Thursday 15 November 2018

The Edge: Yes, Leo has his cake and eats it

Party policy: Leo Varadkar, Heather Humphreys, Eamon Farrell, Averil Power and Steven Mannion at the party hosted by Eamon and Steven
Party policy: Leo Varadkar, Heather Humphreys, Eamon Farrell, Averil Power and Steven Mannion at the party hosted by Eamon and Steven
John Crown with his new baby
Island break: Sallyanne and Derry Clarke
Model moments: Roz Purcell spent time working in Pat and Karl Henry's fitness centre
Dublin trip: Star Richard E Grant

Leo Varadkar for future Taoiseach? He is clearly a man who does what he says he will.

Personally invited by the hosts, Leo turned up at Eamon Farrell - brother of Colin - and his artist husband Steven Mannion's after-party for Marriage Equality last weekend in the Sober Lane restaurant on Dublin's Irishtown Road.

The Minister for Health even enjoyed a slice of the multi-coloured Yes For Equality cake. This cake was also enjoyed by Rory O'Neill (aka Panti), Mary Murray (aka Janet of Love/Hate), to say nothing of Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys and Senator Averil Power.

"The Yes For Equality cake was yummy, which really is the best cake you could ever taste," uber-host Eamon told me, adding that, "Leo arrived into the bar but didn't drink as he was on The Week In Politics on RTE the next day."

Other ab fab guests at the Marriage Equality bash - which started earlier at Eamon and Steven's house in Sandymount - included blonde beauty Eileen Wright, TV presenter and Mr World 2010 Kamal Ibrahim, celebrity chef, Andrew Rudd, film director Lance Daly and one of Ireland's top male models, Sam Homan.

The party then returned from whence it started at 7.30pm on the Saturday - back to Eamon and Steven's gaff. "It was late."

Asked who went back to his house for the after-after-party, Eamon laughed: "I don't actually know, I went to bed!! Just mates!"

Baby James is the jewel in the crown for John and Orla

Time, they say, is generally the best doctor. Actually, one of the best doctors is,  perhaps,  none other than John Crown, who has a profound understanding of time too.

At 2.15pm last Tuesday, his beloved other half Orla Murray gave birth to their son James in Holles Street, delivered by another good doctor, Dr Peter McPartland.

How do I know this?

Because at 5.50pm on Tuesday, the Irish Senator and leading oncologist Professor Crown texted yours truly a picture of himself proudly holding the new baby - which I have reproduced for your elucidation.

So, it's official. The Irish economy is back and people are having babies again. The more bundles of joy in the Irish nation, the better, say I. I love the smell of napalm, sorry ... I mean nappies ... in the morning.

"I'm incredibly happy and very grateful to my beautiful wife Orla for our sweet baby James," the good Dr Crown told your diarist.

"Babies are always good news but this one is great news."

John and Orla are no strangers to great news, of course. . .

They got married in New York last August, having met in October 2013 in the Seanad (where Orla is secretary to the leader of the Seanad) and went on their first date at the 4th annual Brighter Future Ball, which John hosted, in the Mansion House on November 2.

The diagnosis was love and the prognosis excellent. They went on their honeymoon last August to the Cote d'Azur, a special place for the loved-up couple.

It was in Nice over the Saint Patrick's weekend that John asked Orla to be his wife.

The following night, to put the icing on the romantic cake, they attended Prince Albert's ball at the royal palace.

No doubt it will only be a matter of time before Orla and Dr Crown bring young King James to meet the Prince in Monaco.

L'Ecrivain celebration for Dougal

What would Father Dougal have said? (Maybe  something along the lines of "Sorry Ted. I was concentrating too hard on looking holy when the Michelin starred grub came out.")

Ardal O'Hanlon - for it was he - was dining a deux in L'Ecrivain last week with his wife Melanie.

Celebrating would be a better word, as the comic legend from Carrickmacross was helping his lovely wife mark her birthday with dinner in the Michelin-starred restaurant on Lower Baggot Street in Dublin. And yes, before you ask, there was a small birthday cake at the end of the meal.

The two proprietors of L'Ecrivain, Derry and Sallyanne Clarke have just returned from a week in Fuerteventura where they enjoyed a bit of rest and recuperation. Or at least it was for stunning Sallyanne.

"While I soaked up the sunshine," she told me, "darling Derry was cycling every day as he is in training for a couple of charity racers: Dublin to Galway in June and then the Ring of Kerry in July; both for Console. The motorists here were so considerate of the cyclists on the road - not like at home!" Sallyanne added.

Pope spotted on Leeson St

The Pope was on Leeson Street last weekend. That is, Brent Pope - who, for me, has perhaps more spiritual influence than the actual Pope.

The charming RTE rugby guru was in House on the Saturday, as he frequently is. The vibrant, even gregarious, Kiwi was in the garden/glasshouse area of the club until closing time.

Speaking of a Viking of a man, Alexander Ludwig, who is in Ireland to film Vikings, was also in House, albeit on the Friday night. The actor, best known for The Hunger Games, arrived in House at approx 1am with a group of 10 - fellow thespians and some very beautiful models - said my source on Leeson Street.

While we're on the subject of beautiful models, Karen O'Reilly was spotted working out in the Pat and Karl Henry Fitness Centre on Pembroke Street last week. Once upon a time, Karen was Ireland's foremost model by a country mile. She married ultra-cool business man Shane Reihill and lived happily ever after. "She was looking as amazing as she used to years ago. She was over from London with her husband," Pat told me.

"She did my Hollywood Legs: A Six Week Programme, the Secrets of the Stars book for me in 1998 and she looks as great now. In fact, it was ironic that on the day Karen was working out, Roz Purcell was also working out. So you had the woman who was once Ireland's top model - and the woman who is now Ireland's top model," Pat said, adding with a characteristic smile that he and his wonderful wife Marie's venture in Castlefreke, West Cork, Henry's Boutique Destination, has just won a prestigious TripAdvisor award.

Richard E Grant gets all gloved-up with Paula

It was a luvvie love-in on Thursday afternoon in The Hot Stove Restaurant on Parnell Square West in Dublin 

But then, isn't it always?

Ireland's luvvie-in-Chief Michael Colgan was having lunch with director Patrick Mason.

Naturally, I was also in the restaurant where I saw them raise a glass to William Shakespeare's anniversary. Colgan has the Bard's Romeo and Juliet at the Gate, which has only three weeks left to run.

Colgan also raised a glass to his mate Michael Gambon's son Will, whose birthday it was on Thursday too. Colgan is actually godfather to Will, he explained, before adding apropos of the slightly more famous Will: "Next year on the same day, we're planning a commemorative production of one of Shakespeare's plays to coincide with the 400th anniversary of his death,"

And so from luvvies to glovies . . .

Irish glove-maker to the stars Paula Rowan tells me that superstar Richard E Grant - who was over in Dublin to do the Late Late Show last Friday and to meet his VBF Paula - is doing a collaboration with her that will hit the shops in both London and Dublin in September.

"We met last year in London and we talked about this project," she told me. "So I am designing gloves- which are quite theatrical - for men and women to go with Richard's new scent. It is all very exciting."

Spoken like a true glovie, don't you think?

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