Sunday 15 December 2019

The Edge: Musgrave heir walking on air with wedding

AND SO TO WED: Singer Gemma Hayes who has married Stuart Musgrave Jnr. Photo: Tony Gavin
AND SO TO WED: Singer Gemma Hayes who has married Stuart Musgrave Jnr. Photo: Tony Gavin
Poignant trip: Daithi O Se was back in the Kingdom where he visited his dad’s grave. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Book launch: The launch of Neven Maguire’s latest book was a family affair, attended by his twins Lucia and Connor as well as his wife Amelda. Photo: Brian McEvoy
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

Is there anything as debonair as an heir to a merchant principality? Just think about it. Cork charm, that enviable southern lifestyle  (why does nobody play golf in August in Cork? Because it might be thought you didn’t have a yacht.) Just add in the matinee idol good looks of a Musgrave (well, with a mother like Avril and a father like Stuart, that part is guaranteed) and you have some idea of why Gemma Hayes found Stuart Musgrave Jnr irresistible.

Be all that as it may, it is the heir himself who is walking on air. Where would you get it, apart from this column?

The reason for this unmatched rapture for the handsome young scion of Musgrave’s Cash & Carry clan is, let me explain, that last month, below in Co Cork, he married Gemma, the beautiful guard’s daughter from Tipperary, who only happens to be the alt.folk chanteuse, Gemma Hayes.

Gemma, who is hugely talented, was nominated for Best Irish Female at the 2009 Meteor Ireland Music Awards.

No surprise then that Hothouse Flowers played at the smart, society wedding the bash of the summer, after my own, but I digress.

Stuart had been dating the Ballyporeen beauty for some years. He was previously married to Ali Beere in 2007 on the Beere family estate in Co Carlow.  The marriage to Ali broke up in late 2009.

Emma and Stuart attended the testimonial dinner for Brian O’Driscoll in London last year — with Gemma in (faux?) fur stole and jewels looking like a gorgeous high society flapper from The Great Gatsby and not entirely like the edgy songsmith behind her long awaited new album Bones + Longing.

The Musgraves are not just any Irish family, I hope you know.

They started the family business in 1876. Indeed as one of Stuart’s colourful ancestors — upon being asked what he did for a living — replied: “I’m a Musgrave.”

And now, so is Gemma.


Yvonne and Cecelia in style summit

Fans and followers of this column will know that sartorial soirees are nothing new to Dublin — and there was a high-level style summit in the hip city recently. The glam gathering I am referring to occurred in 37 Dawson Street and featured, that delightful brace of blonde bombshells  VBFs Yvonne Keating and Cecelia Ahern in full flow. Model-turned-TV-star Yvonne and her best-selling novelist accomplice popped in at 7pm with their pal Aishling O’Mahony.

The three chic chicks enjoyed some food and cocktails at the trendy establishment before leaving at a fashionably early time of 11pm.

I can’t reveal what time the great and the good partied until after the Brown Thomas beano at the Four Seasons hotel last weekend in aid of the ISPCC. But I can tell you that one of the most beautiful women present on the day, Alison Doody, was overheard extolling the virtues of her new beau, chukka tycoon Brian Lynam. Also enjoying the frocks and fun were Sharon Corr, Saoirse Ronan and Louis Walsh. 

And the week starts on an uplifting note  tomorrow when Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain, who has brains as well as beauty in abundance, visits the Science Gallery in Trinity College as ambassador for the P&G Effect campaign. P&G — pulchritude and glamour peut-etre?


The Heff for Enda’s cabinet, say I

Where would we be if it wasn’t for the fashionistas? I’m blue  (not an autumn hue, I’m told) in the face telling An Taoiseach that we need some women like Margaret Heffernan  in our cabinet. Enda, who doesn’t have that many women in his cabinet right now, could have done worse than pop along to the Dunnes fashion show on Tuesday night at its Georges Street flagship — its first show in six years, no less  — and what a show, courtesy of the Heff. 

“I am a huge admirer of Dunnes Stores because of their courage in creating change during one of the worst recessions in history,” fashion editor Constance Harris told me. “Tonight’s show, which was a first in years, was a treat in terms of fabulous style. And the culmination of Margaret Heffernan’s business acumen — and passion for retail.”

On Thursday, Connie opened Irish Designer Jen Rothwell’s first ever stand-alone store in  the Powerscourt Town House. “Jen Rothwell could be the next Mrs. Heffernan!” she said. “This is a really bold move.”

There will be a bold movement of the fashion tribes to Arnotts this Tuesday for designer Peter O’Brien’s Autumn Winter Preview. Those expected in all their finery at Peter’s fifth Arnotts collection, include Claudia Carroll, Sharon Smurfit, Deirdre Kelly, Lorraine Keane and Sharon Bacon among many others. My Deep Throat in retail tells me that Deirdre Devaney, the Arnotts Fashion Director is “unveiling the 38 piece capsule collection which includes lots of orange (more Enda’s colour, don’t you think?) for the first time.” On Thursday Amy Huberman launches TK Maxx store in Dundrum Town Centre at 10am.

Yummy Drummy Mummy? 

Stop me someone! All this fashion writing has gone to my head —  along with all that free bubbly.


Dunphy on look-out for new French home

There’s some corner of a foreign field in France that will be forever Eamon Dunphy. Relax — this is not an obituary. I’m bestowing French immortality on the pithy pundit because of all the racing he attends in Deauville. My favourite football broadcaster (well, he sang to me lying across the piano, Michelle Pfeiffer-like,  at a birthday party in Lillies 20 years ago, so you could say I have a soft spot for him) has had a place in the coastal French idyll for well over a decade, where he and his wife Jane enjoy the horses, the sunshine and the gourmet grub.

My Gallic gorge profonde (that’s francais for deep throat, dummies) tells me that Monsieur Dunphy has sold his summer home in France recently, but is not severing his physical and emotional attachment to Normandy, because he is currently looking at buying an apartment there: indeed the ink may well be dry on the contract by the time you read this.

The Deauvillians were doubtless as delighted to see Dunphy continue to take his hols there every year as I was to see him and Johnny Giles pitch up at the Sugar Club on Leeson Street for the gala showing of ultra-hip’s documentary by moi on John Delaney. 350 people were there to see it: everyone from Grainne and Sile Seoige to Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Mark Cagney, Ronnie Whelan, Oliver Barry, Barry Devlin, as well as PR goddesses Rhona Blake, Astrid Brennan and Dee Crooks. Our own Brendan O’Connor MC-ed the evening and INM editor-in-chief Stephen Rae introduced the documentary.

When FAI boss John Delaney finally took the podium he professed his undying love in front of his mother Joan and father Joe for a certain blonde beauty who was sitting in the front row next to me, Emma English.

A little disclosure is probably de riguer at this juncture. Emma and John are regulars in my house for dinner, so the romance came as no real surprise to me.

Indeed Emma’s twin sister is an ex of mine from many moons ago.


Marty is hair-larious at soiree

Men are very sensitive about their hair, don’t you know? I find it is best to make a self-deprecating joke first before some Neanderthal with a full head of hair makes one at your expense. I’m sure Freud had a term for it.

Take Marty Whelan. God knows many have tried to. And fair play to him for always seeing off the begrudgers. He was booked to launch his VBF, TV star and uber-chef Neven Maguire’s new book The Nation’s Favourite Food Fast! in Residence on Monday evening.

Marty thought for a second before he began his speech to unveil the tasty tome.

He announced that this was the Co Cavan cook’s 11th book. “I launched his first book, too,” Marty quipped, before adding with perfect comic timing: “But back then, I had less hair, but that’s another story.”

Hair-larious or what?

Probably the story of the night was that Neven’s lovely wife Amelda — who suffered from a well-documented heart failure after the birth of their twins Connor and Lucia, three years ago — was chief among the guests in the swish private members club on Stephen’s Green.

She looked radiant, accompanied by the adorable duo Connor and Lucia, and of course the man of the moment himself, Neven.


Daithi tells his late dad about the game

The Dingle Peninsula was a bittersweet mix of sadness and joy two weeks ago. On the first anniversary of his father Maidhc Dainin’s death, Daithi O Se came back to Kerry to spend

time with his mother Caitlin and for the sad task of choosing a headstone for the grave.

But there was joy too, Daithi told me, “when the brother and myself went up to the grave after the Mayo match to tell the father about the game” [Kerry heroically beat Mayo in the All Ireland semi-final replay].

“We were boozed and we laughed and cried in the pissing rain!” he smiled.

Your diarist told Daithi that his father was no doubt delighted to hear about the game, albeit from beyond this world.

“I’m sure he was,” laughed the co-host, with Maura Derrane, of the Today show which returns to RTE’s screens tomorrow week. Daithi went back to Galway with his mum, wife Rita and their baby Micheal Og.

The RTE star is, however, returning to his beloved Kerry this week with some pals for the Listowel Races. He will also be judging Ladies Day on Friday with Pippa O’Connor Ormond. Those expected at the races include tycoon JP McManus, Brian Kavanagh, CEO of Horse Racing Ireland, local TD and Minister for State, Jimmy Deenihan.

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