Friday 30 September 2016

Bairbre Power... Out and about

Our resident diarist calls into the best parties and events around the country

Published 14/08/2016 | 02:30

Jessica O'Gara with Louise Kennedy
Jessica O'Gara with Louise Kennedy
Trainer Jim Bolger with Ronan O'Gara
Sean O'Brien with Johnny Murtagh
Designer Giovanna Borza
Annemarie, Sarah and Aidan O'Brien

Now how often do you get a Monday invitation for afternoon tea in the gorgeous surroundings of Louise Kennedy's private apartment, which is literally 'over the shop' on Merrion Square.

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I joined Louise and Jessica O'Gara who is home from France, enjoying six weeks of holidays in Cork with her five children.

We three enjoyed an 'art tea' sent around from The Merrion Hotel who are style partners for the upcoming Longines Irish Champions weekend on September 10/11 and it was so appropriate because Jessica is the Style Ambassador for the event while hubbie, Ronan, is Sport Ambassador, and they were in Dublin for the launch party later that night.

Jessica was juggling her diary to find time to visit Holles Street where Ronan's brother, Morgan O'Gara and his wife, Daphne, had become the parents of identical twins after moving home from Australia after four years.

Jessica told me how her twins, Rua and Molly, are almost eight and their French is amazing. "They are fluent, they correct mammy and daddy and tell us we have bad accents. Ronan, with his Cork accent, they are always slagging him," she said.

The O'Garas moved house in Paris last month to Sceaux. "It has a chateau and that's why we moved because we are across from the park and a lovely outdoor life."

Speaking of the outdoors, Jessica had a Connemara pony called Chance when she was growing up and she used to go eventing. The O'Garas' eldest two sons, twin Rua and J.J. (it's pronounced GG in France) are off to Munster rugby camp next week. Stars of the future in the making.

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At the Longines Irish Champions Weekend in UCD's O'Reilly Hall, I met Jim Draper with Ronan O'Gara, (above) jockey Johnny Murtagh and rugby player, Sean O'Brien and the O'Brien clan, Annemarie and trainer Aidan with their stunning daughter, Sarah, below.

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I bumped into talented designer (below) Giovanna Borza at Create in BTs and she was so busy she had yet to make her wedding dress for her marriage in Italy, to day trader Marcus Heather, later this month. He proposed to her 18 months ago in South Africa and since her birthstone is a sapphire, and his pet name for her is Josephine, Marcus commissioned a replica of the diamond and sapphire ring that Napoleon Bonaparte gave to Joséphine in 1776. I checked back later in the week and the toile for the dress has been made! "The dress is quite simple," explained Giovanna, who will be married at Casa Mari by the groom's uncle, Cardinal Desmond Connell.

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