Friday 24 February 2017

The Edge: Michelle, FG's fragrant belle, is on fire and is looking for love

L'amour: Michelle Mulherin is a single woman who could go all the way. In Fine Gael, that is. Photo: Gerry Mooney
L'amour: Michelle Mulherin is a single woman who could go all the way. In Fine Gael, that is. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Tatiana (right) with former Fair City co-star Aoibhinn Garrihy.
Shoe-in: Daniella Moyles with Paul Lyons, MD of ECCO.
Lips are sealed: Jade has dated someone well known, but in a surprising departure, she's revealing nothing. Photo: Kip Carroll for LIFE magazine
Now: Rosanna Davison in 2015
Czechout: Marty and his wife Maria are heading for Prague
BOD: Joined ex-Man U star Rio Ferdinand in Lillie’s

A week is a long time in politics. It is an even longer time in love for a politician. . .

Michelle Mulherin is looking for love.

The fiery Grainne Mhaol of Fine Gael in Co Mayo was at An Taoiseach's bash in Breaffy House Hotel in Castlebar last night to mark Enda's 40th year in national politics.

Michelle, who took a table of ten and went with her mother Kathleen, told me she wasn't necessarily looking for l'amour at Enda's soiree last night "but you never know!" (And you never know, too, just how far Michelle, who is well-thought-of, will go in FG, especially as the Taoiseach has stated half of the next Cabinet he appoints will be women. So, no pressure, Enda!)

Potential government minister Michelle joked to your diarist that she had her eye on someone but he wasn't a politician.

Whoever he is, he should know in advance that Michelle will not be a little mouse doling out the G&Ts at dinner parties as she is not exactly one for toe-ing the line.

As Enda himself will recall their spat two years ago over Knock Airport, aka The Catfight In Claremorris, or as the Fine Gael government will know from when Michelle went against official policy on Libya shortly after she was elected in February, 2011.

Michelle definitely has the fire in her belly (or her constituency office in Ballina has, which was fire-bombed in January of this year) for government and possibly for romance too.

I asked her is she ready for marriage if Mr Right comes along.

"Do you want to scare them all off?" she laughed.

Does she believe in sex before marriage?

"The last time I discussed that subject on The Saturday Night Show with Brendan O'Connor, I got lots of offers afterwards!" added the solicitor turned TD (who will hopefully get an offer of a different sort from Enda after the election).

"Michael Noonan told me that a big farmer in Limerick asked was I available."

The answer remains, mystifyingly, and even emphatically, yes.

When I met her in Dublin for lunch last Wednesday, she told me the last date she was on was at The Bailey pub on Duke Street during the summer.

"I met this guy for a drink. He wasn't bad looking but it just didn't work out. The last proposition I got was a few weeks ago when a guy online asked me out for dinner."

"I declined," added Michelle, who is modelling at a fashion show in Hotel Ballina this Thursday in aid of local charity, Moy Chocolates/Western Care.

Charity begins at homme.

Christmas comes early for Lorraine

Christmas is practically upon us. Well,  it is for Lorraine Keane. The former TV3 superstar turned entrepreneur has her Keane On Style extravaganza at Harvey's Point in Donegal on December 3.

"That's the start of Christmas for me. It's my biggest event yet - 250 people. And lots of my TV pals are coming to it too," she told me, name-checking Kathryn Thomas, Sybil Mulcahy, Debbie O'Donnell and Laura Woods. "It's the perfect setting to get in the Christmas mood."

Not that that takes much effort for the girl with the Keane edge.

This year, like last year, Lorraine and husband Peter and their two young kids are staying home for Christmas in Monkstown. The only difference is the amount of turkey and hams the style queen will be slaving to prepare on December 25.

"I did dinner in my house last year with my very large family - a brood of 34! So this year we'll have a slightly quieter one with Peter's more manageable-sized family. We take turns," Lorraine explained, adding that her Yuletide event at Harvey's Point will have "lots of great local artisan and gift shops doing a pop-up on the night."

Your diarist popped in to see Lorraine's other-half's gig - Peter and bro Colin, aka The Devlins - in Whelan's on Thursday night but, alas, she wasn't able to make it because of work commitments in Killarney the following morning and the dastardly train strike on the same day.

"Mind you," Lorraine told me later, "Emilia and Romy and I get serenaded in the more intimate setting of our house most nights."

Lucky girls!

Magnier and wife in Melbourne

It's happening Down Under. The Aussies may have had their hearts broken by the All Blacks in the World Cup Final. Be that as it may, that hasn't stopped the fun in Australia - ably assisted by some of our finest Irish too. . .

Irish Racing royalty Tom Magnier - son of the incomparable John - and wife Sophie-Claire attended the Melbourne Cup last week. For those of you out of the loop in Antipodean social circles, The Melbourne Cup is Ireland's equivalent of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby. It is, as they say in that part of the world, a bloody good day out, fair dinkums, mate?

And so it proved last Tuesday as the race meeting saw uber glam racegoers from all over the world (and Ireland) pitch up to watch the horses.

Tom and Sophie Claire sat in the VIP members enclosure in Flemington Racecourse. Ever-stylish Sophie wore a black pill box hat and a black and white print dress. My spies in the southern hemisphere tell me that the super svelte mum of three was spotted cheering on the horses with a group of friends.

Tom and Claire were also celebrating the safe return of their legendary champion horse American Pharaoh - who arrived at Coolmore's Ashford Stud in Versailles, Kentucky on Monday morning with the aid of a police escort.

And why not, dinkums?

Tatiana hooks up with Mickey

Does Tatiana Ouliankina - the Dublin-based Russian blonde who played Lana in Fair City - ever stay home? Last month she was summering in Marbs with her Irish husband John Moore and their kids. This week finds Tats and the gang in Florida. "We are in Orlando to go to Disney. I've always wanted to see Mickey!" she told me with a straight face. "It's so hot here. We are in the hotel by the lake full of alligators!"

Tats had some stuff to take her mind off the gators, however. She did an audition recently for the brilliant Peaky Blinders starring Cillian Murphy. So she's hoping for good news.

Another beauty forever in travel mode - invariably for our own LIFE magazine - model Daniella Moyles was DJ-ing at Arnotts Shoe Garden last Wednesday evening for the launch of ECCO's latest innovation, Intrinsic footwear. Those at the bash who presumably enjoyed Ms Moyles' tunes included Roz Purcell and GAA star Philly McMahon, to say nothing of PR deity Astrid Brennan who put the whole night together.

Jade bares her soul and a little bit more besides

Joseph Addison's bon mots about hidden romance, I gather,  are never far from Irish reality TV star Jade's full lips. All together now: 'Mysterious love, uncertain treasure, hast thou more of pain or pleasure!' This I say because the beautiful breakout star of this year's Big Brother intrigued me thus: "I have been on a few dates with someone very well known. But we are not dating any more - my decision -  and out of respect for him I'm going to leave that alone."

"I'm completely single," she added. Indeed should any potential suitors need any further information on the Irish stunner who controversially espoused polyamory (where someone can be in a non-exclusive intimate relationship with more than one person simultaneously), please read on. . .

Jade has helpfully posed "for a completely naked photo shoot recently. The shots aren't finished yet but they will be sold at an art exhibition soon," she said. "My view on beauty is that this kind of nakedness is art. I'm controversial when I get interviewed about it because I slammed Rosanna Davidson for Playboy."

Somehow I doubt Rosanna will be cancelling her Christmas celebrations over this criticism.

Johnny Ronan's brother Conor was celebrating. It was his broadcaster wife Claire's birthday and they had a party in Portugal. I hope you have noticed how I didn't mention that the aforementioned Rosanna and the aforementioned Johnny once flew on Johnny's private jet to Marrakech with some others for a party in La Mamounia hotel in 2010? Last night, Claire and Conor were back from their own party in Portugal for their VBF Norah Casey's Irish Tatler Women Of The Year Awards. at the Intercontinental Hotel in Ballsbridge.

Presumably on that public transport in the sky - otherwise known as an Aer Lingus airplane?

Marty hard-noses the high road to Galway and Ennis

How, I ask you, will Malahide cope? Marty Whelan and wife Maria will be spending a few days in Prague before the end of the year.

It is, in truth, a well-deserved rest.

The RTE star with an even worse hairstyle than my own has been working himself to the bone recently - what with his radio show on Lyric, his show on RTE, Winning Streak, and promoting his musings in literary form, That's Life.

I bumped into him in RTE last weekend. He told me that the recent launch of the book at Trocadero restaurant was a night of reunions - "from Maurice Collins, who gave me my hair back, to Michael Colgan, who got me to meet my movie hero, Al Pacino."

His other hero, Van Morrison, was sent a lovingly signed copy of the book, Marty told me, adding that he and Maria were going to Van's almost sold-out show at the 3Arena on November 20.

In the meantime, Marty will be hard-nosing-the-highway to Ennis for 3pm today and then on to Galway for 5pm to do a signing for That's Life.

BOD and Rio in Lillie's Bordello

They are possibly too advanced as superior males of the species to call it a Lads' Night Out.

Be that as it may, Brian O'Driscoll and former Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand were in Lillie's Bordello on Thursday night.

They came in at 12.30am after the Web Summit at the RDS.

The two bona fide sporting gods sat in the VIP part of the members' bar of the exclusive club on Grafton Street and clearly enjoyed themselves as they stayed until just before 3am. How do I know this? I know everything.

Two other specimens of superior male-dom out on the town last weekend were Dylan McGrath and Liam Cunningham.

Last Saturday night, the TV chef and the Game Of Thrones' actor were in 37 on Dawson Street before going on later to Xico on Lower Baggot Street.

Doubtless this was a lads' night out.

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