Sunday 17 December 2017

The Edge: A right Kerry-on for Ms Katona

Kerry Katona and her husband lived it up in Lillie's
Kerry Katona and her husband lived it up in Lillie's
Emma is very happy with New York and her new boyfriend
Man in black Leo Varadkar is the new Lucinda
Bob Geldof and his wife Jeanne at the IFTA gala television awards ceremony in Dublin. Photo: Mark Condren
Joepha Madigan hosted FG fundraiser
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

I'm sure there were nocturnal things aplenty ahappenin' outside The Pale last weekend, but I'm damned if your diarist can think of one. Forgive me, rural Ireland, I'll make it up to you next week.

Kerry Katona and husband George Kay were chief among the bon vivants in Lillie's Bordello over the weekend. Others seen enjoying themselves (no tax on that yet but Michael Noonan might include it in the next Budget) in Grafton Street's foremost emporium were Liam Cunningham, direct from his tete-a-tete with Tubs about the refugee crisis in Syria on the Late Late Show, and Red Rock's David Crowley, and comedian Al Porter.

Speaking of artistic types, The Celtic Tenors are just back from some sold-out shows in Europe. I bumped into the Tenors' Matthew Gilsenan on Grafton Street the other night. We had a quick pint (no tax against that as yet, though Noonan, etc).

Mild-mannered Matthew told me that in the Celtic Tenors, "James Nelson would perhaps be seen by many as the 'sensible' one, almost too sensible, some might say boring! A couple of years ago, we were performing at the Minnesota Irish Fair, and it coincided with the last night of a longish tour, so we all had planned to let our hair down a bit on the last night. James's choice of beverage was white wine, which was conveniently on tap. Inconveniently, there were only pint glasses. At last count, James was on his 4th pint of wine, as we drove back to our tour manager Matt's house for a barbecue. We had never met Matt's college professor parents, and were excited to meet them for the first time. As James lay in a flower bed in a pool of his own vomit, with ants crawling on his face, he heard "Well, lovely to meet you both at last, oh and that's James!", as they pointed to the body in the flower bed."

These arty revellers don't know when to stop revelling, do they?

Emma to bring Nick home to meet the family for Christmas

Emma is very happy with New York and her new boyfriend

Emma is very happy with New York and her new boyfriend

She's really taken  Manhattan. Emma Waldron, who moved to New York in January, 2015, did  a major shoot for Amazon in Manhattan  last Thursday night. "Beyonce's stylist styled me," the top Irish model, and Miss  Ireland 2010, told me,  adding that she is also  setting up her own fashion tech company in the Big Apple.

"I am really happy here," she said. "I was happy in Dublin and Ireland too but it is nice to travel while you are young. Work is amazing. There is a great work/life balance in New York."

Part of the reason for this new-found equilibrium and joy is Emma's boyfriend Nick.

"I don't want to say too much about my love life. Having learned from past experiences, I think it is better to keep your love life out of the public eye. It just makes things easier but he is a really, really wonderful guy and I am vey happy." So happy, in fact, that when Emma comes over for Christmas, she won't be on her own. "I'll possibly be introducing Nick to the family!" she said.

Getting serious, or wha', as they say in New York.

Leo, Michael and Sean help bring back good old days

Man in black Leo Varadkar is the new Lucinda

Man in black Leo Varadkar is the new Lucinda

You know that the economy is back, or thereabouts, when there is a certain member of U2 in Luna on a Wednesday night having dinner with five other luminaries.

Notice how I didn’t say holding court? I am, of course, talking about the Simon Carmody Community’s favourite restaurant on Dublin’s Drury Street.

Furthermore, you perhaps know the recession is swiftly fading into the distance when Marcel’s on Merrion Row on a Tuesday afternoon has cultured hipsters Michael Colgan and Sean Mulryan holding a very definite court of sorts for 20 — to include heavy hitters from far and wide, okay Singapore, celebrating something seemingly desperately important.

They later delicately decamped — all 20 of them — from mighty Frank Gleeson’s Marcel’s to enjoy the rest of the day in O’Donoghue’s watering-hole across the road.

I’m imagining that Messrs Colgan and Mulryan (who will be working together as soon as Sir Michael leaves

his plum post as artistic director of The Gate early-ish next year after 33 years as the Lord Of The Luvvies, when the talented Selina Cartmell takes over) and their Singapore investors enjoyed the odd Singapore Sling cocktail to celebrate their big deal.

Indeed, yet more proof of the good old days being almost back was found in Marcel’s last Saturday night when Leo Varadkar and three pals popped in for their evening repast. That’s dinner. So, it’s official. Marcel’s is clearly the new Unicorn. And Leo Varadkar the new Lucinda.

O’Sullivan, not Creighton. 

Ronan builds hope for Wicklow Hospice

It's a question often asked of Miriam O'Callaghan. And now I'll put it to property tycoon Johnny Ronan. Where does he find the time? For all the riding, that is. When he is not making grand plans for Spencer Dock or the big development at the AIB HQ, Johnny seems to be forever in the saddle.

Last month he cycled for a great cause from Paris to Nice with Stephen Roche to raise money to build the Wicklow Hospice. Fair play to you, Johnny. You have to admire him for it. Johnny's friend Daniel Day-Lewis is a patron of the hospice. I might extend the social circle and suggest that Jim Sheridan, who worked so brilliantly with Daniel over the years and who once told Niamh Horan that he might consider doing a movie one day about Johnny, should ask Daniel to play Johnny in the biopic. I mean, if Daniel could play Abraham Lincoln so convincingly then he could play that other bearded risk-taker, Mr Ronan, just as magnificently. There'd certainly be method to that madness.

Bob 'n' Jeanne all at sea

Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric," wrote your man WB Yeats,  "out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry." The incomparable Bob Geldof - who has never in his life shied away from a quarrel - was spotted treading softy on Dawson Street last Saturday afternoon with his  beautiful wife Jeanne Marine. The bounce in the Boomtown Rats' singer's step was possibly not unrelated to the fact that he had won the Best Specialist Factual award for his WB Yeats documentary Fanatic Heart at the 2016 IFTAs  the previous night at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. They were en route to The Seafood Bar on Dawson Street (run by Martina Fox, no less) for a late afternoon lunch. Poisson in the afternoon has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

Bob 'n' Jeanne, who were staying in the Westbury hotel, were the embodiment of not-so-young-love's dream as they enjoyed their chic collation a deux. Their joie de vivre (sorry - I'm letting the fact that Jeanne is French go to my head a little bit here, n'est-ce pas?) was equally in evidence the previous night in House on Leeson Street around the corner from the old Burlo on Burlington Road.

They popped in with a gang for a celebratory drink after the IFTAs, arriving at 11.30pm and staying until to a little after 1am.

On the following night in the same hot-spot of the moment were Pippa O'Connor and husband Brian.

Leo and Frances et al are hot to trot for Foxrock's finest Josepha

Joepha Madigan hosted FG fundraiser

Joepha Madigan hosted FG fundraiser

They were all hot to trot for Foxrock's finest Josepha Madigan last weekend. Indeed, it was a case of everywhere you turned you bumped into a member of the legal, political or business community recently as Fine Gael TD Josepha hosted an ab fab fund-raiser at Airfield House, Dundrum. 

Josepha welcomed guests, including significant FG grand fromages Frances Fitzgerald and Leo Varadkar, as well as Government chief whip Regina Doherty. I wonder did chief whip Regina help with the whip round, so to speak, given it was a FG fund-raiser? The host was wearing red, and not an amazing technicolour dreamcoat. Keep up. Josepha and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

You might even have called it Mna na hEireann when you looked around the room in Airfield at this prolific group of women enjoying the evening, including the aforesaid An Tanaiste Francis Fitzgerald - who gave a keynote speech on the night - Deputies Maria Bailey and Kate O'Connell and, not forgetting ginger Senator Catherine Noone.

Aviation titan Ulick McEvaddy was also enjoying the evening with his wife Lisa, as was Gerard O'Leary, brother to the other Irish aviation titan (and RTE's favourite tycoon) Ryanair's Michael.

Doubtless, if Mouthy Mick had taken to the microphone after Frances, the temperature would have changed in the room.

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