Tuesday 19 March 2019

Leo's ready to welcome Matt back from America

Matt and Leo are reunited again after 12 months apart, but Leo won't spill the beans on the 'private stuff' about their relationship
Matt and Leo are reunited again after 12 months apart, but Leo won't spill the beans on the 'private stuff' about their relationship
RTE footie analyst Eamon Dunphy enjoyed an evening in House
The happy couple. Photo: Emmet O'Malley
Rosanna Davison
Actress Cathy Belton looked stunning in her long flowing wedding dress when she said 'I do' to her legal eagle beau Brian Roe in Languedoc in the south of France. Photo: Emmet O'Malley
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

Football's not coming home. But An Taoiseach's other half Dr Matt Barrett is. "He's home [from his job in America] next week," Leo told me. (Who else is he going to tell? Some stone-faced drip of a pol corr?) Your diarist then asked the youngest An T ever, will he and Matt be moving in together? Will Matt be accompanying An T to events? "I will pass on that. Private stuff. You can say that I am just glad to have him back. In some ways the year apart was OK as it allowed me to focus on the new job but I am looking forward now to having someone to confide in again." (I thought that was my job, Leo.)

A clue to Leo's views on him and Matt going to State events was perhaps revealed in May of 2017 in an interview by the Fine Gael leader with his favourite journalist - me, sillies! - where he explained: "First of all, we're not married. We've only been going out for two years, and, secondly, while that has been the tradition in politics, it doesn't necessarily have to be. Take Angela Merkel. She is on her third term at the moment. She has been chancellor for nearly 15 years. She has a husband [Joachim Sauer] but he has a job. He has only ever attended one occasion with her because he has his own career.

"I think that would be part of the generational shift in politics, because traditionally you had a male leader, a wife who had given up her job. We are now moving into an era across the world where men and couples have their own careers."

Leo said that he and Matt rendezvous-ed recently at the U2 concert at Madison Square Gardens in New York. "He flew in from Chicago for the evening. It was a great way to catch up," said Leo, adding that his favourite U2 songs are Pride, One ("especially the Mary J. Blige duet version") and With or Without You. (A question Matt may well be asking his partner, but I digress.) Is Matt a better singer than Leo, who has been known to sing Rainy Night In Soho at house parties (as opposed to political parties)? "Neither of us are great singers."

It was a Sunny Afternoon In Government Buildings when Leo caught up with a certain two royals last week. He told me that Prince Harry was "sound. Very normal. Nice suit"; while Meghan was "charming". Doubtless from next week onwards, L & M - that's Leo and Matt - will be just as charming.


Eamon doesn't put dampers on champers in House

Your diarist was in London last week. The whole city appeared alive with our spirited friends from across the water bursting, beautifully, with great expectations. So I feel for them now that their dream - and ours, if we are to be truly honest, as many of us are fans of either Man U or City, Liverpool, Chelsea or Spurs - of a World Cup Final, or even a Cup, is dead.       

Football, sadly, mightn't be coming home but the Champagne for the pundits is. RTE's most illustrious footie analysts Eamon Dunphy and Dietmar Hamann shared a bottle of Dom Perignon in House last Thursday and Friday week.

Not the same bottle of Dom Pee, I hope you understand.

I don't want to put the dampers on the champers but the dynamic duo, who are regulars in House and two of the more erudite football brains on our national station, are exuberant enough to have brought a certain je ne sais quoi to the VIP establishment on Leeson Street, anyway.

Least, the Eamon I know and love over the years, certainly is.

And no, before you ask, he didn't sing. The golden days when Duchess Dunphy could be counted on to burst into song after song at the piano in the upstairs lounge of Lillie's nightclub like a Drumcondra Marilyn Monroe after one too many vinos are sadly a thing of the past.

You perhaps haven't fully lived unless you've had Duchess Dunphy sing to you across a crowded room when the Champagne bubbles got up his nose.


Cathy come home? From France, a wife


Jimmy Fallon joked that it came out in the news that Donald Trump was once a producer of a Broadway show. It was a revival of Les Miserables called The French Are Losers. In truth, the French were winners last weekend  when they got to see the wedding dress of the year made by the hands of our own Peter O'Brien and worn by the beautiful bride Cathy Belton.

It all happened when the top Irish actress - who is starring in the new series of Red Rock on BBC and TV3 - married legal eagle Brian Roe in a 14th Century church in a village in rural Languedoc with their respective families from Co Galway and Co Meath in attendance.

Close friend of the bride and groom, designer extraordinaire Peter O'Brien, who designed the pearl-coloured silk mousseline wedding dress, joined the other 160 guests for the wedding beano in a tres magnifique local chateau which went on late into the night. The ceremony was celebrated by Fr Dermod McCarthy and there was music from close friend Kevin Doherty, with Cathy given away by her mother Anna.

The happy couple. Photo: Emmet O'Malley

"Never in our wildest dreams could we have anticipated the joy and love we experienced on our special day. Truly the happiest day of our lives, with beloved family and friends in a special place we love," the beautiful bride told me, adding that she and Brian are honeymooning in the Cote d'Azur. Once back, it is all go for Cathy (and I dare say Brian won't be sitting around scratching his derriere either).

"I head off to the Edinburgh Theatre Festival in August in an amazing new play, written and directed by Mark O'Rowe [writer of Intermission and Howie the Rookie], starring myself, Aisling O'Sullivan and Derbhle Crotty, who were all at our wedding, as was Mark. It was a huge success in Dublin earlier this year."

Not being a dedicated luvvie myself, despite the huge success I had to ask her the title.

"The Approach, produced by Landmark Productions' Anne Clarke!" she told me.

We can only hope Cathy and Brian continue in their landmark approach to great weddings and, indeed, great marriages.


Rosie the raver at Longitude in Marlay Park

Rosanna Davison

Some of you - not I - might think Rosanna Davison and Wesley Quirke live on Mars, or thereabouts. Their detractors have got it wrong. They don't live on Mars; they go to Bruno Mars concerts.

They were at the latter's sold-out show at Marlay Park in Dublin last Thursday. "Bruno put on an energetic show. Great atmosphere," Chris de Burgh's daughter (right) told me. "We loved the concert, and the fireworks were incredible too."

They were also larking in the park yesterday at the Longitude Festival.

Rosie the raver, anyone?

"Haha! We hardly go out. So this is unusual for us," laughed the former Miss World.

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