Sunday 21 July 2019

Society: Night Fever for rugger buggers

Paul O'Connell at the Hibernia College IRUPA Rugby Players Awards 2015 at the Doubletree by Hilton in Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron
Paul O'Connell at the Hibernia College IRUPA Rugby Players Awards 2015 at the Doubletree by Hilton in Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron
Gordan Darcy and Rob Kearney at the Hibernia College IRUPA Rugby Players Awards 2015 at the Doubletree by Hilton in Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron
Gabriel Byrne & Pat Carey during "A Noble call For Marriage Equality" in support of The Yes Camp at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Liam Casey and Jefferson Hack at AnOther Magazine Digital Limed Edition launch
Melanie Morris and Carmel Breheny at the Image Business of Beauty Awards 2015 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. Photo: Kieran Harnett
Norma Sheahan and Olivia Leonard at Yo! Sushi's new menu launch. Photo: Paul Sherwood.
Ryan Tubridy

Kirsty Blake Knox and Bairbre Power

Those rugby boys can throw some serious shapes - both on the pitch and the dancefloor.

Flanker Dominic Ryan was the undisputed Lord of the Dance at the Leinster Rugby Ball on Saturday night as he busted out some killer moves.

"He could give Run DMC a run for their money," one onlooker noted.

The room of the DoubleTree Hilton was packed as players raised a glass to departing players Gordon D'Arcy and Shane Jennings.

It was an eventful week in the rugby social calendar with the annual Hibernia College IRUPA Rugby Players Awards taking place a few days later.

But this shindig was a slightly more subdued affair.

"Tonight's a school night," Rob Kearney explained. "We all have to be up tomorrow at 8am so it won't be a late one." Shame.

Paul O'Connell and Donnacha O'Callaghan seemed in better spirits as they rushed through the doors.

"It's great to catch up with the lads and get dolled up," O'Callaghan said.

"I'm usually covered head to toe in mud and dirt so it's nice to wear a suit although I've had a wardrobe malfunction," he whispered. "I've lost my cufflinks."

Dad-to-be Andrew Trimble chatted about baby-proofing his Portstewart home.

The Ulster man and his wife, Anna, are expecting their first child on July 4.

"I've been learning about the biology - it's a real eye-opener," he said.

But before Trimble's life becomes awash with babygrows and bottles, the winger will watch his buddy Tommy Bowe tie the knot.

Bowe will marry fiancée Lucy Whitehouse in the next few weeks and feels he's been a more than capable wedding planner.

"It's all happening pretty soon. I don't think it's really hit either of us yet because it's happening so quickly," he said.

"I've done way more than I thought I would be doing but I think Lucy thinks I could do 100pc more."

Players and publicans Jamie Heaslip and Sean O'Brien caught up with Devin Toner and Conor Murray.

O'Brien and Heaslip's Ballsbridge pub The Bridge 1859 is going from strength to strength. "We've no plans to open another just yet," O'Brien said. "We have our hands full."

Gabriel follows Panti's call

It's been over a year since the unofficial Queen of Ireland, Panti Bliss, made her rousing Noble Call on the boards of the Abbey stage.

So it was fitting that this week the theatre held another call to arms instructing all of us to get off our laurels and vote next Friday.

Actor Gabriel Byrne, director Wayne Jordan, and writer Roddy Doyle all made impassioned speeches while Maria Doyle Kennedy performed pitch perfect numbers.

Backstage things were frantic as Frank McGuinness talked about his upcoming BBC drama A Song For Jenny, comedians ran through lines and IFTA-nominated actress Sarah Greene dismissed any suggestion she might appear alongside her other half Aidan Turner in the next season of Poldark.

It was all a bit much for director Fiach Mac Conghail. "It's been an emotional day," he said.


And it all started at Bono's Hotel. . .

From a sketch on a napkin made during the Web Summit dinner at The Clarence to its own launch party at Brown Thomas, Grafton Street last night, the story of how the very innovative AnOther Digital Limited Edition came to be born is something else.

And nobody is better at telling the story than Jefferson Hack of AnOther Magazine whose quest to bring high definition video to print was realised after he met Liam Casey, Silicon Valley's go-to guy and the founder/CEO of PCH last November.

Rihanna comes to life on the cover of the €125 AnOther Magazine Digital Limited Edition which marries media, art, fashion and technology and is about celebrating the creative genius of Alexander McQueen. Designer Karl Lagerfeld was the first person to be given a copy of the magazine with a fascinating moving fashion cover and bespoke audio component.

After its launch at Colette in Paris, the celebrations moved, appropriately, to Dublin last night where Jefferson spoke warmly about how his tech vision and dream came to be after he sat down to dinner in a "powerful room" at Bono's hotel. Jefferson found himself sitting opposite Liam, the dynamic Corkman whose company slogan is: "If it can be imagined, it can be made."

Over the last few months, the pair have gone on to make fashion history together. "I wanted to bring McQueen past, present and future together in one spectacular moment to celebrate his career and the future of the brand," explained Jefferson, who is a regular visitor to Ireland and is heading to Munster soon. "Liam has invited me down, I am dying to go to Cork."

Guests at the exclusive get-together in Brown Thomas last night were welcomed by the store's MD, Stephen Sealey, and Fashion Director, Shelly Corkery, who praised Jefferson and Liam for "pushing the boundaries." "Each season we are seeing fascinating collaborations within the fashion and technology industries, with wearable tech presented in luxury designs and we are excited to introduce the AnOther Digital Limited Edition exclusively to our customers," Shelly said.

Grafton Street is familiar territory to Liam who worked in fashion for Tricot Marine in Dublin before starting PCH and he went on to become one of six top 'game changers' in the world of architecture and design.

Guests enjoyed blinis with caviar, truffle and Ardsallagh goats cheese cones. DJ Domino Whisker played The Sounds of McQueen and I spotted her designer mum, Mairead with stylist Catherine Condell. Mairead is part of the CREATE showcase opening at BTs in July.


Women mean business with charity lunches

Diaries are getting very crowded this month, what with inspiring talks and a raft of charity lunches to support.

There was a double-up yesterday with the Angel's Quest lunch at the Intercontinental in Ballsbridge while at the Shelbourne, 220 guests sat down to the Cari lunch. Miriam Ahern, patron of the 25-year-old charity attended with her daughter Georgina Byrne, Jane Given and stylist Lisa Fitzpatrick.

Carmel Breheny from M&S was there with Melanie Morris, Editor in Chief at Image Publications, who told me that she is just back from a trip to Monart Spa, to celebrate the birthday of her VBF, Caroline Kennedy.

Busy times for Melanie who next Friday brings together inspirational speakers to address the topic: A Woman's World? The Challenges and Rewards as a Woman in Business.

The speakers at the May Networking Breakfast at the Marker Hotel are Lucy Gaffney, Chairperson of the Communicorp group, Anne O'Leary, CEO of Vodafone Ireland and communications expert, Natasha Fennell.


Popping in for sushi and shrimp

Yo! Sushi on Dublin's Clarendon Street hosted a fun foodie night last week where the new menu was the star of the conveyor belt!

Amongst those I spotted enjoying the array of coloured plates on offer were broadcaster Norah Casey who arrived with son Dara.

I also met 2fm DJ Ruth Scott and her boyfriend Rob Morgan and actress Emma Eliza Regan from Galway who is currently filming with Antonia Campbell Hughes.

Another actress, Norma Sheahan, was spotted too and she tells me that she has people coming up to her in the street saying "Bye, Bye, Bye" in recognition of the hilarious Aldi TV advert that Corkonian stars in.

Casting director Maureen Hughes from Bow Street is a big Yo! fan and dropped in and enjoyed some of the popcorn shrimp tempura before heading to see Peter Coonan in The Project Centre. She gave Peter his big break in Love/Hate.

Party host Graeme Beere arrived with Michael Colgan, artistic director of the Gate Theatre and nightclubs boss, Robbie Fox, but Graeme left the night to his son Adam who has joined the business in the marketing section.


Doctor Tubs prescribes the right medicine

Broadcaster Ryan Tubridy has always reminded me of a Quentin Blake picture - all jumpy angles and edges.

But I don't think The Late Late Show host was too pleased when I pointed out the striking similarities.

"Thanks for that," he said flatly. "But George's Marvellous Medicine is one of my favourite books so it's not all bad."

Tubs will be throwing on a stethoscope and a pair of reading glasses this afternoon and playing the part of 'Dublin's Book Doctor' for the International Literature Festival Dublin.

"I will be in Hodges Figgis on Dawson Street to help fellow book-loving nerds find their next big read," he said. "I will talk with them for five minutes and then prescribe a book to lift their spirits."

John Banville, Christine Dwyer Hickey, Peter Sheridan, Susan Jane White and Dermot Bolger will also take readers' literary pulse before telling them just what the doctor ordered.

"We'll find the perfect tonic," Ryan said.

Make mine a G&T.


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