It was a night I wasn't at all sure I was ready for ... the first-ever Oireachtas Christmas fashion show. Yes, you did read that right. Politicians strutting their stuff. On a Tuesday night. In the Shelbourne Hotel.
Admittedly it was for a good cause – three good causes, actually; the Motor Neurone Association, Action Prostate Cancer Research and the Capuchin Day Centre – but all the same... I just wasn't sure I was ready for the (even) lighter side of Dail Eireann. Nor was I convinced that any of them would know how to 'Smize' the way Tyra would have told them.
However, Catherine Noone, Mary Mitchell-O'Connor, Lorraine Higgins, Maureen O'Sullivan, Michelle Mulherin, Eoghan Murphy and Arthur Spring, along with senators Marie-Louise O'Donnell, Averil Power, Mark Daly and John Crowne, all strutted their stuff, hiding their nerves behind some pretty sassy attitude (Eoghan Murphy, I'm looking at you here).
"They were very nervous," confirms Marietta Doran who, along with Minister Jimmy Deenihan, masterminded the event. "And when I advised them to 'own the stage!', some became even more so!"
Backstage tantrums and champagne snipes were in short supply, but the glamour out front fared better. Pat and Cathy Kenny turned up to watch, along with a couple of sporting heroes – Paul Galvin and Alan Brogan – and the best of the horsey set: Tamso Doyle, Gillian Walshe, wife of Ruby, Fiona Foy-Holland and Anne Marie MacManus.