Friday 21 October 2016

The Edge: Tender is the night for FG's Michelle and solicitor Jack

Published 18/01/2016 | 02:30

Michelle Mulherin. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Michelle Mulherin. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Wedded bliss: Socialites Robbie and Martina Fox
Daithi and wife Rita
Romantic break: Rachel and Isaac had a castle adventure

Enda hasn't named a date yet. But An Taoiseach's running partner in County Mayo had a date of another kind in Dublin on Christmas week. And it was organised through Fine Gael circles, too.

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Allow your diarist to explain. Hotly tipped FG Senator Catherine Noone is clearly adding match-maker to her list of qualifications (solicitor etc) - as she fixed fellow FG stalwart Michelle Mulherin (inset) up with her pal, dashing Jack O'Brien, solicitor and ex-husband of Michael Smurfit's lovely daughter Sharon a few weeks ago. After Catherine (who spent the Yuletide at home in Mayo with her tax consultant beau Barry Flanagan) made the introductions, chivalrous Jack rang Michelle and asked her out. Catherine, who has known Jack for years through legal circles, came along as a form of chaperone on the night with Aine Collins TD - who, lest we forget, was once grabbed by her FG colleague Tom Barry onto his lap in the Dail chamber during a debate. Anyway, no doubt you are lapping up all these romantic details. So, I'll continue. . .

Michelle, Jack and the two chaperones met up in a pub on Sussex Terrace in Leeson Street, O'Brien's, at 9.30pm for a few scoops (but none as big as this particular scoop, say you) before heading on to House on Lower Leeson Street at midnight; where the romantic duo (plus mini dating agency Catherine and Aine) stayed until 1.30am. So how did Michelle and Jack's tender evening go? And will they meet up again? (Apologies if I am starting to sound like - whatever about look like - Cilla Black on Blind Date.) A friend of both of them told me: "They are both great fun and both lovely people and they got on great that night. So who knows? I know Jack seems very keen on her."

I won't buy a suit for the wedding just yet. Although Michelle was at her barrister sister Grace's wedding to Dominic Hussey on Wednesday in the Shelbourne hotel. How do I know this? I was there.

Attending with her other sister Karen and mum Kathleen, the Grainne Mhaol of Fine Gael looked beautiful in a purple dress and vertigo-inducing high heels in the Horseshoe bar enjoying a glass of Prosecco.

So, Jack - the ball is in your court. Ask her out on another date. And Enda - hurry up and name the date.

Mr and Mrs Fox ‘only’ married six years

He hasn’t gone away — you  know. Though, apart from seeing him on the telly, I haven’t spotted Eamon Dunphy for an age. But there he was in The Seafood Bar in La Stampa Hotel on Dawson Street over the Christmas.

Joining the table of Jackie Rafter, Mary Kavanagh and Ciara Colbert, Dunphy had a brandy followed by a coffee.

This is hardly the fare of the legendary libertine Dunphy of olden days in The Unicorn but I digress.

Speaking of coffee, Mary Coffey and Lucy McColgan, daughter of impresario John, were also in, as were Mari O’Leary and Robert Jacobs on separate evenings.

Mary Hanafin was in the decidedly trendy hotspot last week for dinner with three friends. The Fianna Fail councillor and her pals came in at 8.30pm and were gone by 10pm. Martina Fox — who runs The Seafood Bar for owner Mark Wright — will be gone from the restaurant this weekend as she and her husband Robbie (who runs Bellucci’s in Ballsbridge) are jetting to London for their daughter Megan Fox’s 24th birthday.

Megan is currently setting the film world on fire. “She has won lots of awards for film. I’m so proud of her,” Martina said. She and  Robbie and their other daughter, 19-year-old Lorna are taking the birthday girl to Cicchetti in Piccadilly. It will be a great celebration, as was Robbie and Martina’s wedding in 1990. “I was a child bride!” laughed Martina.

“And,” she laughed even louder, “because we have both worked in restaurants/nightclubs all our lives, Robbie and I are probably only really married for six years — because we never see each other.” 

Rita and Daithi jet stateside for glitzy wedding

Galway will be that little bit quieter in June. Prominent resident of the West Daithi O Se will be abroad. 

Not that the very popular TV star is exactly an overly loud presence in and around Salthill — where he lives with wife Rita Talty and toddler son Michael Og — but the exuberant Kerryman does bring his own joie de vivre to Galway, don’t you think?

In any event, he and Rita and the aforesaid baba are jetting to America during the summer for two weeks.

It will be a well-earned, and well-deserved, break for the co-host — with the incomparable Ms Derrane — of the Today show on RTE.

They are travelling stateside ostensibly to attend the New Jersey wedding for the youngest of Rita’s big brothers Micheal to Jen Lennon. They are getting married in the swish Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park, New Jersey. Daithi added that he’d love to go on the stag in Las Vegas, scheduled for April, but he has work commitments. “I’m trying to convince him to have the stag in May when I’m off the air.

“Micheal and Jen got engaged on the promenade in Salthill last summer,” Daithi continued. “They met in New York four years ago on a night out,” Daithi added that he and Rita went on their first date in Manhattan in late summer 2010 when he was doing a TV show for TG4.

After the New Jersey wedding of Michael and Jen, he and Rita will be gently “dumping the baby with Rita’s mother for five or six days.”

Presumably to have a few nights out not being woken up at two or three in the morning by the delightful if roaring baba — who might on occasion be cramping the hirsute dreamboat’s style...?

“We went to bed at 10pm on New Year’s Eve,”  Michael Og’s famous dad laughed uproariously, before pausing for theatrical effect — “and we missed the whole thing!”

Rachel goes a Rovin’ with Isaac

Most of us take it easy over the holiday period and go for what is generally called a quiet Christmas.

This wasn’t the case for the Allen family of Ballymaloe in Shanagarry, County Cork. “There were 64 of us sitting down for lunch in the end on Christmas Day,” superstar TV cook Rachel told me. Her almost frenetic husband Isaac added that the cooking — of traditional Christmas fare — was “split between a few of my cousins. Rachel took the day off.”

That sense of undisturbed tranquillity for Rachel continued a week later when Isaac took her and their three kids to Dromoland Caste for a few nights. “We had a lovely evening ringing in the new year, just the 5 of us!” They drove from their palatial home in Cork to the five-star establishment in county Clare in a brand new, and very smart, Land Rover Discovery Sport.

Hint: expect an announcement about Rachel and a certain upmarket car next month. Only saying.

Nadia jets back to London with Dom while Brady flies to NZ

Airplane travel, someone wise once quipped, is Mother Nature’s way of making you look like your passport photo.

The svelte supermodel and singer Nadia Forde is obviously not having that problem. Though don’t take  make my word for it.

If you go out to Dublin Airport this evening, you can look at the one-time star of I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out Of Here! and decide for yourself.

She is on the 10pm British Airways flight back to London with her boyfriend Dominic Day. Don’t ask how I know. It’s what passes for a state secret in the complex world of theIrish Mmodels.

Nadia was in Dublin on business all last week, as well as to see her other half play for his club Bath against Leinster yesterday evening in the RDS Arena.

Afterwards, Nadia and her Welsh rugby player Dom et al were expected in House, on theLower Leeson Street. They were also expected for lunch today at 37 on Dawson Street — and possibly a few other currently in-vogue venues in that area this afternoon.

Nadia, who has lost an incredible — even dramatic — amount of weight recently, has perhaps enjoyed been enjoying her food while she was at home in Dublin more than we might have expected from her.

On Wednesday evening, she was spotted having a peanut butter and white chocolate pudding andwith ice cream in Farmer Brown’s, on Bath Avenue, in Ringsend.

This is to say nothing of the previous evening in an inner city chipper having chips. Fair play to her for breaking there stereotype of the model who refuses to — or can’t — enjoy food. 

Nadia has a long way to go way before she starts looking like her passport photo, I suspect.

Meanwhile, one of Ireland’s most internationally respected singers — he is, after all, probably Bob Dylan’s favourite Irish singer — needed his passport last week.

I speak, of course, of Paul Brady. The author of Hard Station and The Island flew to an island country in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean last week.

The Strabane-born icon’s trip to New Zealand was to visit his son, Colm, who lives there with his wife Danielle and their two kids, Sean and Leo. (Paul also has two other grand-children, Lyra and Finn, kids of his daughter, Sarah, in London.)

The snow that awaits us back here in Dublin is in grim contrast to the sweltering heat of New Zealand that Paul is currently soaking up over there.

A hard station.

Picture perfect: Model Nadia Forde, who was in Dublin to see boyfriend Dominic Day play for Bath v Leinster

King Richard hangs up measuring tape to turn his talent to painting

The Oscars in LA my backside. There was far more fun to be had at the Cork Person of the Year Awards at the Cork Person of the Year in the Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork last Friday.

Marty Morrissey picked up an award as honorary Corkman for his contribution to Irish public life. Yes, I know, Marty is from Clare, but a few years ago Jeremy Irons and David Puttnam  — English men who both have homes in Cork — received Cork People of the Year awards from the MC, Miriam O’Callaghan.

The RTE star, who was spotted last Saturday night with her husband Steve Carson having a romantic dinner in their favourite Indian restaurant, Rasam in Glasthule, Dublin (husbands having dinner with their wives — whatever next?), hosted the glam event in the real capital last Friday yet again.

The blonde wore, unsurprisingly, a suitably stunning red guna. And looking almost as glamorous as our Miriam,  actress Jane Wu wore a THEIA creation by Irish designer Don O’Neill at last Sunday night’s 73rd Golden Globe Awards, Golden Globesat the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles . . . alongside the Hollywood red carpet heavy-hitters of Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga and Julianne Moore et al  in their Tom Ford, Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy and the like.

Meanwhile, Richard Lewis — a true legend who has designed for the great and the good in his illustrious career — has hung up his measuring tape. Sad to sayth he has retired.  “I’ve started a new chapter in my life,” the 70-year-old told me, full of the joys of his new beginnings. “I’ve closed my workshop. For years, I’ve been painting and drawing and I’m going to do some of that. It is something I really enjoy,” the Drimnagh-born deity added. “So, we’ll see.”

Only we won’t see Richard — as he is jetting off on a well-deserved holiday next week.

Final cut: Richard Lewis with model Sarah Morrissey

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