Monday 19 March 2018

Dinner with Bill is the hottest ticket in town

IT may cost €1,600 a head to gain entry, but there's no shortage of takers for places at Hillary Clinton's Dublin fundraiser.

And invitation-seekers desperate for some face-time with former US President Bill Clinton are offering to pay way more than the €1,600 asked for by the organisers.

Just 140 people can actually go to the star-spangled bash, but the Irish-Americans for Hillary group say they could sell all of the available places many, many times over.

The numbers are dictated by the space available in the family home of Brian Farren and Linda O'Shea-Farren on Raglan Road, in the heart of Dublin's embassy belt.

It is not known if Ryanair's Michael O'Leary, singer Van Morrison, or telecoms billionaire Denis O'Brien, all neighbours, have secured invitations.

But every high-flier in the country has had their eye on being in the Farren-O'Shea household around 6pm this Saturday.

Mr Farren is a practising barrister in Dublin and a US citizen, a prerequisite under US law for any of the guests contributing to Hillary Clinton's campaign fund.

He is also a member of the Bar of New York and the Bar of the US Supreme Court, while wife Linda is a solicitor also practising in Dublin.

Mr Farren has appeared on RTE's 'Prime Time' commenting on the cause of the undocumented Irish living in the United States.


No one knows just how the Farren-O'Sheas will cope with so many guests and the US Secret Service and the gardai providing security for the former president at their home. But those who know Linda, a former candidate for Seanad Eireann, say she is more than capable of dealing with any eventuality.

One of the founder members of Irish-Americans for Hillary, New York lawyer Brian O'Dwyer, is already being tipped as US ambassador to Ireland if Mrs Clinton makes it to the White House.

Mr O' Dwyer, a son of one of the most influential Irish-Americans in the past 60 years, Paul O'Dwyer, from Bohola, Co Mayo, has worked closely with the Clintons from the early 1990s.

Another of the founding members, Washington-based Stella O'Leary, is currently writing a book about Hillary Clinton.

The others, New York hotelier John Fitzpatrick, publisher Niall O'Dowd, public relations consultant Declan Kelly and New York-based Paul Keary have also organised fundraisers in Boston, California and one in New York, which was hosted by actor Gabriel Byrne.

All of the organisers have been supporters of the Clintons from before Bill's presidential victory in 1992.

Some Irish people desperate to attend the fundraiser have been seeking out US citizens through whom they can channel the $2,300 (€1,600) admission price for the bash.

However, US legislation controlling campaign contributions is much more rigid than Irish law and American citizens are wary.

Hillary Clinton visited Ireland seven times when her husband was president, and the Raglan Road bash is expected to contribute around $250,00 to her campaign coffers.

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