Friday 30 September 2016

Looking to the future, learning from the past: Irish celebrities on their 2015 highs and lows

Published 27/12/2015 | 02:30

Diarmuid Gavin and Holly Carpenter. Photo: Doug O'Connor
Diarmuid Gavin and Holly Carpenter. Photo: Doug O'Connor
Lisa Cannon. Photo: Brian McEvoy
Morah Ryan. Photo: Brian McEvoy
Daithi O Se. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Louis Walsh. Photo: David Conachy
Nadia Forde
Victoria Smurfit
Nadia Forde. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Daithi O'Se. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Laura Whitmore. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Michelle Mulherin. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Norah Casey. Photo: Tony Gavin

Barry Egan talks to some well-known personalities about the highs and lows of the year just gone, and the year ahead.

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Laura Whitmore, Broadcaster

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What did you ask Santa for? "Not to sound too soppy but I'm kind of happy with what I've got. For me the best Christmas present is someone's time. So having family time and just chilling out and catching up is the perfect gift.

"I'll take a Chanel handbag if someone really wants to give me one though."

What's your New Year's resolution? "To work hard and be kind. Which is really a life motto. I want to eat less chocolate too but that's easier said than done!"

What was your personal high point of 2015? "It has been my favourite year to date. I walked in London Fashion Week. Turned 30. Went to the Philippines with my mam to meet my sponsored little girl through Plan Ireland. I had an amazing moment with local women in the Masai Mara when I spent some time in Africa - there was one very special night when the women gave me a blessing. It was quite emotional. I'm very lucky to meet such inspirational people. Sometimes you end up in situations that can be quite life changing."

And the low-point? "One of my best mates went through a really terrible time. I'm quite sensitive and it really hit me hard to see someone so special to me feel so much pain and not be able to help them."

Any regrets? "Je ne regrette rien, as Edith Piaf sang."

 

Michelle Mulherin, Fine Gael TD

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Apart from your partner, who would you most like to meet under the mistletoe? "With that mischief-loving twinkle in his eye I would say Vincent Browne would be an interesting man to meet under the mistletoe!"

Any resolutions? "I have done a number of mini marathons and 5k runs. For 2016, I would like to run the Dublin City Marathon. However, for the first quarter of the year my training will be confined to running my general election campaign."

What did you ask Santa for? "A sack full of votes. 8,000 would be nice!"

What will you be glad to see the back of in 2016? "The fallout from the flooding and devastation caused by Storm Desmond to homes, businesses and farmland. However, the enduring memory for me is not misery but local people instinctively coming together to fight the floods and to clean up afterwards."

Norah Casey, broadcaster: Who would you most like to meet under the mistletoe? "Liam Neeson. What can I say? I'm Taken."

Any resolutions? "To finally get to the home of my great grandmother, Kolkata, and explore the wonders of India."

What did you ask Santa for? "To see the Northern lights. So I'm heading to Iceland for New Year. Santa helps those who help themselves."

Your hero of 2015? "Sister Stan and the work she does for the homeless."

Your villain of 2015? "Donald Trump. He gave those of us in business a bad name."

 

Nadia Forde, Model/TV star

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What are your New Year's resolutions? "To put happiness and health before work and career."

What did you ask Santa for? "Time with my family and loved ones."

What will you be glad to see the back of in 2015? "It's been a mixed year for me personally so I think a new fresh start is needed. I feel like I'm looking at the world now with a new set of eyes."

Hero of 2015? "Teresa Mannion."

Villain of 2015? "Isil."

Apart from your partner, who would you most want to meet under the mistletoe? "Liam Neeson."

 

Morah Ryan, Artist

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Who would you most like to meet under the mistletoe? "My mum."

Any New Year's resolutions? "To stay alive and be of value."

What will you be glad to see the back of in 2016? "Tyranny."

Your hero of 2015? "Angela Merkel."

Your villain of 2015? "Donald Trump."

 

Daithi O Se, Broadcaster

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What did you ask Santa for? "A few winning horses over the Christmas. He didn't leave a list for me last year so I backed a horse called 'empty stocking' - more like empty pockets."

What will you be happy to see the back of in 2015? "I'll be delighted to see the back of the rain. Flooding has been a huge problem."

Who is your hero of 2015? "People who volunteer and give up time for others."

Who would you most like to meet under the mistletoe? "Other than Rita it would have to be Sofia Vergara. No explanation needed!"

The personal low for you in 2015? "My son Mícheál óg was sick and had to go to the hospital and I couldn't do anything to help him. I felt useless. The high point was three days later when he was back to himself and jumping on daddy's belly again."

What are you looking forward to in 2016? "Going on a holiday in the sun. We haven't been away properly in a few years. I just want to throw myself on the beach and Rita can turn me over every now and then."

 

Diarmuid Gavin, Gardener and Broadcaster

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Any resolutions? "To finish our garden and take some time to smell the roses. And to write a book."

What did you ask santa for? "A new Jaguar XKR convertible."

What will you be glad to see the back of in 2016? "The threat of Ebola."

Your hero of 2015? "The Queen of Ireland and our maturing nation who voted for equality."

Who would you most like to meet under the mistletoe? "Julia Roberts."

 

Holly Carpenter, Model, blogger and columnist

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Who would you most like to meet under the mistletoe? "Tom Hardy."

Any New Year's resolutions? "I plan on being organised in 2016. I have my leather Filofax ready to go. And I might start a swear jar."

What did you ask Santa for? "I asked for a Zara voucher and sweets."

What will you be glad to see the back of in 2016? "Dark mornings. I can't wait for the clocks to change."

Your hero of 2015? "Sébastien who saved the pregnant woman from the Bataclan venue in Paris during the attacks."

Your villain of 2015? "Donald Trump. He boils my blood."

 

Louis Walsh, Pop impresario

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What are your New Year's resolutions? "To enjoy life even more. To slag more people. To do more TV."

What will you be glad to see the back of in 2016? "The recession. Politicians moaning on TV. Talk of Nama and banks. I am bored with hearing about all that. I want to hear more positivity."

Your villain of 2015? "Donald Trump. He is a clown. He would be the worst American President ever. But I watch him win over the American people every night on FOX and CNN. Him as President of America would be like Robbie Williams as Prime Minister of Britain. Ridiculous."

Victoria Smurfit, actress:

What are your New Year's resolutions? "To have none at all."

What did you ask Santa for? "Things for the kids."

What will you be glad to see the back of in 2015? "Ideally... Donald Trump."

Who was your hero of 2015? "My mother."

Biggest regret? "I have no time nor interest in regret."

 

Lisa Cannon, Broadcaster

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Any resolutions? "To get back to some form of exercise; to cook everything in a Nigella book from start to finish and to get to a few music festivals, because I missed them all last year because I was planning a wedding."

What did you ask Santa for? "Some abs and my Visa card paid off."

What will you be glad to see the back of in 2016? "A wedding Excel spreadsheet - and mean-spirited people."

Your hero of 2015? "My husband and my father."

Sunday Independent

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