Friday, April 29, 2011

Persil Irish Fashion Awards

Cleaning Up: 1. Carmel Breheny and Peter O'Brien; 2. Sarah Morrissey models the winning design with Mary Lennon; 3. Glenda Gilson. (Pix. Leon Farrell/Photocall)

The grand final of The Persil Irish Fashion Awards 2011 took place in The Marks & Spencer Rooftop Restaurant on Grafton St recently. 25 year old fashion student - Mary Lennon from Castleblayney, Co Monaghan studying in NCAD, took first place with her Persil dress that was inspired from garden umbrellas!

Currently in its twelfth year, the hotly contested award is the largest fashion design competition in Ireland. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for young fashion design students hoping to make their mark in today’s competitive market, and with a first prize of €10,000 is a great boost to their budding fashion careers.

Mary’s innovative red design can be worn in ten different ways, which is not only hugely creative, but also practical. Persil’s Mary Horkan is thrilled that - "Year after year, wash after wash, The Persil Irish Fashion Awards are a very exciting part of Irish Fashion students curriculum, this year we are very excited as ‘Red Alert’ is Persil's key colour.”

Persil’s Red Alert brief required students to design in red machine washable fabric for spring summer 2011. Students designed whatever they feel fashionable Irish women would like to wear, using a variety of shades of red and textures of fabric.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Restaurant 1014

Ten out of Ten: 1. Paul Breen, Margaret Butler & Anthony Nilan. 2. Dr. Mary Ward; 3. John & Mary Lou Nolan.

We are so lucky to have such a huge number of quality restaurants in Dublin. We really are spoilt for choice. The annual Top 100 book from The Dubliner is a handy guide when struggling to think of a place to eat but even then it can be difficult to decide. They all have good food, lovely ambience and great service. Every now and then however a very special place will pip the others to the post and Restaurant 1014 in Clontarf is one of those places.

While Restaurant 1014 ticks all the usual boxes (it’s in the Top 100) it also ticks an extra special one as all the profits from the place go directly to the charity CASA, the Caring and Sharing Association. The restaurant is actually owned and operated by CASA and is a valuable source of funds for the charity, which has been helping people with disabilities for over 30 years.

Run by the wonderful Margaret Butler and her efficient team, the eatery is located at 324 Clontarf Road, opposite the wooden bridge to Bull Island. Margaret, along with Cathy Jones of CASA, recently hosted a gourmet evening to highlight the culinary skills of chef Oliver Byrne and his team, who were assisted on the evening by World Master Chef George Smith and Tony Campbell of the Irish Culinary Team. Dishes such as Loch Duart Wild Salmon with Chilli and Ginger Sorbet and line caught Castletownbere Hake with Anise Broth were nothing short of a taste sensation.

So if you’re faced with a dining dilemma and all the options are pretty much the same then you should definitely take a trip to Restaurant 1014; your appetite will thank you, and so will your conscience.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Grand Designs

Red Alert: 1. Emily Flemming & Lisa Kennedy; 2. Winner Emer Lynch with judge Rosanna Davison; 3. Fiona Mullen, Therese and Sinead Egan, with Sabrina Murray. (Pix. Kieran Harnett)

Nina Carberry displayed some great girl power as she won the Ladbrokes Irish Grand National race on Monday afternoon on Organisedconfusion. Also hoping to scoop a top prize at Fairyhouse were the well dressed ladies who entered the Most Stylish Lady event, sponsored by Carton House.

This year’s competition theme encouraged hopefuls to wear “a hint of red” to add a splash of colour and glamour to their race day outfit. Hundreds of sophisticated trendsetters from across the country upped the style stakes in an effort to secure the winning spot in the prestigious competition but it was Emer Lynch from Batterstown, Co. Meath took home the coveted title and won a €9,000 prize package along with a pair of “red soled” Christian Louboutin shoes.

Emer wore a vintage red dress with a purple coat from Ribbon Rouge, accessorised with a red satin belt which she made from curtain material. Her matching red and purple headpiece was designed by her friend Gillian Hughes from Navan, her shoes were purchased in Cordners in Navan and her clutch bag was also vintage.

Special Event

Cause Célebre: 1. Mary Davis and Keith Wood; 2. James O’Neill and Andrina Moore; 3. Carolann Lennon and Sile Seoige. (Pix. Brian McEvoy)

Businessman Denis O’Brien, Chairman Special Olympics Ireland’s Council of Patrons, hosted a coffee morning at The Merrion hotel to kick start Special Olympics Ireland’s Collection Day recently. Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Edie Wynn was a special guest speaker along with Mary Davis, Managing Director Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia.

Matt English, CEO Special Olympics Ireland was in attendance and joined by sporting heroes Keith Wood, Rob Kearney, Eamon Coughlan and a number of Special Olympics athletes as well as Sybil Mulcahy, Alan Kearns and Astrid Brennan.

The collection day, sponsored by eircom, was the biggest annual fundraising event in aid of Special Olympics Ireland and essential to ensuring that the organisation continues to develop and grow its programme of sports training and competition for people with an intellectual disability.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Finnishing School

Finnesse: 1. Cathy Oukland & Sinead Doyle; 2. Niamh Bradley, Ty Richardson & Liv Morgan; 3. Angela Carolan & Joseph Perez. (Pix. Richie Stokes)

Would be cocktail connoisseurs and wannabe mixologists gathered together at The Finlandia Finnishing School in the penthouse of The Radisson on Golden Lane. It was the last of a mini roadshow for the school with stints in Galway and Cork proving to be a hit, with just 100 lucky Finlandia fans attending each, picked from the brand’s Facebook page.

The Finlandia Finnishing School is a cocktail mixology masterclass which promises to teach some tasty flavours to those who like to mix it up. The evening was hosted by top European mixologists The Soul Shakers, a London based team of bar consultancy experts who advise all the right places, including Mahiki and Whiskey Mist, on everything from their layout to their drinks and cocktail menus.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Thorific: 1. Joe Jackson & Cathy O’Connor; 2. Sean Montague, Virginia Macari & Brendan Scully; 3. Kamal Ibrahim & Shane Lennon. (Pix. Brian McEvoy)

Film Buffs were out in force for the Irish premiere screening of Kenneth Brannagh’s new movie Thor at Cineworld. Thor is the 2011 American superhero film based on the comic book character of the same name published by Marvel Comics.

The film stars a host of well known faces including Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Rene Russo and Anthony Hopkins. Be sure to check out Sean Munsanje’s interview with Hemsworth on The Juice next Sunday!

Those stepping out for the first screening included Caroline Downey and her son Jett, TV3 weather man Deric Hartigan, Audrey McGrath and Virginia Macari.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Best of the Rest

This week’s Best of the Rest in the fashion stakes.... 1. Avila Lipsett & Norman Pratt could well have coordinated their outfits before attending the Giorgio Armani soirée (right down to the patent footwear) but I don’t think they did. It’s just a coincidence that they both look immaculate. 2. Love this quirky outfit Andrea Cullen wore to the Triumph Inspiration Awards. Andrea’s a student at LSAD and I suspect it might be one of her own designs. 3. Dylan Townsend & David Lawrence are actors, but you could tell that, right? Dylan looked so effortlessly cool at the premiere of the movie Thor this week.

(Pix. Photocall / McEvoy)

Armani Code Sport

(Pix. Brian McEvoy)

Got the Code: 1. Eoghan O’Sullivan & Ciara Crilly; 2. Ken Boylan, Roxanne Parker & Fabio Menendez; 3. Sarah Williams & Gillian Clarke.

The legendary penthouse at the Clarence Hotel acted as the back drop for the Giorgio Armani Code Sport fragrance launch, the latest addition to the Code collection and a new ‘code’ of seduction for the fragrance.

The man Code Sport represents is described as intriguing, mysterious and desirable. His gaze is hypnotic and his presence magnetic. Code Sport combines elegance with mystery, seduction with power; a new woody, aromatic, citrus fragrance for men. The girls in attendance were getting hot and bothered just hearing that (Sonya Lennon joked that she needed to sit down, to roars of laughter).

Roisin Tierney-Crowe, Irish PR for Giorgio Armani, hosted a special interactive Beauty Editors presentation earlier in the day so that beauty buffs such as Triona McCarthy, Laura Bermingham and Jessie Collins could get the very first whiff of the new fragrance and an in-depth look at its ingredients.

Among the guests at the later presentation and reception hosted by L’Oreal boss Trevor Tye were RTE’s Nuala Carey, Daithi O’Se and girlfriend Rita Talty, Alex Fitzgerald, Brendan O’Connor and Ruth Griffin.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Diary Date

This Easter Saturday (April 23rd) at Tripod Dublin, Peter Rock (of The Exchequer) and his brother Jason Rock, sons of Dickie Rock, along with Omar Bux of The Green Hen, will compete in a white collar boxing night in aid of A-Z children's charity, a charity which looks after HIV and AIDS infected orphans in Uganda.

Tickets are €30, which covers the cost of a child's medication for an entire year! Doors open at 7, event will run from 7.30pm to 10.30pm.

Open your Mind

Mind altering: (clockwise) 1. Marty Mulligan & Sarah Leahy; 2. Naoise Nunn;
3. Jane Ruffino & Richard ; 4.WalshePaddy Cullivan & Anne Gildea . (Pix. Malachy Geelan)

Capitalism, poetry, Iceland, photography, butterflies, fashion and foreign policy are just some of the topics that will get the once over at MindField, a festival of talk, thoughts and more that will take place in Dublin’s Merrion Square next weekend.

Having long been a favourite festival-within-a-festival at Electric Picnic, MindField makes its solo debut the weekend of 29th April to 1st May with over 62 shows on four stages over three days, with participants such as Ryan Tubridy, Simon Kelly, Dermot Bolger, Paddy Cullivan, John Banville and Detmar Blow.

€69 buys a Festival Founders Pass with full priority free access to all ticketed events and workshops over the weekend and admission to the Festival Club. Individual show tickets are €10, and many other events and workshops are free to enter, with an especially exciting programme of free fun for children.

Festival Director, Naoise Nunn said at the launch recently: “All the events are designed to inform and entertain but, most of all, inspire people with new ideas for a sustainable and successful future for us all.”

Channel 4′s Jon Snow described MindField as “…an extraordinary event – a cross between Hay-on-Wye and Glastonbury.” Enjoy Erdinger beer, Pieminister pies, seafood from Rathmullan House, crepes, coffee, ice-cream and much more. Free your mind and the rest will follow.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hello Harry

On The Green: 1. Alan Hughes & Abi Titmuss; 2. Tiffany Stanley, Craig Healy & Jill Noonan; 3. Brian McFadden & Stacey Solomon. (Pix. Brian McEvoy)

Glamorous X Factor star, queen of the jungle and 'celebrity mum of the year' Stacey Solomon was the special guest at the opening of new Dublin bar Harry’s On The Green. Located just off Grafton Street, in the Stephen’s Green Centre, Harry’s is styled on the beloved Bennigans On The Green which was one of the first late bars in Dublin and designers have restored it to its former glory.

The huge, framed print of the Manhattan skyline adorning the lobby defines exactly what sort of bar you are about to enter. Whether you prefer traditional American style vintage drinks or a flamboyant creation there is definitely something for all tastes from the cocktail menu (which apparently stretches to 90 different concoctions, as well as the city's largest selection of American bourbon). The talented Gareth Lambe, formerly of Venu, is the new manager and champion mixologist Bodo is behinf the bar so expect new drinks very often.

Guests on the opening night included Calum Best, Georgia Salpa, Abi Titmuss, Alan Hughes (who just announced his engagement to long term partner Karl Broderick) and Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace – they’ve all just finished filming the next series of TV3’s Celebrity Salon. Also there were Brian McFadden, Kamal Ibrahim, artist Steven Mannion, Vogue Williams, Virginia Macari and Marcus Sweeney.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sound of Music

Do-Re-Mi: 1. Derek Mooney & Brenda Donohue; 2. Sallyanne & Derry Clarke; 3. Mairead O’Callaghan & Miriam O’Regan. (Brian McEvoy)

The Dublin Docks are alive with the Sound of Music as the famous Rodgers and Hammerstein musical is in situ at the Grand Canal Theatre until the end of April. Two very familiar faces head the show, Verity Rushworth (aka Donna Windsor of Emmerdale) stars as ‘Maria’ alongside Jason Donovan as ‘Captain Von Trapp’ in the Andrew Lloyd Webber production.

The Sound of Music originally premiered on Broadway in 1959, when it won six Tony Awards, including “Best Musical”. The show first opened in London in 1961 and its last London revival was in 1981, both productions having record-breaking runs. The 1965 Hollywood film, which starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, won five Oscars, including “Best Picture”.

This production of the legendary Rodgers and Hammerstein musical opened to rave reviews and sell-out business at the Wales Millennium Centre in July 2009 following a record-breaking 954 performances at the London Palladium where it was seen by well over 2 million people. Among the guests on opening night in Dublin were Paul and Lisa Fitzpatrick and family, Marty Whelan and his daughter Jessica and Derry and Sallyanne Clarke of top restaurant l’Ecrivain.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Triumphant: 1. Brendan Courtney and Sonya Lennon; 2. Sarah ryan & model January; 3. George Lamb and Brix Smith. (Leon Farrell / Photocall)

Brown Thomas in Dublin hosted the Triumph Inspiration Irish final Awards 2011 last week. Sarah Ryan from Midleton Cork, who is a student from Limerick School of Art and Design, won the award for the best design interpretation of the Triumph lingerie brand.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Best of the Rest

(Pix. McEvoy / Harnett / Photocall)

This week’s Best of the Rest in the fashion stakes.... 1. Elaine Butler – Doolin & Virginia Macari rock the LBD at John Fitzpatrick’s New York party; 2. Valerie O’Reilly looked effortlessly chic when she attended the Matt The Thresher opening; 3. Suzie Koumarianos channels her personality (she’s the Burlesque Baker after all) at the Veuve Cliquot awards.

New York, New York

(Pix. Brian McEvoy)

American Dream: 1. John Fitzpatrick & Siobhan Mahon; 2. Eithna Fitzpatrick & Ryan Tubridy; 3. Aisling O’Loughlin & Sybil Mulcahy

The go-to Irishman in New York and Washington DC is John Fitzpatrick. Not only is he on first name terms with the likes of Bill and Hilary Clinton but he runs US Fitzpatrick Hotels, the Stateside arm of the famous Irish hotel group.

John recently hosted an exclusive New York, New York evening to mark the 20th anniversary of the group’s operations in America and welcomed honorary guest An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. as he thanked family, friends and industry colleagues for their continued support over the last number of years.

“I find it hard to believe its 20 years, the time has flown and while it’s been hard work, I have had great fun along the way. I believe our success is due in no small way to the warmth of an Irish welcome. We have a fantastic team of talented, committed people working in both hotels. Of course the Fitzpatrick brand is not just about New York, it’s one of the longest established hospitality brands in Ireland – and in fact this year, my sister Eithne, is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Killiney Castle, which was founded by our parents Eithne and Paddy” said John.

Spotted congratulating John were regular US Fitzpatrick visitors Ryan Tubridy, Maura Derrane, Lorraine Keane and Morah and Lottie Ryan. Also toasting 20 years of US Fitzpatrick Hotels were RTE’s Anne Doyle and her partner Dan McGrattan, publisher Michael O’Doherty, TV3’s Sybil Mulcahy as well as Virginia Macari, Darren Kennedy and beauty guru Elaine Butler – Doolin.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Toast to Business

(Pix. Kieran Harnett)

Good Business: 1. Caroline Sleiman & Miriam O'Callaghan; 2. Colette Twomey; 3. Mark Harvey & Stephane Gerschel.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in Ireland this year, the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year Award has recognised and rewarded women around the globe who have succeeded in the business world and who personify the characteristics of Madame Clicquot, the founder of the great Veuve Clicquot champagne house.

It’s one of the most prestigious accolades in business and this year the goes to Colette Twomey, Managing Director of Clonakilty Blackpudding. In her professional career, Colette has shown great entrepreneurial spirit and innovation, as well as displaying leadership, vision, courage and charisma, and was unanimously chosen by this year's judging panel.

Commenting on the award Colette Twomey said: “I am honoured to accept the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year Award, alongside many of Ireland's leading business women who have been past recipients. Now, more than ever, it is important to recognise the work carried out by Irish business women both at home and abroad and it is with awards such as this that makes it possible.”

Past recipients of the Veuve Clicquot award in Ireland include Norah Casey of publishing house Harmonia, Anne Heraty of CPL Resources, Irish designer Louise Kennedy, Darina Allen from the Ballymaloe Cookery School and Moya Doherty of Tyrone Productions.


Inspiring: 1. Ciara Merriman and Ciara Conroy; 2. Rachel and Orla Doogue; 3. Sinead Hayes and Erica Masterson. (Pix. Leon Farrell / Photocall)

The third annual Inspirations gig in aid of Barretstown took place at the Olympia Theatre recently and was a massive success as expected. This event has raised over €120,000 in the past three years, paying for thirty-five children and teens with cancer to go to Barretstown for an inspirational, life-changing Summer camp.

See for more info.