Monday 5 December 2016

The Edge: Under starter's orders at The Marker for Dubai Derby launch

Published 13/06/2016 | 02:30

Martha Lynn & Jennifer Wrynne at the official launch party for the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival last week.
Martha Lynn & Jennifer Wrynne at the official launch party for the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival last week.
In love Sharon floats on high o'er vales and hills
Panti goes Down Under to promote Queen movie.
Johnny Ronan, the sultan of the saddle, rides every day.
Lloyd Thornburg plans a good time here.

You might recall (if you don't - I'll remind you) that Blaise O'Donnell joined her VBF Sarah Rothschild a few months ago for the latter's suitably swish hen weekend in Barcelona?

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Well, it was hardly going to be Blackpool with a surname like that, was it? So no surprises, then, that Blaise O'Donnell was bridesmaid at her pal Sarah Rothschild's wedding in Wicklow last weekend.

The poshie wedding took place in the especially spectacular setting of Powerscourt Gardens, with Blaise and the other three bridesmaids wearing powder blue, off-the-shoulder dresses.

The bride looked only beautiful in a floor-length white dress. The next day the group moved to Fern restaurant in Avoca with Blaise wearing a purple Ted Baker, and silver strappy heels. Does anyone really care what Blaise wears? Yes, I hear you shout.

Rachel Stevens, meanwhile, was in a pale pink dress by Helen Cody and Boodles jewellery at the launch of the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby last Wednesday at the rooftop bar of The Marker. Derek McGrath, CEO at The Curragh Racecourse, welcomed guests (and your diarist) and waxed lyrical about the racing, food, style and general high-octane va-va-voom expected on the Derby weekend June 24 to June 26.

Mundy performed a great set, which included a rollicking version of July.

July? Aren't we still in June?

In love Sharon and John floating above on Cloud 9

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Bird on the wing? L'amour has certainly  taken flight for one of Ireland's top communications people. Sharon Bannerton is on Cloud 9, or feeling a mile high these days. (Notice to lawyers, I didn't say Sharon was a member of the Mile High Club.) I might mention that the reason I have gone metaphor-mad is because she handles, among many other clients, the public relations for CityJet.

The primary reason for Sharon's elevated state of happiness is that the Galway beauty has found love with the owner of The Pembroke pub in Dublin, John McClafferty. They were at the Respect lunch yesterday at the InterContinental, with Shazza in an Olivia Danielle guna, and the Make A Wish ball last month at the DoubleTree by Hilton.

The glamorous pair have been seriously dating for the last five months. It is an open secret in their milieu. And mine. And now yours.

John and Sharon have been everywhere together of late: from The Sussex on Sussex Terrace to Tribeca in Ranelagh for dinner with Sharon's mother Nuala.

You see - I told you it was serious: Sharon has introduced John to her mammy. And the mammy loves him almost as much as soar-away Shazza does.

Also at the important dinner in Tribeca was Sharon's sister Avril, who runs Taste Of Dublin, now in its eleventh year, and which starts next weekend at the Iveagh Gardens; Sharon and John will of course hold court in the VIP enclosure at Taste. Possibly as a recce, Sharon and John were at Taste Of Amsterdam earlier last week in Holland. Clearly smitten, Sharon declared on her Facebook page: "Amazing day at Taste of Amsterdam with the funniest person I've ever had the privilege to be with, John."

My sources say they are so loved-up now that the only turbulence their relationship is ever likely to encounter is on a CityJet fligh

Marbs Marc plans to wed pretty Penny

He has spent the last decade feeding the great and the good in his Marbella restaurant Beckitt's in Camilo Jose Cela street: Michael and Norma Smurfit, Noreen and Charlie McCreevy, Bertie Ahern and Anna Bogle, Nicky and Georgina Ahern et al were regulars. 

Now Dublin entrepreneur and foodie Marc Quinlan, who recently got engaged to his exotic girlfriend Penny Candaras, right with Marc, will have to let others feed him this time, because he is getting married to Penny in Estrella Del Mar beach-club on May 13 next year. Estrella Del Mar beach club, you say? That will cost a pretty penny (a pretty Penny Candaras even.) It will cost even more if Johnny gets his dream band UB40 to play at the big night in sunny Spain. On top of that is 160-something guests. If Marc needed any advice on big weddings he could have asked Charlie Chawke, who was in Beckitt's last weekend after his daughter Jenny's wedding. Marc, alas, was in Majorca with Penny for his birthday.

Panti says O'Neill's comments 'silly, though unsurprising'

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When it's foggy in the pulpit, a wise man once said,  it's cloudy in the pew. Someone who brilliantly raged more than most about the sanctimonious cant of the Church in this country, Rory O'Neill, had his own particular problems with fog last Wednesday. And not in the pulpit, sadly.

Rory was flying via London to catch a connecting flight to Australia to promote his soulmate Panti's movie The Queen Of Ireland at The Sydney Film Festival when it all went down under, so to speak, for him. Heavy fog over the Heathrow airport area meant that the blessed Rory's plane to London was delayed by nearly two hours. "Missed the flight," he messaged me on Facebook. "Back for Pride on the 25th."

He added that: "I'm now crying on the floor of Terminal 5 Heathrow. A man just cheerfully told us: 'There are no hotel rooms available in the whole of England' (I swear) but that they'll give us a voucher for food. So there's that. A sandwich!'" So, 43 hours after leaving Dublin, he (and presumably Panti) finally landed in Sydney.

I asked him what he thought of Martin O'Neill's comments about "queers."

"I thought it was silly, though unfortunately unsurprising. Though I'm not the offended type and I get that silly things are said lightly especially in 'macho' environments. To be honest, I was more annoyed by his less than fulsome apology. He should have just said, 'I'm an idiot sometimes and I apologise. I'll do better.'"

For the new Johnny, life follows a familiar cycle

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Johnny Ronan, the sultan of the saddle, rides every day

It's not that often that your diarist dwells on the derriere of one Johnny Ronan. But this week my thoughts (and possibly that of the whole country) go out to Johnny's poor backside. Last Tuesday he cycled from Dublin to Rosslare. No - this wasn't to meet Liam Cunningham, Redser, and Robbie Fox for an afternoon of epicurean delight aka a liquid lunch. No - those days of liquid lunches are long over for Johnny Ronan. His long cycle from Dublin to Rosslare was for the Mustard Seed charity (a charity dedicated to caring for the most vulnerable members of society, especially handicapped and abandoned children in disadvantaged countries).

In the past, some of us might have thought of Johnny as a bit of a wild one, but he has - like the Irish economy - apparently turned a corner.

On his push-bike.

Not only did Johnny complete the cycle to Rosslare in jig time. (He rides every day, so he is the sultan of the saddle nowadays as compared to the Johnny of yore.) But last month, the slimmed-down secular saint, formerly known as the Bearded Buccaneer, also took part in The Ras Cycle for Breast Cancer Research,and covered a whopping 1,200km over eight consecutive days. He is starting on the Alps in a few weeks time.

Perhaps Johnny will find exiting the tunnels in the mountains up there as relieving as he did when he exited Nama.

Hurray for Lloyd as he jets in to race his yacht and enjoy Dalkey

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Lloyd Thornburg plans a good time here

It's official. Marty Morrissey has good taste. He and his girlfriend Lisa were at The Corrs' gig at the Marquee on Thursday in Cork. My sources in the real capital of Ireland tell me it was one of the shows of the year.

Still in that beautiful part of the world, my Kinsale Deep Throat informs me that there was a super-yacht on the water near The Old Head on Tuesday night: "Don't know who the owners are, but they come in and out of the Old Head by chopper parked on the yacht."

Keeping to the nautical theme, this week one of America's most eligible bachelors, 30-something billionaire sailor Lloyd Thornburg lands in Ireland to compete in the 2016 Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race on Saturday, June 18. Girls, you can't say I didn't tell you where to look.

Lloyd likes his luxury, because he and his crew are staying at Eddie Irvine's ultra-bling bachelor base in Dalkey. Lavish Lloyd has also retained TV chef Oliver McCabe of Select Stores in Dalkey to prepare food for him on shore and at sea. There will also be visits to Finnegan's, plus further afield, Patrick Guilbaud and Chapter One.

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