Tuesday 20 March 2018

The Edge: Victoria Smurfit sighs as her luggage gets wet in Venice, the city of Water

Victoria Smurfit discovered that more than the canals were full of water on her recent visit to Venice
Victoria Smurfit discovered that more than the canals were full of water on her recent visit to Venice
Bertie was looking trim and fit in the Kingdom
Chic Jill Wright attended the wedding in Quinta de Lago. Photo: Mike Bunn for LIFE Magazine
It's always hot when Nuala is announcing the weather
Now: Aoife Walsh at the Pride of Ireland Awards
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

The boom must surely be on its way back, albeit haltingly. This I say because broadcaster Siobhan O'Connor and her TV producer other-half John Norton are having a very small beano to mark not their daughter's first year birthday, but to mark her third week birthday.

Siobhan and John's lunch for Erin Joan takes place today in Kinara on Clontarf Road. "We usually go for dinner there but lunch it shall be. Life sure does change!" Siobhan, who lives in Clontarf with John told me, adding, "The furthest Erin's been is for walks on the seafront in Clontarf."

That, however, is about to change. . .

Siobhan told me she needs to get a rush on and get little Erin's passport because at the end of August she is going on her first trip on a plane - to the Côte d'Azur.

"John was at a film and TV festival in neighbouring Monaco and fell in love with the village Beaulieau Sur Mer. So we are going back there for a week."

As Siobhan and John prepare to fly with baba to the French Rviera, Victoria Smurfit jetted into Venice this week from Los Angeles on a certain airline. Annoyingly, upon landing in the City of Water, the beautiful Irish movie star found to her horror that, well. . . something was a bit watery. And it wasn't Venice. In fact, all her luggage was soaking wet. She had nothing dry to wear. I can only imagine Victoria - who has finished a film with Bruce Dern in Malibu called The Lears - was sighing for real as she walked over Venice's Bridge of Sighs.

Still in Italy, Eamon Farrell, dance legend and big brother of movie star Colin, has recently returned from the Rome's Eternal City. Eamon was away with with Jill Doyle, his business partner at the National Performing Arts School.

"I'm just home from Rome, a city filled with the most beautiful and stylish men in the world. Me and Jill went without our husbands," Eamon said, referring to artist Steve Mannion and Jill's Fraser McAlister, Bono's guitar tech guru.

"We were at a wedding in a stunning place outside Rome, Borgo di Trime. Amazing time. Amazing wedding - the bride and groom were Clodagh Smith and Tim Forde, her granda used to own the Olympia."

Wahlberg to jet in for football classic


Mark Wahlberg will be here for a bling Boston tea party next month

The Irish, we all end up in Boston looking for work, Bono told a crowd at a U2 concert in Boston in 1992.

Now it's the other way around, as some Bostonians of note are coming here not so much looking for work as a win. Your diarist is, of course, referring to the Aer Lingus College Football Classic between Boston College and Georgia Tech at The Aviva Stadium on September 3, when over 25,000 US high-fliers are set to descend on Dublin for the big game.

It will be a bling Boston tea party, and then some.

The illustrious line-up of guests and grandees expected include Hollywood movie star Mark Wahlberg (The Departed, The Fighter and Ted) and former NFL Tampa Bay player Cecil Martin.

Heading this way is that great friend of Ireland, Mayor of Boston Marty Walsh, who visited Dublin last year and also officiated at the opening of the first State-side Primark in Boston last September (if Bob Geldof pitches up at the Aviva, he might want to avoid conversation with Marty about a certain magnificent Irish clothes retailer. But I digress.)

Mayor Walsh will be leading the Boston College supporters with thousands of their alumni including Ireland's most high profile Boston College alumnus Denis O'Brien expected to be among them.

How do I know this? I know everything.

On the Georgia Tech side, Mayor of Atlanta Kasim Reid will be leading the charge, and former US Ambassador to Ireland and owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers Dan Rooney will also be attending.

Many leading US business luminaries are also en route - including Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola, Muhtar Kent.

Your diarist suggests you waste not a second in checking out CollegeFootballIreland.com for tickets (fast selling out), where a donation will be made to Special Olympics Ireland for every ticket sold.

Fit-looking Bertie Ahern and Des Peelo at sing-song in the Kingdom

Bertie was looking trim and fit in the Kingdom

Bertie was looking trim and fit in the Kingdom

You could set your watch by it. It's the first week in August, so Bertie Ahern must be in 18th-century manor house in the Kingdom, Parknasilla. The former Taoiseach, who arrived last Wednesday week, was staying with daughter Cecelia Ahern and husband David Keoghan and their kids.

Last Thursday night week in the Five-star establishment's bar, there was a party cum sing-song that went on until six in the morning. Bertie's good pal Des Peelo and wife Philo (celebrating the recent arrival of sixth grand-son, Thomas with a glass of bubbly) left at 3am, around the time Bertie (who, mercifully, didn't sing) retired to bed too. Cecelia and David had long since gone to bed. The great Ronan Hardiman, who composed Lord Of The Dance, was on piano. NYPD cop turned top golfer Paul McCormack and wife Nicola McClean, and mother Jean, were also in attendance.

Bertie was looking trim and fit primarily because a) he has been going to the gym regularly and, possibly because, b) he didn't go to the Galway Races this year as normal before his usual stay at Parknasilla.

Last Thursday morning, he checked out of the hotel and went for a few days to Dingle with Cecelia, David and the kids. Was Bertie planning on paying a visit to Charlie Haughey's statue on Dingle Pier?

John and Odette Rocha at Algarve wedding

Chic Jill Wright attended the wedding in Quinta de Lago. Photo: Mike Bunn for LIFE Magazine

Chic Jill Wright attended the wedding in Quinta de Lago

The Algarve went up a notch or two in the style stakes a few weeks ago. Chief among the reasons for this was that John Rocha and his wife Odette attended the wedding of Nicole Gallagher to Jeremy Beshoff (Beshoff Motors), at Casa de Lago in Quinta de Lago -  along with the permanently chic Jill Wright and her husband David, of the Wright's dynasty in Howth. The bride's mother, Lisa Gallagher (who is one of Jill's VBFs from Howth) wore an eye-catching creation by Jen Kelly,  while the groom's mother Wendy Beshoff wore an equally lovely guna by Simone Rocha. Jo Harpur from Jo Harpur  Jewellery attended  with her husband David. (Indeed many of the guests including the bride and bridesmaids wore pieces from Jo's collection on the wedding day).

Gay and Kathleen's daughter Susie Byrne and partner Ronan along with other guests, Paul and Aoife Hill, to say nothing of Jill Wright and half of Howth, all danced late into the night on the beach at Casa de Lago.

It was all about weddings this summer for Jill Wright. It started the week before in Ireland when her life-long friend Emer Mc Cormack married John Fitzgerald in the Village of Lyons in Kildare.

"It was especially poignant as lots of our old school pals came from all over the world to be there. It was a magnificent day and an especially proud one for me as I watched all of my children walk Emer up the aisle," the blonde beauty said referrng to flower-girls Charlotte, Georgia, Darcy Rose and page boy Mark Jnr.

Nuala Carey, muse Tona O'Brien and Paddy Duffy turn out for Barry

It's always hot when Nuala is announcing the weather

The muse holds no appointments, Glen Hansard once said.  'You can never call on it. I don't understand people who get up at 9 o'clock in the morning, put on the coffee and  sit down to write.' I'm not sure what time she arrived or whether she had coffee beforehand,  but Tona O'Brien, long-time muse of Richard Lewis, was at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, last week, for the Dublin  International Piano Festival highlight concert - a solo piano recital by Barry Douglas.

She attended with her husband Eoin. Other attendees included James Kavanagh, brother of Conor McGregor's right hand man. Coach Kavanagh, also enjoyed the evening saying how "gorge" it was, as did Bertie's former right hand man, and long-time friend of the festival, Paddy Duffy.

Nuala Carey came along with her mother, Ann, always a breath of fresh air.

Nuala was, I'm told, in awe of Barry's performance as she studied piano as a teenager. Though lucky for us she gave up tinkling the ivories to devote herself to her role as our hottest weather girl.

Someone, quick, stop me before I leave the Sindo and join Met Eireann.

Belfast Baz's recital at the piano festival - now in its fourth year, and run by husband and wife piano duo, Dr Archie Chen and Rhona Gouldson - was also attended by Frank McNamara, with his son JJ, also a pianist.

Aoife and her BF celebrate in Santorini

Former Miss Ireland Aoife Walsh, below, celebrated a significant event  - calm down, a birthday not a wedding - last week with her significant other, solicitor Gary, in Santorini. My Deep Throat also told me that Love's Young Dream were in the Hamptons a couple of weeks ago. And why not?

Now: Aoife Walsh at the Pride of Ireland Awards

Love's Not So Young Dream, restaurateur Giorgio and wife Noreen Casari - who has just returned from a break in the aforesaid Hamptons with her girlfriends - are jetting off to Locarno in Italy next week. They will be joined by their daughter Sarah (who has flown in from Melbourne for this special family hols with son Max) , along with their sons Rudy and Daniel (and his wife Megan and their son Sam.) They will be staying with  Giorgio's 76-year old mother Giuse and his 86-year-old papa Nereo - "even at his age my dad still does the best barbecue for the family every summer." How many generations will be around the barbecue? "Oh, I am afraid to count!" laughs the boy Giorgio.

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