I headed to the K Club this week where I met Six Nations medal winner, Ireland and Leinster scrum-half, Eoin Reddan, and Caroline Harrington as they launched the second annual Golf Classic for the Irish Youth Foundation.
Irish, US and European companies based in Ireland will take part in the October golf challenge and post-golf dinner to help raise funds for the IYF's funded projects for at-risk and disadvantaged children in Ireland, and will also be supported by the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland.
Following a round of golf with his former Leinster colleague, Jimmy Gopperth, Eoin was telling me how he's just moved into his new house in Sandymount and loves being near the strand, ideal for walks with his wife, Aoife, and their two young children. However, with the World Cup campaign kicking off, he won't have much time for beach walks, but is looking forward to the tour.
Caroline looked fantastic in a deep pink polo and sweater teamed with navy three-quarter lengths from husband Padraig's ladies golf collection for Dunnes Stores. She hasn't played in 12 years but still knows her way around a course. "I've a feeling I might go back to play a few holes with Paddy now that he's joined Old Conna golf club and started taking lessons there," explained Caroline.
Paddy (11) is the eldest of the Harringtons' two sons and he was the gorgeous blonde kid who famously wanted to put ladybirds into the Claret Jug following Harrington's first Major success at Carnoustie in 2007. Caroline told me how letters and cards of congratulations are still pouring in for Padraig about his thrilling win in the Honda Classic in March when he ended a seven-year title wait on the PGA and European tours with a memorable win that had the country on its feet.
She recalled the frustrations of not being able to watch the tournament in full as the TV coverage was only of certain holes. The day before had been tough as Padraig missed shots, so Caroline went to Pilates and lunch with her mum "and I was in M&S in Dundrum when I got a text from my dad 'I think you might want to see it'.
"Within 10 minutes of him holing the putt, I got 93 texts. It was unbelievable, and to hear the welcome for him on the first hole of the Irish Open was very special," said Caroline, who is heading off for a few days on holidays in Spain when her two boys finish school. Padraig is in the States for a month, playing at the St Jude classic in Memphis, the Travelers Championship and, hopefully, in the US Open.
By Bairbre Power
Watching Travis Fimmel crossing Dalkey's Main Street, the former Calvin Klein model cuts quite a dash. Now an actor, Travis plays Ragnar Lothbrok in the TV show Vikings, shot in Ashford Studios, Glendalough, Powerscourt and Kilruddery House.
The Australian's been a regular visitor to Oliver McCabe's Select Stores on Railway Road in Dalkey where his favourite purchase are the protein balls.
Also in the village this week, there was talk that former Bond girl, Eva Green, and Joss Hartnett will be coming back to town for another series of Penny Dreadful.
However, this weekend, the picturesque village is jammers for the annual Dalkey Literary Festival where Gabriel Byrne is one of the big draws tonight, and he will be in conversation with Caroline Erskine at the Town Hall.
Later, the Dalkey restaurants will be full of the visiting guests including top-selling author Patrick Holford, who will be dining with Oliver, and his partner, couturier Niall Tyrrell.
By Joanna Kiernan
New York-based fashion designer Don O'Neill is now contemplating a big fat Irish wedding in his native county of Kerry.
The Theia Creative Director got engaged to his partner of over 22 years, Pascal, a year and a half ago, but the couple had been waiting for the results of Ireland's marriage referendum before making any concrete wedding plans.
"Someday, sooner than we thought, Pascal and I can, and most likely will, now marry in Ireland, in front of family and friends who have always loved and supported us," Don said. "Though that might necessitate Croke Park as a venue!" he laughed. "And we are not there just yet, but a Kerry wedding would be absolutely heavenly."
Don was in Ireland last week to receive an honorary doctorate from University College Cork.
"Getting my doctorate was one of the most memorable and extraordinary experiences of my life to date. I was both humbled and honoured," Don said from his New York office. "UCC were the most magnanimous and gracious hosts, and the ceremony and surrounding events and festivities were truly splendid.
"To have been able to take Pascal, my family and some of my dearest friends along for this magic carpet ride, made it all the more special," he added.
It has been a hectic time for the designer, who was back in New York on Tuesday to attend the 2015 Women of Concern Lunch at The Pierre Hotel, where he was joined by Molly Ashby, founder and CEO of private equity firm Solera, Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Honorary Patron of the Lewis Glucksman Gallery in Cork and Thomas Moran, chairman and CEO of Mutual of America, amongst the large and generous crowd.
And as if all of that wasn't enough, his latest resort collection is due this week, as well some much deserved birthday celebrations.
"I still have loads to do, but I love my birthday so I will need to figure out how to keep the collection rolling off the machines while partying all day long," Don laughed.
Meanwhile, Folkster, the exclusive stockists in Ireland for Don's magnificent Theia bridal collection, have moved their bridal rooms to the Kilkenny HQ store. However, owner Blanaid Hennessy revealed this week that their temporary Temple Bar store is to now stay open, with exciting plans for expansion on the horizon.
By Joanna Kiernan
Ava Gardner is said to have had such affection for whiskey that she wanted to die with a glass in her hand. Well, there were plenty of like-minded folk in Dublin this week for the chic launch of the The Teeling Whiskey Company's new €10m distillery and visitor centre in The Liberties.
UTV News anchor Alison Comyn was looking radiant as always and pretty in pink as she confessed that the whiskey was "deliciously mellow." Irish rugby star Robbie Henshaw also made an appearance while the Teeling brothers - Jack (who was hoarse from talking so much) and Stephen, were working the room last Tuesday evening. The exceptionally talented band Seo Linn were also on hand, delighting the crowd. "We are so glad to get people in and show them this place finally," Stephen, who stars alongside his brother Jack in TV3's new documentary series, Whiskey Business, said. "It is a huge move to put your family name on anything, but we are so proud of what we have done here."
By Joanna Kiernan
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD was guest of honour at the 25th birthday celebrations of FleishmanHillard, Ireland's leading PR company.
The effortlessly stylish managing director, Rhona Blake, greeted guests including George Hook, Gay Byrne, Ivan Yates and Alison Comyn.
"It's so great to see so many friends of the company celebrating with us here tonight," Rhona told the soirée's 160-strong crowd, which included guests from the media, celebrity and political spheres at Dublin's Marker Hotel on Grand Canal Square, as well as staff past and present. "As a team, we have been lucky to work on many of the most high-profile and exciting events to take place in Ireland over the past 25 years and we are so proud of everything we've achieved," Rhona said.
In honour of the occasion Gareth Mullins, executive head chef at The Marker, created a delicious array of savoury and sweet mini canapés including Wicklow lamb, chicken brochettes, ice-cream lollipops with popping candy and also unveiled a 'media-themed' cake including sugar pastry figurines shaped into newspapers, microphones and a radio. Mixologist Micheal O'Shea was also on hand to create commemorative cocktails in the company's colours of blue and white.
By Joanna Kiernan
Laughter may indeed be the best medicine, but it's doing nothing to help poor old PJ Gallagher's knees.
"I feel like a 16-year-old just with bad knees to be honest; it bothers me that I can't run as fast as I used to, otherwise I'm pretty much the same with just a stranger looking head," he told me. The Dublin comedian, who turned 40 in April, was at the Odeon on Wednesday evening for the launch of the Vodafone Comedy Festival.
"I stopped racing motorbikes last year because the injuries just don't go away any more. What used to be six weeks' recovery is now six years," he laughed. "I still cycle all of the time and I still ride a motorbike every day though. I only ever told jokes so that I could get money to buy bikes. It's definitely my number one passion."
PJ will join a host of Irish and international talents performing at the Vodafone Comedy Festival in Dublin's Iveagh Gardens from July 23 to 26. Tickets go on sale this Monday, June 15.