Sunday 17 February 2019

Sean and next generation of Mulryans take London

Sean Mulryan and daughter Linda scooped top awards. Photo: Tony Gavin
Sean Mulryan and daughter Linda scooped top awards. Photo: Tony Gavin
Lorraine Keane. Photo: Anthony Woods
Norah Casey.
Artist Liam O'Neill and Mandy Williams at the official launch of the Oriel Gallery’s anniversary exhibition in Dublin
Tatiana Ouliankina... tickets to 'Marbella and Moscow'
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

Last Tuesday the brave and the bold of the property world gathered at Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, London, for the prestigious 2018 Property Awards, the Oscars of the industry, or so they told me.

Ireland's - and mine - favourite property developer, Sean Mulryan and his Ballymore Group, were among the winners on the night, scooping two top awards: Developer of the Year and Placemaking Award for their London City Island development. With the London Film School and English National Ballet joining Trinity Art Gallery in the new development, London City Island is fast becoming the most culturally vibrant new neighbourhood in the capital. You heard it here first!

The property boom is certainly back with a bang, but great to see that Ballymore remains 100pc under the control of the Mulryan family. The next generation of Mulryans were on hand to accept the silverware in London, with Sean's daughter Linda and sons Robert and John all playing key roles in the business.

Looks like the apples haven't fallen far from the tree.

Keano and the first of the summer wine at Merrion

They say true strength is the capacity to break a dark chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands; and then eat just one of the pieces. That becomes doubly difficult with wine. Somehow, we coped last Wednesday night at the Merrion Hotel. Lorraine Keane (right) was at the Merrion for the exclusive Green & Black's dark chocolate wine pairing. Keano has made a new career out of being one of the nicest girls of that era of telly cailini who moved beyond the cathode ray into something new.

Stop me, I'm waffling, I know. The choccy brand's taste expert Brandt Maybury guided guests through four perfect pairings of the Velvet Edition dark chocolate range coupled with  - gulp - vino. One of the guests, model Aoife Walsh, is back in Ireland before she heads home to New York where she lives with her boyfriend Gary.

Norah goes for an Indian - a trip to Delhi, that is

Norah Casey.

Who's sari now? Well, Norah Casey is, in a manner of speaking.

The incomparable Irish entrepreneur jetted to India last Friday.

Before she left, I asked her who she was flying with.

"On my own," she answered.

I meant which airline, but thanks anyway, Norah.

"Etihad!" she laughed.

"This is my first time in India which is going to be amazing for me given my own Indian roots," Norah said, referring to the fact that her great-grandmother Elizabeth Meeroe was born in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in the 1800s.

"The Sunday Independent's LIFE magazine did that nice Indian shoot with me in a sari for the Bollywood breast cancer dance," she added, referring to the dance she did for Strictly Against Breast Cancer at the Convention Centre in Dublin to support Breast Cancer Ireland's pioneering research programmes.

Norah will receive a Women of the Decade in Print and Media award this Thursday at the Women's Economic Forum in beautiful Delhi.

"It's an annual event of 2,000 women from around the world and I'm also speaking at the event," she said.

Unsurprisingly, Norah was as filled with pride that her beloved teenage son Dara was "doing great - he has just finished his first year at UCD and loves it".

Let them eat cake, says Mandy of art grandees

Artist Liam O'Neill and Mandy Williams at the official launch of the Oriel Gallery’s anniversary exhibition in Dublin

You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old. I turned 50 recently but my bash will be in the ha'penny place compared with the Oriel Gallery's do on May 10. 

Mark Nulty (son of Oriel founder Oliver Nulty) and his lovely wife Mandy Williams have invited the beau monde - and me - to their soiree on Clare Street.

The grandees on the night will include painter Anthony Murphy (who was married to Lady Sophia Cavendish, the Duke of Devonshire's daughter); Desmond and Penny Guinness, of Leixlip Castle; Princess Frances Colonna di Stigliano, from Wicklow; artist Harry Durdin Robertson, who grew up in Huntington Castle; Brian Curley and La'Verne Gibbons, from Squire's Wood House in Tullamore; and - it is a big and - former president Mary Robinson.

As well as Her Poloness, other luminaries expected include the photographer Perry Ogden; Minister Josepha Madigan; Derry and Sallyanne Clarke, from L'Ecrivain; Dr Rhona Mahony, the Master of Holles Street; Riverdance accountant David Orr and his wife Simone; and - another big and - the great Joe Duffy of RTE.

My Deep Throat in the art world tells me that there could be a smattering of Smurfits in attendance as the late Jeff Smurfit Junior was Mandy's godfather. While Mandy herself told me: "It'll be a night of Champagne and cake.

"We just have to have a cake as Mark is also 50 this year."

The beautiful alumnus of Alexandra College added that she was truly delighted that Mary Ann O'Brien, the founder of Lily O'Brien and the Jack and Jill Children's Foundation, will open the eagerly-awaited anniversary exhibition, which will include five Paul Henrys and five Jack B Yeats.

So, to recap, age is not important unless you're a cheese. Or an art gallery. Someone please shoot me before I turn into a jumped-up grandee myself.

Tatiana heads to Spain to contemplate US offers

The Moscow Flier has had to slow down. No, Tatiana Ouliankina, formerly Lana Borodin in RTE soap Fair City, hasn't given herself a dose of gout from too much fine Russian caviar.

The blonde beauty, based in Dublin, has "an offer, a few roles, in a few productions", from a theatre in Baltimore in America, which starts in September.

"I will go to Spain to decide, to think about it," she said.

As you do.

What is slowing the Moscow Flier even more is that her 18-year-old son Johnny is doing his Leaving Cert. I'm sure Johnny will Putin a good show in his exams.

"So I have to stay here [Dublin] until July," Tats told me. "Then I will go to Moscow and Espana to decide."

I'm sure Chekov or Tolstoy or even Solzhenitsyn had a phrase for Tatiana's inner yearning.

Not so much, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich as One Day in the Life of Tatiana Ouliankina: Marbella, Moscow, Baltimore...

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