Wednesday 18 September 2019

The Edge: Redhead model Aoife falls for Gary

In love: Flame-haired model Aoife Walsh is all fired up with love for the new man in her life. Photo: Kip Carroll for LIFE magazine
In love: Flame-haired model Aoife Walsh is all fired up with love for the new man in her life. Photo: Kip Carroll for LIFE magazine
Keelin Shanley
All smiles: Alison Davis, who was marreid last week, with her son. Photo: Kip Carroll for LIFE magazine.

Ireland's most famous, and most fabulous, redhead appears to be painting the town - various towns both here, England and beyond - a suitable shade of red in the name of love.

Ginger goddess and former Miss Ireland Aoife Walsh has been seeing dashing Gary for the last couple of months.

The one-time Miss Tipperary and her beau from Sligo dined together in Marleybone's place-to-go Chiltern Firehouse last month in London.

Aoife and gorgeous Gaz also went on a weekend break to Vienna where they stayed at a suite in the ultra-stylish (well - Aoife is the epitome of style, isn't she?) Bristol Hotel.

How do I know this? I have spies on my payroll internationally, don't you know?

They attended the Vienna State Opera and the Viennes eball at Hofburg Palace. Naturally, Aoife wore a sumptuous and eye-catching floor-length ball-gown to each.

Three weeks ago, they were pictured at Dublin's new steak eaterie du jour on Dawson street Featherblade.

Of course, the amorous adventures of love's young dream didn't stop there. Last weekend they attended a wedding in Castle Durrow Hotel in Carlow.

The model of the moment Aoife wore a suitably beautiful pale pink dress with a feather trim.

It's all go go go for Ireland's most romantic couple, isn't it? Their vigour surely disproves Oscar Wilde's theory about being youth being wasted on the young.

Celia marks 65th with a party in Limerick

Your diarist went to her 40th birthday bash in Adare Manor with Terry Keane, Noelle Campbell Sharpe, Annette Rocca and Michelina  Stacpoole in 1990. Those - I think I can safely say -  were the days.

On December 2, Celia Holman Lee will be celebrating her 65th birthday. This time she will eschew a big bling beano amid the neo-Gothic grandeur of the Manor for a quieter occasion at home. . .

"I plan on spending it with my family and grandchildren. Although I won't be having a big party, I will be stopping by Limerick's Cornstore Restaurant, the Copper Room Wine Bar and the Limerick Strand Hotel on the Saturday for a quiet celebration with friends."

"I'll have to wait to my 70th birthday for my next big party."

That said, Celia's aunt Theresa Hayes celebrated her 90th birthday last week with a party for almost 300 people in the Absolute hotel in Limerick.

"She is fabulous," said Celia, before plugging her favourite subject - Limerick. The local legend is behind The City of Fashion 2015 event, which is taking place from November 23 to 27 right across the city centre.

So, what's it like turning 65?

"Not like 35!" the TV star and model guru hooted. "But I'm in a good place with family and business."

Louis Walsh weighing up some TV jobs

Louis Walsh seems to be even busier since Simon Cowell reacquainted him with his P45 on the X Factor, doesn't he?

Apart from looking after Shane Filan and new boy-band sensations Hometown, Louis is spending a lot of time in that other hometown of his - London, where he has a second home (he has a third home on South Beach in Miami. And possibly a fourth one somewhere across the globe.)

No need to worry: the incorrigible pop genius from Kiltimagh with the hair transplant hasn't, er, transplanted himself to London. He was only over there talking to the British media and fielding big moolah job offers.

"I was doing a PR day for YouView on Sony BRAVIA. I did interviews with ten magazines for them," Louis told me before adding that he met two TV producers who were wooing him for television work for 2016. "I got a lot of job offers for next year. I turned down a million sterling from I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here on ITV, you know?"

Oh, purlease! Louis, who has works by David Hockney, Damien Hirst and Andy Warhol in his private art collection, was valued at €30m in the Sunday Independent Rich List 2015 - up from €25m last year. So he neither needs the money nor, I suspect, the jungle (the heat and the flies would play havoc with his hair, anyway).

"Life is a jungle. Lots of snakes in my business," said the St Patrick of Irish pop.

Keelin will be caught in the half light

The Guardian's favourite Irish photographer Conor Ferguson was at the David Lynch tribute at the National Concert Hall on Wednesday night. There will be plenty of wild-at-heart luminaries for the opening night of Ferguson's exhibition at the Mart Gallery in Rathmines this Friday.

Everyone from playwright Conor McPherson and artist wife Fionnuala Ni Chiosain to singer Liam O Maonlai (who will perform on the night with Natalie Ni Chasaidi of The Bonny Men) and actor Aidan Gillen to directors Lenny Abrahamson and Conor Horgan are expected on the night for the unveiling of The Half Light. Ferguson told me that the title was inspired by the poem, Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven by Yeats. "My mother and father are both from Sligo." Also expected to pitch up at the launch are Marian Keyes, Domini Kemp and Ali White (wife of Conor's late brother Johnny, who adapted Sebastian Barry's novel The Secret Scripture for the forthcoming film directed by Jim Sheridan.)

The most important guest will, of course, be Conor's wife, RTE star Keelin Shanley (she is also my neighbour. Portobello is something of a mini Montrose - Bryan Dobson lives across the road from me.) "Keelin is a great support. And without that, I'd have given up long ago. I think it's probably a bit annoying when we're walking around and I keep stopping to take photographs."

"Although, sometimes she just keeps walking," Conor laughed.

Ali and her Lord finally wed 

One-time Minister for State turned Minister for Fun  Conor Lenihan was in House last weekend.

The former Fianna Fail main-man turned author was in the Leeson Street establishment with a few friends last Saturday night.

He was possibly celebrating the success of his tome Haughey - Prince of Power. Either way, the incomparable Mr Lenihan appeared full of the joys.

But perhaps not as full of the joys as super-chef Alison Davis.

She cooked up the small wedding of the year last Friday when she married her other-half Alan Lord in The Library Bar at the new Haddington Hotel in Dun Laoghaire.

Guests included, among others, Irish playwright Nancy Harris and TV producer Sarah Colgan (her dad Michael has The Importance of Being Earnest opening at his beloved Gate Theatre on December 1.)

Alison, who recently catered for Lucy Nagle's baby's christening, looked absolutely radiant in a bespoke dress by Covet in the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre.

The bride and groom were meant to get married on the same day last year but - as Ali told me - "we had our little boy Sonny Lord instead!"

Enda brings a touch of Elvis to Aviva

An Taoiseach hasn't announced yet when the race will begin. He can take some crumb of comfort, however, from knowing that Irish rally car legend Rosemary Smith will be on hand to give him plenty of advice: not only how to be in pole position at the start of the election but also how to make sure Enda gets the chequered flag when he  crosses the finish line as winner.

But enough already with silly racing metaphors.

Enda Kenny met up with Rosemary Smith and her pal - and Mike's ex wife - Eileen Murphy in the VIP hospitality bar in the Aviva Stadium on Monday night. Not only did Enda, who has the personality for two taoisigh, sing an impassioned extract of Elvis Presley's Suspicious Minds ("because I love too much - baaaaaaaaaaaaaby!") to Rosemary as she was leaving at 10.50pm that night, but he also told her, making the hand gestures, "Drive on! Drive on!" This I can say without fear of contradiction because I left with the two blondes. "I raced against Enda in Mondello Park in the 1980s," racy Rosie told me. "He is a great man. I think Mike Murphy was in the same race. It was a celebrity race and Bishop Casey was also in it. I was lucky that I won. I would never have lived it down if I hadn't."

Monday was a night of incredible celebration for the nation as Ireland beat Bosnia and Herzegovina to qualify for the Euros 2016 next summer. So you can only imagine what it was like inside the hospitality suite at the Aviva.

Everyone from Michael D Higgins to Micheal Martin to Bertie Ahern to Leo Varadkar to Michael Ring to James Reilly were smiling like the boom was back. Or the boom boom, courtesy of Jon Walters' two goals earlier that famous night on the field of dreams.

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