Wednesday 22 January 2020

Celia jets off to the sun ahead of her 70th bash

Susan O’Mara, Anita O’Donnell, Liz Mangan and Celia Holman Lee
Susan O’Mara, Anita O’Donnell, Liz Mangan and Celia Holman Lee
Maura Derrane with Daithí Ó Sé
Morgan Deane
Samantha Barry

"Wrinkles," Mark Twain once said, "should merely indicate where the smiles have been." The Limerick Fashion Leader herself Celia Holman Lee will continue to smile when she celebrates her 70th birthday in her home town next December with husband Ger and her many pals - Annette Rocca et al. (I was at Celia's 50th birthday party in Adare Manor and I will be at the 70th - and the 90th - too.)

Celia and Ger rang in the New Year at the aforesaid Adare Manor. "There was a fabulous Taittinger Champagne fountain on arrival," Celia told me, adding that she was joined by her beautiful VBFs, Liz Mangan, Susan O'Mara and Anita O'Donnell. "We had a wonderful night."

The wonder will continue in March, when Celia and Ger are jetting off to the Canaries for a bit of winter fun in the sun.

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I asked Celia what was her New Year's resolution.

"To write a book about my life and my career spanning 50 years in the fashion industry."

Celia and Ger got married on March 25, 1972 in the Cratloe Church in Co Clare, had their reception in the old Bunratty hotel before jetting off to Malaga on honeymoon. What will Ger be getting the Queen of Limerick for her 70th?

"What I really want is a sun holiday," answered Celia. But not just any sun holiday. She wants to go together with her five grandchildren - Alexander, Tommy, Ryan, Henry, Erika, her son Ivan, her daughter Cecile, her son-in-law Richard and her daughter-in-law Asta.

"That would be an amazing present in December before my big party in Limerick, because I am from the city and I wouldn't have it anywhere else. I don't want or need anything else."


Salad days for Daithi as he sheds  festive flab

Maura Derrane with Daithí Ó Sé

If RTE director general Dee Forbes is looking for budget cuts I might gently suggest she perhaps examine Daithi O Se's food allowance.

Only joking.

But the presenter (with Maura Derrane above) of the hugely popular Today on RTÉ One is now, if not twice the man he was, then a good fraction more.

"There is more of me to love," laughed the Kerry legend when we compared moobs last week. "I am afraid to look at the weighing scales."

Daithi's millions of female - and doubtless male - admirers needn't worry about their dreamboat's figure (or his figures on telly either).

"I have gone to the Lady Gregory gym in Gort since I came back from the Christmas break," he says.

"The gym doesn't know what's hit them - I had a good Christmas, I think you can say, but that has now stopped. My body is now a temple. I am going to the gym, out running at home in Galway, and am eating healthily."

This weekend, Daithi's beloved mother Kathleen is travelling from west Kerry to spend a few days with the RTE superstar, his gorgeous wife Rita and their son Micheal at their home in Galway.

"My mother likes to be pampered when she comes to our house - and that's exactly what we do," Daithi told me.

"It's great to see the loving relationship between her and Micheal... Micheal loves hearing stories of how my mom and dad met and so on. They're great buddies."


Morgan and Glen keep to the Script

Morgan Deane

They marked their engagement in Zozimus in Anne's Lane in Dublin last September.

So Derry Desmond - the son of dashingly old-school-moustachioed tycoon Dermot - and beautiful wife-to-be Ali McKeever were possibly on a wedding recce when they sojourned at the five-star Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados over Christmas. Their upcoming nuptials notwithstanding, the couple also fly to Canouan Island for another bit of Caribbean chill.

Still on matters matrimonial, beautiful PR girl Sarah Lacey and Dublin GAA deity Philly McMahon were on honeymoon in Bali. They wed just before Christmas in Kilkea Castle in Kildare.

Heir to the Magnier dynasty Tom Magnier was playing polo with Zara Phillips in a special event that was raising much-needed funds for the Australian bush fires at the Magic Millions Polo tournament on Queensland's Gold Coast.

Back in this neck of the woods, French supermodel Julia Restoin Roitfeld rang in the New Year in Dublin watching the wonderful Tim Wheeler of Ash play to the huge crowds on Dublin's keys. Tim and Julia were also spotted in his hometown of Downpatrick and in O'Donoghues in Dublin.

The stunning singer Morgan Deane was spotted on Christmas Day with her beloved The Script drummer Glen Power in Hayfield Manor in her native Cork.

Where else?


Kim K on alert as designers hit RDS

Samantha Barry

Your diarist flew to New York in November to observe the Irish take Manhattan. (I suppose we built New York, so why shouldn't we be the toast of it?)

In the Vinyl Room of Soho House on 9th Avenue, the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland - in association with Bank of Ireland - put on a fantastic reception which our own Samantha Barry hosted and was attended by fashion designer Don O'Neill and husband Pascal Guillermie among many others, like Perry Ogden.

On January 19, this time in Dublin, a host of Irish design gurus and designers (including Reuben Avenue - the Irish brand favoured by Kim Kardashian - Tipperary Crystal, Foxford and Colin Burke) will make their way to the RDS.

Other notables attending the trade-only event will include, I'm told, the Design & Crafts Council's Breege O'Donoghue, Brian McGee and Eddie Shanahan.

Where's Samantha? For further details on the event or to pre-register to attend, please visit

Sunday Independent

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