Saturday 1 October 2016

Bairbre Power... Out and about

Our resident diarist calls into the best parties and events around the country

Published 11/09/2016 | 02:30

Garrett Power, the hotel manager, welcomed guests including Kathryn Tunney and Dorothy McCann. Photo: Frank McGrath Jr
Garrett Power, the hotel manager, welcomed guests including Kathryn Tunney and Dorothy McCann. Photo: Frank McGrath Jr
Brendan McArdle pictured with Melanie McCourt and Bairbre Power, before the Irish Independent Weekend Magazine/ Irish Champions Weekend Lunch at the Merrion Hotel.Picture Credit: Frank Mc Grath
Siobhan Kearney and Clodagh Coghlan. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Ali Hewson. Photo: Anthony Woods
Designers Niamh ONeill and Heidi Higgins at the Council of Irish Fashion Designers Collection Presentation. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Drawing up the guest list for the Irish Racing Style lunch, marking the Merrion Hotel's involvement in the Longines Irish Champions Weekend (LICW), fell to Dorothy McCann, brand manager at the five-star hotel. I had the easy part. All I had to do was get the hair done at Brown Sugar and turn up and ask the questions.

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Needless to say, Dorothy got a 100pc RSPV rate. Thirty key players from the Irish horse racing scene and fashion world took their places around the flower-topped table in the Wellington Room for lunch and a chat.

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Garrett Power (no relation), the hotel manager, welcomed guests including Kathryn Tunney, the businesswoman behind the Stylish Arms tulle product she wears so well, pictured above with Dorothy McCann.

There was quite a turnout from the Kildare racing set. Michael O'Rourke, Director of Strategy and Marketing at Horse Racing Ireland, travelled up with Barbara White and Jane Davis. Trainer Jessica Harrington came from her Commonstown stables in Moone with her daughters, Katie and Emma. I chatted with and RTÉ commentator, (2) Brendan McArdle, and Melanie McCourt, of Jaguar Ireland, official car partners for the LICW. She was cheered when she offered to store all our spare 'flat shoes' in her big car boot.

The ISPCC lunch and Brown Thomas fashion show is always a September favourite. After a Veuve Clicquot reception, 350 guests sat down to ogle the clothes - especially the new crush label, Maticevski, from Melbourne.

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Chatting with the always charming Ali Hewson, above, she told me that Edun, the ecological brand she started with Bono in 2005, "are not showing at New York Fashion Week this season but we are doing an event in Paris."

Spotted

How can you have lunch with a leading rugby mum and not discuss her sons, Rob and Dave Kearney? Siobhan Kearney, pictured in our main photo, with her sister Clodagh Coghlan, invited me for lunch in Donnybrook. We didn't pick up on the rugby chat we had last time we were at her beautiful home in Co Louth.

No, this time, we settled down to talk aromatherapy and pure essential oils. Siobhan and Clodagh have teamed up and are introducing the AromaWorks range to Ireland. It's all about natural wellbeing and includes beauty and bath products, amazing serums and home fragrance products like candles and diffusers. Of course, Rob is already in the beauty business (along with Amy Huberman) in Oslo salons. Now he will have lots to discuss with his entrepreneurial mum and aunt.

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Psst! The stork is busy in the fashion world. Congrats to designers Niamh O’Neill and Heidi Higgins (both pictured aboive) who I met at the Council of Irish Fashion Designers show. They are expecting babies four weeks apart and Heidi is due on Christmas Day!

Blue is the colour for this girl

I'm thrilled for Leinster coach, Leo Cullen and his gorgeous wife, Dairine Kennedy - one half of the KDK lifestyle brand - who have welcomed a beautiful daughter, Iya, into their world. A precious little sister for big brother, Con.

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