Friday 20 April 2018

The Edge: Blaise at sea on the Isle of Capri

Water view: Blaise O'Donnell likes looking down at the sea from a vantage point
Water view: Blaise O'Donnell likes looking down at the sea from a vantage point
Leeside: Jessica Daly, pictured here with husband Ronan O'Gara, is home in Cork for a month with her five children
Sunny disposition: Roz Lipsett, left, jetted off to St Tropez, and fellow model Rosanna Davison enjoyed an intmate lunch with husband Wesley
Off to the sun: Miriam and husband Steve
Gal-pals: Emily O’Donnell and Avila Lipsett at Ladies day at the RDS Horse Show. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Bliss: Vivienne’s having a ball
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

She likes an ocean view. And why wouldn't she? Blaise O'Donnell, the young Irish beauty formerly of Gorse Hill mansion overlooking the blissful expanse of Irish Sea, was in Capri last week overlooking the equally blissful Tyrrhenian Sea.

One of the O'Donnell siblings who didn't know her parents were millionaires, she obviously has a thing for alluring seaside vistas.

Presumably, the blonde babe knew she was in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.

I can't confirm that Blaise was, to paraphrase Frank Sinatra, 'neath the shade of an old walnut tree or that the flowers were bloomin' 'round her.

But it was definitely on the Isle of Capri that I found her.

She flew off last weekend to Italy with some friends, and was pictured wearing some very chic sunglasses on a boat off the Sorrentine Peninsula last week.

The group visited towns along the coast in a boat, including Sorrento, Positano and the aforesaid Capri, stopping off at local restaurants on the way. Blaise was looking fab in a black swimsuit and black floppy sun hat and Jackie-O style glasses.

Two weeks before that she was spotted at the Ed Sheeran concert in Croke Park in Dublin - and before that again at the Longitude festival at Marlay Park, looking all groovy with her sister.

So the gorgeous Gorse Hill girl, as was, has swapped rock chick for Capri chic.

Bella Blaise and all that.

Lovely Jessica to lark down by the Lee

I suspect there’ll be plenty of larks by the lovely Lee. Jessica Daly, very lovely herself, is home in Cork for the month with her five kids: six-year-old twins Rua and Molly, four-old JJ, two-year-old Zac, and Max, who was born last April in a Paris maternity hospital.

Their famous dad Ronan O’Gara (who retired from playing rugby in May, 2013, to move to Racing Metro club in France as a specialist kicking coach, after a 15-year career dotted with prizes and accolades) is commuting between Paris and Cork weekly.

He is busy preparing for his punditry on RTE for the World Cup next month. And very good at it he is, too.

Ronan and Jessica have a place in Cork as well as Paris, of course.

They also have a fab grandfather for their five kids in debonair Dom Daly, who —  I’m reliably informed — is as much of a whizz with children as he is with auctioning boats to mystery buyers, and swish houses to merchant princes in Cork.

Would it be deemed even slightly homophobic if I referred to Graham Norton as not so much a Cork merchant prince as a Cork merchant queen?

While you discuss that among yourselves, let me inform the nation that  Bandon-raised superstar Graham MC-ed at a quiz night for a local regatta last weekend in Ahakista. He has a summer house there. 

West Cork never goes out of vogue, does it?

I personally wouldn’t know because I’m filing this story, as they say in old school journalistic circles, from sunny Wexford – the dining-room of Kelly’s Resort Hotel & Spa to be precise. I’m the one covered in baby food, courtesy of a certain six-month-old tiny terror . . . 

Roz kicks back in St Trop with model pals

Where does one of Ireland’s top models go on her holliers? Roz Lipsett is based in New York. Be that as it may, she didn’t take a short air taxi to The Hamptons or even jet slightly further down the coast to Miami.

No. Roz (I refuse to call her Rosalind) flew to St Tropez with some New York model pals for a week’s rest and recuperation, and suchlike verbs beginning with R. Well, she is from Rathgar. They all stayed at a friend’s villa on the Côte d’Azur.

When I asked one of my Roz Deep Throats, why St Tropez, your diarist was informed almost indignantly: “Why not St Tropez?”

Silly me.

After seven days in St Trop, Roz flew home to Dublin on Tuesday. I mean, literally home. She will spend the next week or so at her Rathgar family home with her mum Therese until she makes the Manhattan transfer once more.

Top model agent Andrea Roche, who is from Tipperary originally, flew to Manhattan two weeks ago, along with half of the Irish glamouratti, for the U2 concert at Madison Square Gardens.

With U2, she has clearly found what she was looking for, because she went to the concert a second time.

Only twice? — a crestfallen Bono could possibly be heard somewhere exclaiming.

Indeed, on the second night she met great Dane Helena Christensen. I wonder what the one-time giants of the catwalk discussed?

I can safely assume that Rosanna Davison and husband Wesley were dreamily discussing their love when they had lunch in The Gables in Foxrock village last Monday. She was enjoying her salad while he nursed a pint of Guinness.

I’m sure Rosanna put a head on it.

Miriam’s well-earned Algarve hols

Ireland’s politicians and their holidays: discuss.  Depending on your perspective, they’re either permanently on the doss, cute-hoor chancers or  — that increasing rarity — decent souls who care about Ireland and  its people.

Miriam O’Callaghan, however, is fully entitled to her summer holidays. 

Not only does she have a million kids to look after, but she also has a million shows on RTE.

So I will wave her off on her hols to Portugal in a few weeks with a happy heart.

Magnificent Miriam is jetting to the Algarve with husband Steve and their brood. I met her in RTE’s Radio Centre on Wednesday lunchtime. The terrifyingly  tall blonde walked out with three absolute demi-gods of the Irish music world: Declan O’Rourke — who told me he was “getting married in a few weeks” — Damien Dempsey and The Dubliners’ John Sheahan. Unsurprisingly, she was looking a million dollars.

Or at least a close approximation of the current currency rate of a million dollars. 

Oysters and craic in Kilcolgan

It was all happening in the west last weekend. The social frisson might have had something to do with Galway Races week, but there was an extra buzz.

On Friday from 3pm onwards, you had a collection of charming and gregarious  characters under one roof.

And for once it wasn’t the roof of the much-lamented Fianna Fail tent. 

No, it was under the ceiling of Moran’s Oyster Cottage on the Weir in Kilcolgan, Co. Galway, of course.

It was here, at different tables, that you had everyone from hotelier Louis Fitzgerald and son Louis Jr, to Dr Rhona Mahony, Master of the National Maternity Hospital Holles Street, and Ireland’s favourite beef billionaire Tadgh Geary, to  gorgeous Social & Personal columnist Avila Lipsett.

The latter was with her gal-pals Emily O’Donnell of Sky’s Irish TV and Louise Lynn, sister of milliner Martha (indeed Avila and her stunning pals reunited at Ladies Day at the Horse Show in the RDS on Thursday.)

But back to Moran’s Oyster Cottage on the Weir in Kilcolgan: also present last Friday was Seamus Fahy of Voltaire Diamonds and Merrion Vaults. When I’m stashing the cash (not that I have any) I prefer the old reliable.

Under the mattress.

Vivienne and the tan commandments 

Spare a thought for the sun-burnt Irish model on a sun-kissed beach somewhere foreign making herself body beautiful for Ireland.

The tan commandments, anyone?

When it is bucketing down rain in this country — as it has been all summer — we can briefly console ourselves that at least one of Ireland’s most famous ever models is topping up her tan on a distant shore.

Vivienne Connolly is currently topping up her already fairly deep tan in Corfu.

Staying at the Aquis Pelekas Beach Hotel, the ex-wife of Dunnes Stores heir Mark Dunne flew in last Tuesday and is not due back in these wet lands until August 19th.

Almost three weeks in sunny Corfu seems like a walk in the Phoenix Park compared to the month in Marbella that Vivienne and her kids Katie and Ben Jr and Vivienne’s mother Liz spent in July. 

When I rang Vivienne in Corfu to gently inform her that she has quite the life, she laughed and said: “I try! Treats be needed!”

Vivienne who was on holiday in Corfu on her own, said that she is happily single. “No men. Having a ball. Its bliss in Corfu.” And it’s blissing down in Ireland.  

In Kerry, it seems to be raining money. Hollywood big shot types have booked out B&Bs and 14 houses in Portmagee for a big film crew who are arriving in September to shoot the next instalment of Star Wars. 

Has anyone told Michael Healy-Rae? I’d cast him in the lead role. Luke Skywalker has nothing on The Cat In The Hat.

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