Saturday 21 April 2018

The Edge: Love under the Chuppah in Carton House as Edmund Ross's daughter marries

Tania in her wedding dress at Carton House last weekend
Tania in her wedding dress at Carton House last weekend
TV Presenter and ISPCC Ambassador Amanda Byram, left, with Brown Thomas fashion director Shelly Corkery at the ISPCC luncheon last week
Robbie Keane and Claudine celebrated in House
Eileen Wright is splashing the cash on Kyrstle
Daithi and Rita will follow their romantic Dublin break with a romantic Cavan break
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

Half of London were in Carton House in Maynooth, Co Kildare last weekend for a very chic two-day wedding.

Only half?

Tania, daughter of Irish photographic legend Edmund Ross, and her beau Robert Williams, were blessed and married by Rabbi Zalman Lent of The Dublin Hebrew Congregation under the Chuppah (canopy). Love under the Chuppah in Carton House has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

Tania's dress was designed by Ritva Westenius of Connaught Street. She had nine bridesmaids (all the bridesmaids wore different colour dresses) and nine ushers.

Just so you know.

The bride and groom met by introduction from a mutual friend who had climbed Kilimanjaro with Tania and thought she was both a good sport and an adventurous girl.

In any event, Tania and Robert's adventure started in earnest last Monday when they flew off to Santorini for a mini moon.

Robert and Tania got engaged last May in London where they live and work. Tania is the digital marketing manager for Fleetway Travel while Robert is an accountant at Deloittes. But back to the two-day wedding in Carton House . . .

Notable guests - apart from the parents of the bride, Anne and Edmund Ross, and the parents of the groom, Jonathan and Andrea Williams - included dermatologist Nicholas Walsh, Professsor David Harris of Blackrock Clinic and Jeremy Manuel OBE with his wife Liz.

The 180 guests were entertained by the wedding band One (who were hired in from London) on the Saturday night, "plus Irish Riverdance-style dancing" (according to Edmund Ross) in the marquee and Sunday dinner and dancing till 1 am.

Only 1am? Oy vey.

Sheila, Sylvia and gals in return to catwalk

I like my money right where I can see it: hanging in my closet." That was Carrie Bradshaw's mantra. The beautifully turned-out ladies at the annual ISPCC Brown Thomas fashion show at the Intercontinental Hotel last Friday have a different mantra. They like to put their money towards a great cause: hanging in the bank account of the ISPCC.  Ali Hewson, Alison Doody, Yvonne Connolly, Sharon Smurfit and Caroline Harrington all pitched up in their Brown Thomas-friendly designer finery to support the charity event. To say nothing of nearly 400 of Ireland's most stylish women out in full  force. Someone stop me before I put on one of the dresses myself!

The BT ISPCC fashion show has raised almost €1m to date. ISPCC Ambassador Louis Walsh also landed in among all the girls in D4 before jetting to London for his X Factor work.

The event, with Amanda Byram as MC, kicked off pleasantly enough with a Veuve Clicquot Champagne reception and was soon fizzing with surprises . . .

Ireland's original catwalk queens - Marie Staunton, Sheila Eustace, Vivienne Connolly, Sylvia Myers, Lisa Cummins and Olivia Tracey - returned in great splendour to the Intercontinental Hotel run-walk wearing the latest collection from Dolce & Gabbana. Sheila flew in especially from Marbella; Olivia, even further, from LA. It was a great afternoon for Mna na hEireann.

"Women celebrating women was the main theme of our fashion show, which made a strong and empowering statement for autumn/winter," Shelly Corkery, fashion director, Brown Thomas, told me. "It was extraordinary to have Ireland's original supermodels back together on the catwalk, with Sheila and Olivia having flown in especially. There was a very special atmosphere in the room, with 370 guests, mostly women, who have all achieved so much in their lives and together have helped Brown Thomas and ISPCC raise almost €1m for such an important cause over 16 years of hosting this event."

See you next year.

Robbie sings at farewell soiree

Bono moves in un-mysterious ways. On Tuesday night he  was in 37 on Dawson  Street and in the  Shelbourne the following night with The Simon Carmody Community. (I was walking down Lower Baggot Street last Sunday morning when I spotted Simon Carmody wearing his rock star sunglasses with no sunshine to be protected from in the D4 sky - doubtless he was on his breathless way to his messianic master, the lead singer in U2. Still, I often wonder, should, God forbid, Bono ever exit stage left before his time, would Ali take Simon in or would, more probably,  Guggi & Gavin adopt him?)

Moving on from that imponderable, Guggi and Simon were in House - sans Bono - on Wednesday night for Robbie Keane's farewell party. Brian Ormond and Pippa O' Connor (who were in the Powerscourt Hotel last Saturday night) also attended, as did Irish golfer Shane Lowry and Robbie's former Republic of Ireland team-mates Gary Breen, Damien Duff, and Denis Irwin.

The man-of-the-moment - that's Robbie not Bono - arrived in House at 11pm, with his family, friends and wife Claudine. The crowd were treated to a performance by traditional Irish singer George Murphy. It wasn't long before the crowd were chanting Robbie's name to give them a song. He obliged and performed several Irish songs to his adoring family and friends. Perhaps it was best Bono wasn't there, as his ego would have been bruised.

Author Jules still has zero offers of a date

Did anything happen this week that didn't happen in House? Last Tuesday, Jules Coll officially launched her book Flabyrinth with a beano in the aforesaid establishment on Leeson Street. With everyone from Andy Quirke, Paul Byrom, Andrew Mann, Melanie Morris, Michael O'Doherty and our own Triona McCarthy in attendance, Jules, right,  said in her speech how her tome was "full of cringe and nostalgia".

She added with searing, even hilarious, honesty that in Flabyrinth she writes about "my tragic, non-existent, terrible love life. Bridget Jones in the house!" Jules stayed on in House after the launch party before ending up in Coppers around the corner on Harcourt Street, "but," Jules told me, "it was a Tuesday night so the crowd were really young and I felt like a fossil." I asked her what was the latest on any budding romances. "Zero offers of dates," came the reply, "not even from a lonely farmer with road frontage who's looking for a wife!"

Eileen and Rangan close Krystle nightclub for €1m refurbishment

It's been the second home over the years for the likes of Brian O'Driscoll, Rory McIlroy, Rosanna and Wes, Prince Albert, Lord Bono. Last weekend, Krystle nightclub on Harcourt Street had a closing party (with a free bar costing €26,000 for 1,200 bon vivants) hosted by the incomparable owners, Eileen Wright and Rangan Arulchelvan. The good news for the discerning nighthawk is that the ultra-chic nightclub is only closing for a major, high-tech, high-glam refurb and will re-open in early October.

My Deep Throat in Krystle revealed at the bash that Rangan and Eileen's company had paid whopping corporation tax throughout the recession/recovery (2014: €143,590; 2013: €200,403; 2012: €120,089; and 2011: €122,588) and that nobody lost their jobs during the economic downturn. Indeed, Krystle will increase employment from 142 to 180 when it re-opens.

"Going forward," Rangan told me, "things needed to change. We have been in business for 10 years. Eileen and myself decided to spend €1m on a revamp. Our new age policy will be different areas: 21, 23, 25-plus, and we are also issuing membership for the relaunch. We have a unique product which you can use outdoor and indoor all year round, day or night, rain or snow. We remain the best club in Ireland."

I'll raise a glass of Champagne to that.

Daithi & Rita bask in their romantic past on Sandymount strand

After the Rose of Tralee, Daithi possibly needed a bit of a chillax with his beautiful wife, the former New Jersey Rose, Rita Talty.

They travelled up to Dublin last week from their home in Galway to spend the weekend at their romantic bolt-hole, their apartment in Sandymount. (Daithi's mother Caitlin travelled up from Dingle to the west to look after young Micheal Og O Se for a few days.) They had dinner in their favourite restaurant in Dublin, Little Caesar's Palace on Balfe Street. The following morning they rose (sorry, feel free to shoot me for the bad punning) early to go for a walk along Sandymount Strand, which has a certain sentimental resonance for the couple.

"We went from a long-distance relationship to living together in Sandymount," Daithi told me. "So Sandymount for walks was the initial part of the relationship, and Sandymount is special to us. So walking on Sandymount beach always brings back memories."

With Daithi's hit RTE chat show Today with Maura Derrane returning on September 26, Daithi told me that he and Rita will sneak off to their pal Neven Maguire's MacNean House in Blacklion, Co Cavan, for a quick break. And no, Daithi's mother will not be minding the baba this time. Rita's parents are flying over from America next week.

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