Sunday 18 March 2018

The Edge: Busy Lorraine is now a poster girl, too

High powered: Peter Devlin and Lorraine Keane
High powered: Peter Devlin and Lorraine Keane
Guest: Emily O'Donnell.
Aoibhin Garrihy
Glowing: Blaise O'Donnell at the Sunday Independent end of summer party in the Marker Hotel. Photo: David Conachy
Newbie: Cllr Jennifer Cuffe meets the boss Micheal Martin
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

Where does this exceedingly busy, high-powered woman get the time to be out with her husband on a Saturday night? No - I'm not talking about Hillary Clinton and Bill. I'm talking about Lorraine Keane and her husband Peter Devlin.

They were in Angelina's, the new restaurant in Paddy McKillen Junior's empire on Percy Place, with "our close friends" - as Lorraine described them to me - Ranelagh dentist Dr Peter Casey and his wife Taryn.

"Angelina's is our new favourite place," Lorraine told me. Lorraine and Peter obviously have a fondness for things McKillen. Last summer they sojourned stylishly at Paddy McKillen Senior's Chateau La Coste in Aix-En-Provence.

She unburdened herself excitedly about her imminent new show on UTV Ireland: "So excited! It's going to be amazing - fresh format, intimate interviews. So busy! We air in March. I've already said too much."

In between fronting a new TV show, and being the McKillens' best customer, Lorraine also finds time to put on her Keane On Style events around the country. She did one in the CityNorth Hotel in Gormanston last night (she texted me a photo of her posters, which, mystifyingly, were on road signs on the M1 motorway and all over Drogheda. I'm not making this up. Did she and Peter put them up?)

Her next one is in the Pigeon House, Delgany on March 3. She'll be doing a Hillary next and running for political office. Maybe Paddy McKillen will bank-roll her campaign. Lorraine For The Park?

I can see the critics carping already: Keane On Style Over Substance?

Chic London with the Ryans and Roccas

Reinventing Samuel Johnson's famous maxim that "when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford", the toast of Mná na hÉireann enjoyed themselves last weekend in the English capital.

Two of Michelle Rocca's (unsurprisingly) fetching daughters Claudia Rocca Ryan and Danielle Rocca Devine hit the town.

The aforesaid young beauties - Michelle's daughter by the late Cathal Ryan, the eldest son of legendary aviation tycoon Tony Ryan, and her daughter by one-time Irish football legend John Devine respectively - breezed into two of the English capital's hippest hotspots last Sunday.

They met up with Claudia's half-sister (and Cathal Ryan's eldest daughter) Danielle Ryan, entrepreneur and owner of luxury fragrance brand Roads, in the achingly in-vogue Sanderson Hotel on Berners Street.

Afterwards Claudia and Danielle Rocca (try to keep up) headed to an equally chic establishment, Ping Pong on Great Marlborough Street, for dinner with friends.

Danielle's sis (and Claudia's half-sister) Natasha Rocca Devine lives in Los Angeles - from where she posted on Facebook the following Tuesday pictures of her beautiful mother and siblings with the hashtags #MissMyFamily #LoveYouAll #LosAngeles

Danielle replied: "We miss you too x"; while Claudia was equally pining: "I miss you Tashy love you so much. Xxx."

Once upon a time I was a quasi-babysitter to Danielle and Natasha Rocca Devine, and Claudia Rocca Ryan - or "the rugrats" as I used to called them - back in the late 1990s, with their magnificent mummy Michelle at their house in Booterstown.

And I fondly remember their incomparable, and much, much-missed, uncle Patrick Rocca who was also in (always entertaining) attendance. Those indeed were the days.

By accident, I met the mother of the rugrats on the beach in Killiney last summer. To quote the Bard, "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale/Her infinite variety."

And she's still as witty as I remember her.

Aoibhin does the Charleston

Aoibhin Garrihy

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train. Sorry - that's actually Oscar Wilde. Please excuse me, I was at The Importance of Being Earnest at The Gate on Monday night (the classic is in its final week), whereupon your diarist bumped into Michael Colgan at the interval. I suppose there is a strong possibility of bumping into the artistic director of The Gate here, isn't there?

The mustachioed impresario told me that Nigel Redden, the director of the Spoleto Festival, was coming to visit him on Friday and see the show, even though The Gate are already booked into his festival in Charleston, South Carolina from May 26 to June 12.

Travelling with Colgan in the cast will be Michael Ford-FitzGerald (who is great in Rebellion), Des Keogh (who will be 81 next month) and Aoibhin Garrihy (who will play the part of Gwendolyn Fairfax.) So it's official: Colgan will be doing Charleston with Aoibhin in Carolina. Joke.

Not long after the former Fair City star returns from the states, she will be getting married to her beau John Burke in September at the Armada Hotel in Spanish Point.

When I asked her who was making the dress, she had a fit of The Sphinxes. "It's a secret!"

What about the hen, then?

"The hen is a surprise. My sister Ailbhe, my bridesmaid, is looking after that. So I couldn't tell you." And the honeymoon? "Genuinely have not even discussed it yet. God bless your resilience!"

Oh, Aoibhin, as Oscar quipped in Earnest - "Even before I met you I was far from indifferent to you."

Mr D'Arcy lines out for charity

Gordon D'Arcy might be the retiring type - Ireland's longest-serving international player retired last summer - but that hasn't stopped him from lining out (groan) to support the IRFU Charitable Trust. It will be holding its annual ball - imaginatively titled The Rugby Ball - in the Ballsbridge Hotel on March 11 next. 

Mr D'Arcy, who will receive an award for all the years he devoted to the game, will be guest of honour at this most glamorous of balls - much of the glam being doubtless supplied by his wife Aoife.

I'm told that a lot of big rugby names are also expected at the event, which takes place the day after Ireland's RBS Six Nations game against Italy at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Among them are Alan Quinlan, Peter Clohessy, Mick Galwey and Marty Moore.

Tables are fast filling up with the likes of Clancourt Group's CEO Kevin Kenny, Connaught rugby's Alex Saul and TV presenter Emily O'Donnell, who have already got their pitch in.

Blaise is agent orange in Vegas - as Mr Beades goes to town

Glowing: Blaise O'Donnell at the Sunday Independent end of summer party in the Marker Hotel. Photo: David Conachy

Is BLAISE O'Donnell ever not in that dress? Sorry, I'm just being a bitch. I'm talking about the bright orange guna that she wore to the Sunday Independent end of summer party last August in the rooftop bar of the Marker Hotel in Dublin.

My 'Deep Throat' in Las Vegas tells me that the Irish colleen, formerly of the Gorse Hill mansion in Vico Road, Killiney, was spotted wearing the aforementioned signature (and fetching) tangerine dress last weekend having steak and chips in the Mon Ami Gabi - a French bistro on Las Vegas Boulevard South. Orange is clearly the new black for our Blaise, who was in the city in the desert with a group of colleagues for an international conference. She was also spotted in Vegas's famous Wynn hotel.

Meanwhile Jerry Beades, - who stood up in vain against the banks on behalf of Blaise's family when they were facing eviction - was in La Dolce Vita restaurant in Temple Bar on Wednesday night. Jerry, the boss of the Friends of Banking Ireland group, told me they were studying the banking inquiry report.

"We could have written it 10 years ago. The regulators are a joke," he told me, adding that this time last year he hired a fleet of buses to protest in Killarney at the Labour Party Conference. No buses this year, he said. "Labour are toast," Jerry added as he ate his pâté on toast. "They could hold their conference in a phone box." In Vegas?

Great and the good called to the Bar fashion show

Newbie: Cllr Jennifer Cuffe meets the boss Micheal Martin

Fashion, I always say, goes in one year and out the other. And that fickleness won't stop the great and the good from attending the first Bar Council Benevolent Fund Fashion Show on Thursday in the Bar Council of Ireland, where Sean Byrne will show his latest collection.

Attorney General Maire Whelan and Chief Justice Susan Denham are expected to attend. Susan is the daughter of Douglas Gageby, former editor of The Irish Times, so she'll forgive me for including her in my column, while the AG, I suspect, knows how the media works too. Indeed, as Terry Prone wrote in the Irish Independent in 2014, Maire "became more famous than she probably ever wanted when the first act of the Shatter tragedy happened".

Meanwhile my 'Deep Throat' in Fianna Fail tells me Micheal Martin was in Wicklow last week to press the flesh with newbie councillor Jennifer Cuffe (pictured above). After its 2011 meltdown, Fianna Fail hopes to retake a seat in the constituency once dominated by their TD Dick Roche. "Ironically, the safest seat in Wicklow is now held by Dick Roche's one-time right-hand man, Minister Simon Harris," squealed my informer. "With impeccable timing Mr Harris defected to Fine Gael. FF are expected to take a seat, but it is not clear whether it will go to Cuffe or hotelier Pat Casey."

Maybe Fianna Fail should ask Pat's uncle, Bishop Eamon Casey for spiritual guidance.

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