Thursday 22 March 2018

The Edge: Stars turn out to help celebrate House extension on the Shannon

Brian Ormond, Pippa O'Connor, Brian Dowling and his husband Arthur Gourounlia
Brian Ormond, Pippa O'Connor, Brian Dowling and his husband Arthur Gourounlia
Eve Mason last week plighted her troth to Joe Curley
Blaise O'Donnell
Georgia Salpa has been indulging herself in the UAE
The late Anthony Foley
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

The recession must have slithered off to die somewhere, finally. Good riddance, and all that.

On what am I basing this radical economic theory?

Alan Clancy, the owner of Dublin's foremost hang-out for the rich and the famous - I'm talking about House on Leeson Street - is branching out.

And in Limerick, too.

He opened House Limerick on Wednesday night in the former Clohessy's bar on Howley's Quay on the Shannon.

The chic spot opened its doors with a miscellany of celebrity A-listers in attendance.

Alan, whose empire as well as the two Houses, includes 37 on Dawson Street and Xico on Lower Baggot Street, personally welcomed his pals Pippa O'Connor and her husband Brian, and the other Brian, TV Presenter Brian Dowling and husband, Arthur Gourounlia.

Model and panto star Nadia Forde also pitched up to help Alan celebrate the opening of the latest part of his club kingdom.

Not bad for a lad from Clonmellon in Westmeath.

Also in attendance on Wednesday night was local Limerick dynamo and model agent Celia Holman Lee, who was looking beautiful as always, and GAA star Bernard Brogan.

Back again in Dublin - though I truly wish he wasn't - Tony Blair's former spin doctor Alastair Campbell was in Marcel's restaurant on Merrion Row last Friday for dinner and a chat with a colleague involved in, what else, PR.

Our Sophie and Emily both up for prestigious book awards

Eve Mason last week plighted her troth to Joe Curley

Eve Mason last week plighted her troth to Joe Curley

It was the wedding of the year last weekend in Kilronan Castle, Roscommon. I have to admit a personal bias here. The beautiful bride, Eve Mason, is my niece. She married her dapper other half, and super-duper member of An Garda Siochana, Joe Curley. (Sile Seoige was also present at the wedding of the year with her Garda Siochana other half too.)

The mother and father of bride, Jackie and Leslie, and the mother and father of the groom,

Rita and George, showed the young folks up by dancing in the castle until dawn.

Meanwhile some of my favourite subjects have just been shortlisted for the forthcoming Irish Book Awards. Glamorous-gran Kathleen Watkins for her whimsical Pigin of Howth; Bandon’s darling Graham Norton for his brilliant (anyone who says otherwise is a snob living in a parallel universe) debut novel Holding. Two of our own, Sophie White and Emily Hourican, have also been short-listed, Emily for The Privileged and Sophie for Recipes for a Nervous Breakdown.

Blaiseing a trail for love in city by the bay

Blaise O'Donnell

Blaise O’Donnell

I left my heart in San Franciso? No, but Blaise O’Donnell seemed to. She and her beau Stephen O’Hara are just back from a romantic holiday in America.

Love’s young dream were in California last week being characteristically all loved-up. The young Irish beauty formerly of Gorse Hill mansion in Killiney and dapper Stephen were at a San Francisco 49ers game last weekend.

They were all togged out in red 49ers tops for the occasion. Which makes a change from that orange guna that Blaise wore to death last summer, don’t you think?

The couple were spotted recently walking around the lake in Glendalough one Sunday.

In July, they were sighted on a romantic trip to the desert in Abu Dhabi.

How long can it be before they are making a romantic trip up the aisle, too?

And if Blaise is planning to get married, then her next phone call — after me to give me the scoop — is to Zoe Kelly, daughter of former restaurateur Gillian Kelly and niece of Johnny Ronan.

The brunette from Ballsbridge — who has been based in London for the past seven years — has returned to our shores where she has now set up MBZ International for all your wedding planning needs.

Last week she was spotted at the annual Engage Summit in Puglia, Italy. My Deep Throats tell me that Zoe has planned 49 weddings thus far.

So, come on, Blaise, make a 50th?

I’m sure Zoe can find you a venue with a suitably dreamy sea view to remind you of your former home overlooking Killiney Bay?

Glam Georgia parties in Dubai

Georgia Salpa has been indulging herself in the UAE

Georgia Salpa has been indulging herself in the UAE

She hasn’t gone away, you know. Actually, she has.

Top Irish model Georgia Salpa was in Dubai last week for a few days of rest and recuperation with her VBFs — models-turned-yummy-mummies, Louise Kavanagh and Leah O’Reilly.

My sources tell me that the talented trio were on a short break in the bastion of bling in the United Arab Emirates. And why not?

Closer to home, Jules Coll was out on the town in Dublin last weekend, and still hasn’t pulled, or found a date.

And why not, I hear you ask?

I’ll let the author of Flabyrinth: My Escape From Maximum Insecurity Prison explain why for herself.

“I went to Sophie’s in The Dean [on Harcourt Street], too packed and pitch black, I would have needed night vision goggles to spot a ride!

“Then we went to Lillie’s on Grafton Street — too many muscley guys, wearing tight T-shirts in there,” she claimed.

“Not my type! I’ll keep searching for my nice normal man, he obviously parties in different places to me!” Obviously.

As for this weekend, Jules, undeterred, is heading out on the town once more. ‘‘I don’t think I’ll score this weekend as I’m dressing up as Edina from Absolutely Fabulous! My outfit is hilarious. It’s even better than my Susan Boyle costume.’’

I’ll have to take her word for it.

Ladies enjoy lunch with Louise and there’s not a cloud in the sky

If journalist Pat Leahy had been in Drury Buildings - after his article on Mary Mitchell O’Connor at the weekend - perhaps he’d have been gently disemboweled by the women present with their painted fingernails.

I’m talking about the special discussion with author and feminist Louise O’Neill last Wednesday over lunch at the aforesaid Drury Buildings.

It was hosted by Gillian Hennessy, head of marketing for Boots Ireland, to mark its No7’s Ready to Speak Up campaign - “celebrating just how amazing make-up can make women feel.”

“Being smart and looking good are not mutually exclusive,” said Louise, “women should feel free to enjoy their femininity.” 2FM presenter Louise McSharry took a break from minding her new-born son to attend.

Comedian Tara Flynn, of the Repeal the Eighth movement, Anna Cosgrave, TV3’s Laura Woods and the broadcaster Barbara Scully also attended.

Guests stand up and sing for legend Foley at Mustard Seed lunch

The late Anthony Foley

The late Anthony Foley

They say never meet your heroes. So I didn’t. I just walked past him instead. Yes, Sean Penn was standing outside The Shelbourne last Friday night looking like the god of cool. (He and Mel Gibson were in Forrest Avenue restaurant for lunch two Sundays ago.)

I was coming from Residence and the after-party for the annual Mustard Seed lunch at the Mansion House earlier that day (a charity dedicated to caring for the most vulnerable). One could have heard a pin drop as a moving tribute was paid to Anthony Foley. Ger Gilroy from Newstalk was joined on stage by Andy Farrell the defence coach for the Irish rugby team who spoke with emotion about Anthony. They were joined on stage by singing duo Sean Costello and Frank Naughton who sang Ireland’s Call.

Everyone stood to sing - among them the incomparable Niall O’Farrell; the charismatic Seamus Lynch and his inimitable brother Fergal, of Chill Insurance; the tireless Catherine Tiernan (who organised the entertainment) and her daughter Katie; plus Dervilla Gannon, general manager Mustard Seed Ireland; and the indefatigable Leslie Buckley, chairman of INM.

Everyone stood together in memory of rugby’s hero who left us too soon after giving his all on the battlefield for Munster.

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