Monday 24 October 2016

Kirsty at Large: Can Irish 'Snap Pack' grow up before they grow old?

Published 19/06/2016 | 02:30

Roz Purcell, William Murray, James Kavanagh, Vogue Williams and James Butler at the Moët Party Day in Dublin.
Roz Purcell, William Murray, James Kavanagh, Vogue Williams and James Butler at the Moët Party Day in Dublin.
Selfie: Roz Purcell, William Murray, James Kavanagh, Vogue Williams and James Butler at the Moët Party Day in Dublin.
Michael Colgan
Mateo Saina and Vjerana from Marcel's restaurant on Merrion Row in Dublin serve up food delights for the punters on the opening day of the Taste of Dublin in the Iveagh Gardens, Dublin, Ireland on Thursday 16 June 2016. The Taste of Dublin continues throug

In the 1980s, there was The Brat Pack and now, it seems, we live in the age of The Snap Pack.

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Ladies and gents who spend hours uploading disposable Snapchat videos of their everyday lives. At bus stops, on the tear, in bed, sitting on the jacks - anywhere is fair game, and the more revealing the better. Because, as any PR guru will tell you, the best way to get coverage is to show all.

There are devout Snap Packers all over the world. A number of the Irish contingent - including Rozanna Purcell, James Kavanagh and Vogue Williams - were out in force on Saturday at Moët & Chandon's International Party Day.

To mark the occasion, we were taken to three different venues around Dublin where the snappers screamed, selfied, and soaked themselves in Champagne while everyone else milled about.

One poor eejit had been given the all-important job of carrying a hand-held selfie light. He pointed it dutifully at the Snapchat superstars whenever pictures were being taken. It appears hold-your-coat merchants have now been upgraded to hold-my-selfie-light merchants.

Each photo was followed by a lull when filters were selected and videos uploaded. And then they were on the hunt for another prop, or suitable person, to snap themselves with.

It was a late night, which gave me time to realise what separates a Snapchat Queen from your average Joe. While most of us take photos to capture a moment, the reverse is true of the Snap Pack. They live for the picture. For them, it's the main event - better than any party.

The following day, Irish celebrity websites uploaded shots of the do. "Squad goals!" one website shouted. Oh, calm down, please - you might pull a muscle. In case you've forgotten, they were paid to be there. Or, at least, they were taking home a free bottle of booze.

OK - I can understand the appeal of Snapchat - taking pictures of yourself when you're loaded is, often, a laugh riot. And we've all done it.

But I still can't fully get on board. At first I thought it might be because of the shameless self publicity - but, no, that's not it. After all, 'over sharers' are some of my favourite people. I've come to think, and I mean this in the nicest possible way, it's the bang of infantilism off it that I can't hack. The filters with unicorn horns and vomiting rainbows? Grown women pretending to be sexy kittens? Men acting like beagle pups licking phone screens? The T Rex hands and fluttering eyelids?

C'mon - give me a break. Perhaps the Snap Pack now face the same dilemma the Brat Pack once did. Can they grow up before they grow old?

Bloomsday romance for Mateo from 'First Dates'


Armed with High Nellys and boater hats, Joycean enthusiasts took to the streets to celebrate Bloomsday. There were tour buses, people talking about Buck Mulligan, Bloomsday balloon workshops and Ulysses-themed operas.

And of course, the Great Day wouldn't be complete without Senator David Norris - the Father of the Upper House - who was bustling about North Great George's Street with a silver-topped cane.

"We're celebrating the book, and the day Nora Barnacle made a man out of Jim on Sandymount Strand," he said.

I like the hokeyness of Bloomsday, but wasn't too taken on the traditional "fried kidney" brunch the James Joyce Centre were offering up, so instead hot-footed it over to the Iveagh Gardens for the launch of Taste of Dublin. There was a cornucopia of cakes and canapes on offer but all eyes were on Mateo Sania - the 'Croatian Sensation' Maître D from RTÉ's First Dates.

Mateo was manning the stand with his other-half, Vjerana, who seemed to have mixed feelings about Mateo's newfound heart-throb status. "I like the show but I'll say nothing about that," she said.

Gate keeper Colgan exits stage right for other roles

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