Wednesday 22 November 2017

The Punt: Dragon Duffy talks about World Cup split

Dragons' Den Series 6 L-R Peter Casey, Eamonn Quinn, Ramona Nicholas, Gavin Duffy and Barry O'Sullivan
Dragons' Den Series 6 L-R Peter Casey, Eamonn Quinn, Ramona Nicholas, Gavin Duffy and Barry O'Sullivan
Ger Colleran

THERE was an awkward silence among his peers as 'Dragons' Den' star Gavin Duffy seemed to open his heart to a group of business people, bankers and politicians attending the launch of the Bank of Ireland Start-up Awards.

The businessman told the movers and shakers that he and his wife, media consultant Orlaigh Carmody, had "separated in the last few weeks".

But Duffy soon explained the break would only last as long as the World Cup.

Apparently Mrs D is among a new class of people living among us dubbed the 'football widow'. There's even some widowers there.

She has been "busying herself", Duffy told us, while he has been making himself comfy in front of the TV.

Their relationship hit the ultimate test last Saturday when he set himself the task of watching Ireland's rugby team beat Argentina, before he switched his attention back to Brazil, where he saw England's defeat to Italy.

His wife "got sense", he said, had a girls' night out with her pals at Bagatelle in the Purty Kitchen.

"It's why I love her," he gushed about the mother of his four teenagers.

Apparently he doesn't seem to be as keen on listening to the band's tunes on repeat ever since – expect for 'Summer in Dublin', he added.

The words finally came to life this week ... with all the young people walking on Grafton Street and everyone looking so well.

Colleran calls time at Starr

Ger Colleran's editorship of the 'Irish Daily Star' may have divided opinions, but in its heyday he certainly got the newspaper noticed and enjoyed some success despite a bitter price war. Mr Colleran, pictured, has decided to hang up his spurs for personal reasons. Staff learned of the change this week.

The Punt understands that Des Gibson, managing editor at the paper, has assumed editorial control for the short to medium term until a successor is found. It's also believed that Mr Colleran, a Mayo native who grew up in Clare, will remain as a columnist with the newspaper. He had two separate stints as editor, stepping down in 2011 to become managing director of the paper's publishing company, and then returning to the hot seat in early 2013. That second coming followed the resignation of then editor Michael O'Kane who fell on his sword after the paper published photos of a topless Kate Middleton.

The Twittersphere sprung to life as news of Mr Colleran's departure emerged. "Genuinely sad to mark the departure of Ger Colleran ... A decent man and a great boss," said political correspondent Catherine Halloran.

The notoriously inaccurate 'Phoenix' magazine once described him at his height as "the best tabloid hack in Ireland". The socialist republican mouthpiece ('Phoenix' not Colleran!) may have been rarely reliable. While not to everyone's taste Ger was always a newspaperman through and through.

Melia passes away at 66

The Punt laments the passing of Kevin Melia, the Wicklow-born entrepreneur who spent his working life in the IT sector and retained close associations with Ireland despite emigrating to the US in 1976. He joined the board of Iona Technologies in 1994 and in 2003 was appointed its chairman, a role he held for some years after. On a couple of occasions, the Punt had reason to chat with Mr Melia (66), who remained accessible despite his many business commitments. A former chief financial officer of Sun Microsystems, he started his career at Digital Equipment, working there for 17 years. One of 11 children, Mr Melia joined the board of DCC as a non-executive director in 2008. He was also a member of the Taoiseach's Ireland American Economic Advisory Board.

Irish Independent

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