Wednesday 21 February 2018

Ronan takes €130,000 car back from Gilson after the latest bust-up between fiery couple

After almost four years together, Glenda Gilson and property developer Johnny Ronan have left friends wondering whether they have a future together
After almost four years together, Glenda Gilson and property developer Johnny Ronan have left friends wondering whether they have a future together
Glenda Gilson
Johnny Ronan

NIamh Horan

Multimillion-aire property tycoon Johnny Ronan has taken a €130,000 car back from his girlfriend Glenda Gilson following a blazing row.

It is the latest public bust-up for the high-profile couple who famously hit headlines in May of last year when the Treasury Holdings tycoon released a press statement publicly ending his relationship with the Xposé presenter.

According to mutual friends, matters became particularly fraught in recent months, with Noel and Aileen Gilson arriving at Ronan's Burlington Road home during the early hours of a Sunday morning -- after their daughter had spent a night with the wealthy property developer -- to demand that she come home with them.

More recently, friends say the pair had a series of rows during the Christmas period over the Assets model's insistence that they continue to keep the relationship behind closed doors.

As a source close to the couple explained: "Their relationship is the worst-kept secret in town and this latest bust-up has made them the talk of Dublin's social scene. Glenda has admitted it to her closest pals but friends on both sides are fed up with the madness."

She continued: "Before Christmas they had a massive row and Johnny decided he had had enough and arranged to have the car picked up. After almost four years together he wants to stop sneaking around."

The car, a luxury black Range Rover, was given to the model by the wealthy property developer two years ago. The model, who earns between €35,000 and €45,000 as a TV presenter, also owns two apartments in the trendy Dublin docklands development Spencer Dock, built by Ronan.

The couple then made up again after Christmas but sources say the pair had another dramatic bust-up on New Year's Eve.

Tempers flared when Glenda left Johnny's home, known as the pink palazzo, on the Burlington Road shortly after the countdown to midnight to spend the rest of the night at a family party in Wong's restaurant, Castleknock.

As a source explained: "There were so many parties in Dublin that night, Johnny wanted to go out and meet up with mutual friends and celebrate. He has his finger in every pie from the Ritz Carlton to Town Bar and Grill, from Elephant and Castle to Residence and yet all Glenda could do was stay indoors because she was petrified her mother would find out.

"She brought an Eddie Rocket's take-away to his house, had chicken nuggets and chips with him and a few friends, and then rushed off after midnight to go back to her family saying she would be back in an hour or two. He flew off the handle and told her not to bother coming back."

Friends say the TV3 star is still insisting they keep the relationship quiet so as not to upset her mother, Aileen Gilson.

"Glenda's mother doesn't want her daughter dating Johnny ever since he released the infamous press release, which her parents have never forgiven him for. Glenda's mother was very upset when the two got back together after that and she also thinks there is too much of an age gap between the pair.

"Glenda is a young party girl and a man 25 years her senior isn't exactly the ideal image for an up-and-coming TV presenter. Being with Johnny also spoils her chances of meeting someone else her own age."

Speaking about the social awkwardness which surrounds the unusual couple, the source continued: "Johnny is a bit of a dinosaur. He's been known to embarrass Glenda sometimes when the two are out. He has even attacked her friends in the past over the lifestyle choices they make or things he doesn't approve of. He's the type of person who calls a spade a spade and he certainly doesn't suffer fools gladly.

"But despite all that they still get on. Some people have said Glenda is with him for the money but when you see the two of them together you know that's not the case."

Last year Johnny, Glenda and her father Noel, a painter, went to Cape Town on the Niall Mellon trip and were said to have gotten on famously. But everything changed following the infamous press release.

"The bottom line is that her mother does not want her dating Johnny and is putting severe pressure on her to end it," said the source. "Glenda doesn't want to upset her mother but can't let Johnny go so she's torn between the two."

The model, who turns 29 this year, still lives in her parents' home in Castleknock -- despite owning several properties.

Glenda began dating Johnny in late 2006, after her three-year relationship with rugby star Brian O'Driscoll came to an end. The Irish international is to marry Amy Huberman this summer in what is tipped to be the showbiz wedding of the year.

When contacted by the Sunday Independent, both Glenda Gilson and Johnny Ronan gave no comment.

In the meantime, friends of the pair say it's anyone's guess whether or not the famously fiery relationship will be reignited.

But sources have said they believe the Tipperary Tycoon will eventually settle down with his estranged wife, Mary.

"She's always been the love of his life," they said.

Sunday Independent

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