed with Matthew Williamson; Annette Gortz and Rene Lezard make the perfect shopping destination for women who want a dress for workplace, party or playtime."

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Aladdin at The Helix

Oh no they didn’t: 1. Martha Christie & George McMahon; 2. Michelle Hennessey and Diane Bunici; 3. Diarmuid Gavin with daughter Epi (left) and Aisling Power. (Pix. Brian McEvoy)

The pantomime season kicked off with the opening performance of Aladdin at The Helix in DCU. This is the fourth year that TheatreworX has brought its traditional family panto to The Helix and taking an action packed adventure through Arabia are George McMahon (best known as the memorable Mondo in Fair City) as hero Aladdin and his forbidden love, the captivating Martha Christie (one of Ireland’s top models and a classically trained singer) as Princess Jasmine.

Bringing laughs as George and Martha take their magic carpet ride in Arabia’s Agrabah City are West End musical performer Eoin Cannon who returns to The Helix stage as scheming villain Jafaah, comedian and actor Aidan Mannion as Jafaah’s hapless idiot son Janowah and Colin Hughes as Aladdin’s best mate Wishee Washee. Seasoned pantomime performer Frank Mackey stars as the sharp-tongued and quick-witted Dame Twankey and new starlet Jacqueline Brunton shines as Jewel.

Aladdin will now run until January 15th and with a charming love story, magic, a happily ever after and referencing everything from Justin Bieber for the kids to the evening news for grown-ups, Aladdin is a true family panto.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dundrum on Ice

On Ice: Mikaela Kenny and Maeve Cronin; 2. Sonia Reynolds; 3. Martin King and his son Matthew. (Pix. Brian McEvoy)

Dundrum On Ice hosted its launch this week and a host of well known faces got their skates on and took to the rink. Among them were Georgia Salpa, Daniella Moyles, Emily McKeogh, TV3’s Martin King and son Matthew and Sonia Reynolds and her little ones. The 98Fm Thunders were also on hand acting as DJ’s to get everyone into the Christmas spirit.

As a face painter transformed the younger guests into snow fairies and elves the older guests were invited to join the owners of the rink, Jason Williams and Annie Arshak in the Harvey Nichols bar for mulled wine and mini mince pies.

The fun didn’t stop there as everyone who attended also got a fun packed goodie bag and the opportunity to skate with the life size penguins. Dundrum On Ice is open 7 days a week. With recession friendly prices and lower off peak rates as well as being student friendly, it is the ideal way to get into the swing of the festive season.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Wicked Little Workout

Working Out: 1. Tery Orme and Ashling Sweeney; 2. Mally Wolfe and Tom Amico; 3. Barry McCall and Eva Berg. (Pix. Kieran Harnett)

Achieving the glamorous hourglass figure is never impossible! Pilates instructor and personal trainer extraordinaire Eva Berg knows how and she launched her second DVD this week at an event in Wrights Dispensary in Dalkey. Friends toasting Eva's DVD launch included Aisling Gleeson, Caroline Downey, Cathy Kelly, Barry McCall and Zoe Clarke.

Having spent several years refining her own personal pilates techniques for defining and sculpting the body, Eva demonstrates core techniques from her famous Wicked Waist Workout into her latest DVD. She also incorporates this into her weekly studio classes. Eva's high profile clients include professionals from entertainment, sports and dance.

The Wicked Little Workout for the Waist was filmed in The Gaiety Dublin. Directed by Marnie Inskip O'Neill, this 20-minute workout instructed by Eva, is the ideal exercise to do at home. Priced at €14.99, The Wicked Little Workout for the Waist DVD is available in Tesco stores nationwide and can also be purchased online at with 30% of proceeds going to the ISPCC.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

San Lorenzos

Ciao: 1. John Mahony and Kieran Moore; 2. Sandra Owen and Kate James; 3. Paddy Bollard and Gary Kavanagh. (Pix. Richie Stokes)

If it’s one thing we do well in Dublin its restaurants and the latest one to hit the culinary scene is San Lorenzos. The brain child of Chef Patron Temple Garner who previously received the Michelin award "Bib Gourmand" (Red M) at the renowned Mermaid Cafe and was the head chef and co-owner and founder of the famed Town Bar and Grill with Ronan Ryan from 2004-2009.

After heading up perhaps the most successful restaurant to open that decade he went on to open Dillinger's restaurant in Ranelagh for John Farrell, and has now ventured out to open his own restaurant which has opened on Dublin’s South Great Georges Street. While in Town Bar & Grill, Temple forged a lasting friend-ship with General Manager Gerry Crossan, who is joining Temple in his new venture.

Serving an intensely original variety of food, using a modern Italian approach to cuisine with the hallmarks of New York Style cooking, San Lorenzo’s is set to become Dublin’s newest foodie hotspot and with the customer at the forefront of its design; it has created an innovative twist on modern dining.

Amidst the restaurants diners is a thoroughly unique viewing gallery, the first of its kind in Dublin. Guests can actually view into the kitchen which further emphasises Temple and Gerry’s personal approach to honest dining. With both the front of house and patron chef having the ability to view the entire restaurant and each other at all times, guests can be sure they get what they see, literally! Prepare to be impressed.