Friday 24 January 2020

The Edge: A fairytale of New York for John and Orla

Orla Murray and John Crown tied the knot in New York last week.
Orla Murray and John Crown tied the knot in New York last week.
Miriam O’Callaghan watched the All-Ireland semi-final with her husband in a pub in Doolin.
Joie De Vivre: The beautiful Berni Cafolla
Top comic Oliver Callan
Dining out: Gay Byrne and Kathleen Watkins, or Uncle Gaybo and Auntie Kathleen as the nation fondly calls them
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

The international media are so dozy, don't you think? There they were chasing after a pair of over hyped luvvies who cried "Wolf" on the nuptials for far too long, when the real stellar wedding was under their noses in the Big Apple on the same day.

While Brangelina were playing hide and seek on the Cote D'Azur last Thursday, famous Irish Senator and leading oncologist John Crown and his fiancee Orla Murray tied the knot in style.

"I've never been happier," the marvellous medic told me from Manhattan. "We had a wonderful day. I have an absolutely beautiful bride, and we're looking forward to a wonderful honeymoon," John said referring to the South of France where they'll be for the next week.

For those of you who don't already know (and in which case - why don't you?) there is, of course, a special reason why Mr Crown chose the Cote d'Azur for the honeymoon - it was there, over Saint Patrick's weekend earlier this year in Nice that he proposed to lovely Orla. The following night he took her to Prince Albert's ball at the royal palace in Monaco, which must have really crowned it.

Forgive me for turning into Barbara Cartland for a moment, but destiny first intervened in October 2013 in the Seanad on Kildare Street where John first set eyes on the beautiful Orla (who is secretary to the leader of the Seanad.) Two stars collided and nothing was ever the same again for John.

As for the international paps? Well obviously they're all heading South (of France) wards. To follow the real honeymoon.

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme shows

So the country is booming. House prices are crazy. The advertising industry is back. Politicians are axing tax bonuses for families. What's new?

Well, Bernard MacNamara, building tycoon extraordinaire became a grandfather two weeks ago. His eldest son Michael and stunning wife Caroline Somers, who live in London, and got married in Clare last year, had a baby boy, whom they named Toby.

Caroline, a beautiful brunette from Waterford, and debonair businessman Michael are said to be officially the happiest parents in the universe. And no doubt, blissed-out Bernie is not far behind in the happiness stakes as a proud new granddad.

The fashionistas, too, are spreading the happiness in abundance.

The summer exodus seems to be over and the beautiful people are back. It began with a bang in Brown Thomas, where Create (BT's showcase for Irish design) was launched with a homage (Note: a homage not an hommage) to the great Richard Lewis. The place was awash with style icons who had been dressed by Richard, the greatest of whom undoubtedly was Mary Finan. I cannot let this column go without mentioning that my predecessor, the late great Terry Keane always said the one thing she would take from the burning house was her favourite Richard Lewis dress. Next Friday in the Ballsbridge Hotel, edgy fashion designer Claire Garvey is showing her collection at the fashion show in aid of the Cradle charity. Bono is expected. The previous night in the Assembly Rooms on South William Street, there will be a flurry of celebs - and me - in expectation at Helen McAlinden. The same day, the Dublin Fashion Festival kicks off, unleashing a four day city event.

Nom, nom.

Miriam keeps it country

I have a lurid world-exclusive for you: Miriam O'Callaghan caught actually not working. RTE's very own superwoman was seen in Gus O'Connor's pub in Doolin last Sunday enjoying the company of her husband, Steven Carson.  A woman hanging out and having fun with her husband? What a weird age we live in.

Miriam and Steve were in county Clare and decided to pop in to Gus O'Connor's to watch the Mayo v Kerry All-Ireland semi-final with all the locals. By all accounts, they had a fantastic time watching Mayo battle their way back to a truly thrilling draw.

Indeed Miriam and Steve and their brood have just returned from an equally exciting week's holidays in Dingle. And as if this isn't enough fun for the stunning TV superstar - who only finished another successful run of her chat show, Saturday Night With Miriam, last weekend - she will be making her annual visit to the Electric Picnic in Stradbally, Co Laois this morning.

I don't know about you, but mornings aren't exactly a primetime for your diarist. Miriam, on the other hand, will be full of the joys as she presents the 'Brunch Gathering' with lots of special guests in a big tent in the countryside. After that, Miriam's next bucolic experience of note will be The National Ploughing Championships on September 23rd for RTE with Bryan Dobson in Ratheniska, county Laois.

At that stage, Primetime will be back on air three weeks. So lovely pubs in Doolin will be but a distant if fond memory for Miriam. . . . and indeed her Belfast-based uber-hubby.

Berni and her beau celebrate their love

The recession must really be over. Socialite Berni Cafolla is back celebrating. And what of it? Lest we forget, beautiful Bernie embodied the joie de vivre of the good old days of the Celtic Tiger when in 2009 she famously booked Town Bar & Grill restaurant on Dublin's Kildare Street in its entirety for son Jeffrey's 18th birthday for 200 well-wishers.

She is just back from a romantic sojourn in Spain. She and her beau Garret Wynne celebrated their first anniversary (and a bit) together with two weeks in a five-star couples-only resort in Lanzarote. Only two weeks, I hear you say? Perhaps the other couples couldn't have put up with more than a fortnight of Berni and Gar's loved-up smoochathon in the sun?

"He is an absolute sweetheart, I am completely mad about him," the sun-tanned Berni - who is the little sister of Gillian Quinn, Valerie Roe and Patricia Roe - gushingly told me of Mr Wynne, a chartered accountant from Sligo. "He is a dote." Enough already, Berni, or I'll going to have to lie down in a darkened room.Love's young dream have been living together in Shankhill for eight months and according to my source - ie Berni - are inseparable. Indeed they were the star-turn at a suitably swish dinner party in Jacqui Corcoran's grand house in Ballsbridge last week attended by, among others, stunning fashion show-organiser Emma English and Joe Supple.

Hopalong Callan is the bee's knees

Oliver Callan performed at the biggest knees up of the year so far - my wedding, sillies. 

The funniest man in Ireland (after Enda Kenny, obviously - don't you know I love An Taoiseach's comic routines in the Dail?) appears determined to keep up the 'knees' theme. Allow your diarist to explain. And yes, there is a serious point to all this. This week, Oliver is going into the Beacon hospital in Sandyford for an operation on his knee.

Which knee? He didn't say.

"I'm going under the knife. Not some nip and tuck, sadly," the comic genius told me with a chuckle.

"My knees haven't been great since an old injury I had on the farm 15 years ago and it has got worse recently. So I'll be hobbling about on crutches for a while," said Hopalong Callan.

"I don't like to think of it as an old man op - more of a Premier League player style injury," he explained, helpfully.

Hopefully, this won't have an adverse effect on his planned autumn tour of Ireland. Indeed I would be more than willing to carry his crutches, emotional, physical or otherwise.

After all, I think he's the bee's knees.

Gaybo and Kathleen pig out in Eden

Gay and Kathleen are an age-defying inspiration to the rest of us, aren't they? They are always out together,  either at an event or at lunch with friends. So it proved last Wednesday in Eden Bar & Grill on South William Street where Uncle Gaybo and Auntie Kathleen - as the nation fondly refers to them - were enjoying a lively lunch with some pals.

Showing none of the outward signs of jet-lag, despite having flown from her home in Minneapolis, former broadcaster Siobhan Cleary, wife of Joe Dowling (the former artistic director of The Abbey and now The Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis) was clearly in as sparkling form as her companions Kathleen Watkins and the incomparable Mr Byrne.

Indeed my Deep Throat in Jay Bourke's eaterie told me that according to the table talk, Kathleen has almost finished a children's book entitled The Piglet of Howth which is hitting the shelves this Christmas. When pressed for further info, my mole at a nearby table revealed that the aforesaid Piglet is a man of exquisite manners who wears Donegal tweed suits from Magee.

Kathleen also has a character called Badger of Ballsbridge, which is not, I hasten to add, based on the boulevardier cum businessman with the badger barnet Mr Johnny Ronan (who has been spotted on a few occasions of late in Ronan Ryan's Pizza e Porchetta on Grand Canal Quay eating superfood salads and iced water, and looking super-trim and fit.) No, Badger of Ballsbridge was inspired by an actual badger that the eagle-eyed (enough with the animal metaphors - Ed) Kathleen spotted in Dublin 4 one night. And, before you ask, Gay isn't the porcine denizen of Howth. That said, the former star of The Late Late Show does like his grub. As does this little piggy.

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