Sunday 19 November 2017

The Edge: Jets overhead to honour the other Johnny

Birthday boy: Johnny Byrne
Birthday boy: Johnny Byrne
French break: Lorraine Keane
Aussie break: For Jade Martina Lynch, the polyamorous star of Big Brother. Photo: Tony Gavin.
Dinner: Brian O'Driscoll and Amy Huberman were in Jamie's
Creative clan: Susan Jane and Trevor White
Housemate: Nadia Forde was in House with her beau Dominic Day
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

It's official. Seventy is the new Forty. And Johnny Ronan isn't the only Johnny who knows how to splash the cash like back in the good old days of the Celtic Tiger.

And fair play to Johnny Byrne. And Johnny Ronan, too, because he was at this particular party.

Last month there was dancing at the crossroads in North Kerry when larger-than-life, multi-millionaire tycoon Johnny Byrne celebrated his 70th birthday with a grand bash - organised by his lovely partner Denise - on the family's 100-acre farm in Duagh. Some 350 well-wishers turned up and were seated at an elegant marquee on the estate.

Leen's Hotel of Abbeyfeale did the gourmet food, enjoyed by, among others, Chanelle McCoy, wife of legendary jockey AP; builder Paddy Collins and wife Noreen; businessman, greyhound guru and great friend of the Byrne family, Frank Thornton, and wife Mary; Punchestown Races boss Dick O'Sullivan and son Richie; the birthday boy's nephew and niece Sean and Siobhan Byrne from London; and, of course, the other Johnny. Mr Ronan was in a suit and tie - "he looked like a model from Dublin transplanted into a field in Kerry", one of My Deep Throats at the party told me.

There was entertainment until the small hours provided by Johnny Luby. Perhaps the biggest entertainment of the evening were the planes that flew over head in homage to the birthday boy. The boom of jets as the 350 guests ate their food must have had some of the grandees thinking that, indeed, the boom was back. And maybe it is? This your diarist can say without fear of contradiction, or having my head put on a spike outside Trinity College, because the spectacular air display in North Kerry a few weeks ago saw the jets take off and land on the Byrne private landing strip which was built specially back in the day for jets to fly in and out of London on business. Johnny and his late great brother Patsy are often described as the extraordinary Irish men who built London - and it isn't hyperbole either. Johnny and Pasty seemed to know everyone in England. When Patsy met Queen Elizabeth, from whom he had just bought two horses, Her Maj was curious. . .

"I believe Patsy you are taking a filly from Motivator?" HRH asked.

'That's correct ma'am', Patsy replied before adding with his characteristic if not dazzling Duagh wit: "I'm glad you asked that because I wanted to talk about a discount!"

Lorraine keen on Paddy McKillen's chateau

Marbs. Discuss. It is still all happening in the last bastion of bling in southern Spain. Take last weekend: on Saturday night PJ Mansfield (son of the late Jim Mansfield) was seen strolling through the marina of Puerto Banus looking suitably loved-up with his partner Julie Husman. Social & Personal magazine columnist Avila Lipsett was also spotted in the port that night with some glam gal pals.

But the Irish are hitting other Mediterranean hot spots too. Acclaimed Irish singer Frances Black was on hols with husband Brian on an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea - namely Gozo in Malta. "Gozo's beautiful stone walls remind me of Connemara," the star told me.

She was taking some time out before her long awaited show with Kieran Goss at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin on November 7.

Romantic breaks, what can be better? Just Ask Lorraine Keane.

She has just returned from a break in France with spouse Peter Devlin, at Paddy McKillen's Chateau la Coste in Aix En Provence.

"It is our favourite place. It is has an incredible winery. a restaurant, and an outdoor art gallery," she told me, adding that they ate too much cheese and drank too much rose. So much so that the one-time TV3 star is now on a strict Pilates course with Pilates guru Eva Berg.

"Why does it take two weeks to put on half a stone but two months to lose it?" Boo hoo.

Oh brother, Jade 'just dating'

Jade likes it Down Under. I'm talking about Australia; the iconoclastic Irish star of Big Brother 2015 jetted there last Thursday for some well-deserved r'n'r. She is currently in Melbourne recovering from the flight (or as she put it so poetically on her Facebook page: #jetthef**klagged.)

Before the brunette left, she took the time to answer some nosy questions from your diarist about her eternally intriguing love life."Yeah, it's good. Just dating," she answered. "I'm kind of seeing a guy that's on a show in the UK. So just having fun," said the beautiful Irish model, who caused a bit of a frisson on Big Brother and beyond when she revealed that she is polyamorous.

Will those gentle souls reading this in deepest Roscommon (only joking!), kindly avert their eyes now: being polyamorous means you can have several romantic and sexual partners at the same time, should your souls wish it, and the planets be aligned etc. I asked Jade Martina Lynch, is this new relationship with the guy she is kind of dating in the spirit of Polyamory?

"We like each other and I'm dating over here too," she said, meaning Ireland. "He knows I'm Poly but there has been no chat about it."

Brian 'n' Amy pop into Jamie's

I can only assume lunch went with a swing? Rory McIlroy was in Marco Pierre White's restaurant on Dawson Street last Thursday week. He dined with a young blonde.

Main man Marco was actually in the kitchen at the time, going over the new menus with his chefs. In effect, the young god of international golf had the honour of having the exalted deity of international cuisine cooking for him. Marco emerged from the kitchen later that afternoon to have a late lunch with the Leslie girls: Antonia and Samantha.

Further south in Dublin, another celebrated English chef was the inspiration behind a famous Irish couple's choice of where to dine last weekend.

Brian O'Driscoll and Amy Huberman popped into Jamie's Italian in Dundrum Town Centre at 7ish for dinner on the Saturday night.

Jamie Oliver's restaurant is a stone's throw from their home. So they were out the door and back to their brood at 8.30pm. On the same night in Nick Munier's uber-cool Avenue restaurant in Temple Bar, footballer Stephen Hunt was in for dinner with his pal PJ. Hearty souls, they ordered the 24 oz cote de boeuf each.

Creative pair in White house

Just as I predicted years ago, Trevor White is finally acting up. The amiable food critic turned publisher turned museum-owner (The Little Museum of Dublin on Stephen's Green) is about to tread the boards in his own one-man show The Private View  - which Gerry Stembridge is directing and which will be part of the Dublin Theatre Festival. Food columnist and author Susan Jane told me that her husband is "rehearsing for two hours every morning before the museum opens, then learning lines at night." Husbands learning their lines? It sounds positively George Bernard Shaw, doesn't it?

The White house is, in any event, heaving with creativity at the mo, because LIFE magazine foodie Susan Jane is quite a busy bee herself. Her new book The Virtuous Tart will be launched on September 16 with a do at Ronan Ryan's Counter Culture in Powerscourt Townhouse Centre. Expect "green lemonade" with "indecently healthy" greens.

Also expect Paddy Cosgrave and his fiancee Faye Dinsmore, Victoria Smurfit, Donal Skehan, Rachel Allen, Gordon D'Arcy and the rising star of Leinster rugby, Daniel Leavy - who is Susan Jane's first cousin.

She also tells moi that Rosanna Davison is also on the guest list - tragically scuppering any hopes of a foodie feud, virtuous or otherwise. I'm inconsolable.

Nadia and new man play House

Things are getting serious for Nadia Forde and her new man, Bath rugby player Dominic Day. She brought him to Dublin last weekend.

Ironically, last week a certain golfer that Nadia was once linked to was also in Dublin.

Still, I refuse to make juvenile jokes about Nadia swapping a passing interest in men with small white balls to loving men with big oval-shaped balls. But I digress.

The Irish model, singer and I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here star was in House on Leeson Street last Saturday with Mr Day.

They were joined by fellow Bath player Peter Stringer and his wife Debbie O'Leary. For the record, Nadia was introduced to Dominic by Peter and Debbie after a Bath game in London in March.

On the Saturday night in House, they all enjoyed tapas and drinks in the garden of the trendy establishment before heading off at about 12.45am.

Other familiar faces spotted in House that Saturday was regular Brent Pope and hairdresser Dylan Bradshaw.

But none was frankly quite as exciting as Nadia and her new man about the House. Ask me again in a few months, possibly around that most nostalgic time of Christmas, whether Nadia and Dom are playing House.

Which is diarist code for moving in together. . .

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