Bairbre Power... Out and about
Our resident diarist calls into the best parties and events around the country
"I'm glad to be the Irish meat in a French sandwich," declared pianist John O'Conor, co-founder of the Dublin International Piano Competition of which he is Artistic Director. John is always full of fun and entertained guests with his humour and a performance of a John Field work at the Westbury Hotel anniversary gala dinner marking 30 years of the competition.
The chic dinner, hosted by GM Vincent O'Gorman, was attended by the four original co-founders and two former winners, both from France - hence the joke.
John was photographed above (l-r) with Nathalia Milstein, who, in 2015, was the first woman to win the respected competition, and Philippe Cassard, the first ever winner. Reflecting on the early days of the competition, John recalled the moment the organisers went to the airport to welcome the finalists back in 1988. More arrived than they had host families for - but weren't they glad they didn't turn away the last one to unexpectedly turn up, as it was Philippe. This week, he performed Mendelssohn, Schubert and Debussy, while Nathalia treated us to some Ravel.
Fashion designer Louise Kennedy slipped on a lovely purple robe as she was welcomed as a new Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI), and was pictured above with (l-r) new RCPI President, Professor Mary Horgan. The RCPI also welcomed, amongst others, Alice Leahy from the Alice Leahy Trust, writer Colm Tóibín, historian Roy Foster, Olympian Eamon Coghlan and, incidentally, pianist John O'Conor. I had a healthy Christmas green juice with Shelly Corkery, main photo, at the launch of this year's Marvel Room at Brown Thomas, at which she was wearing a head-turning Dolce & Gabbana spaceman dress. I love Christmas, so I was like a child in a sweetshop, especially when I discovered the Anya Hindmarch 'Build-A-Bag' concept. The bespoke bag service is like fashion Lego for handbag lovin' Mammies!
One of the biggest hearts in RTÉ, producer Kevin Hough of The Lyrics Board fame, has written a book of memoirs covering his time on radio, TV and stage. He launches it next month with the Liffey Press. Author Deirdre Purcell tells me it is: "Like Kevin himself, highly entertaining."
Look Good Feel Better Ireland - the charity that provides a free service to support women with the visible side effects of cancer treatment - held a fundraising beauty event, More Than Makeup, at The Morrison Hotel. Guests heard contributions from above (l-r) Dr Katherine Mulrooney, one of Ireland's leading cosmetic dermatologists, and Blackrock hairdresser Aidan Fitzgerald who provided practical haircare advice for woman currently undergoing cancer treatment. The event was supported by L'Oréal Ireland.
Out and about I met model Madeline Mulqueen at 'A Taste of Herald & Devoy', above, which was attended by 130 guests at The Osprey Hotel, Naas. The interiors of the newly refurbished Osprey restaurant were designed by architect and RTÉ's Home of the Year star, Hugh Wallace.