Friday 24 January 2020

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Brian Byrne and Kasey Jones. Photo: David Conachy

Navan's musical genius Brian Byrne and his American wife Kasey Jones staging first musical together 

Most people would be too daunted by the prospect of creating and staging a musical to even consider it, with all of the stressful logistics, myriad complications and financial risks involved. Others would balk at the prospect of embarking on a project like this with their romantic partner, but Golden Globe-nominated composer Brian Byrne, from Navan, and his Oklahoma-born wife Kasey Jones are...

Sinead and Will Dalton both work at Virgin Media Television. Photo: Tony Gavin

Sports presenter Will Dalton has just joined Virgin Media Television - but his little sister Sinead was there first 

The news that he had a new baby sister had a profound effect on Will Dalton. The six-year-old promptly burst into tears as he already had an older sister, Ciara, and was hoping to have a brother to play football with. Happily, new arrival Sinead was also sports-mad, so it wasn't a complete disaster. "Sinead used to follow me everywhere," he recalls, "but we always got on very well.

Photographer Peter Gordon is married to designer Daki Rezic. Photo: Mark Condren

Designing a creative life together 

Daki Rezic (39) met Peter Gordon (37) in 2002 in a bar on Thomas Street, and teased him that he wouldn't remember her name in five minutes. Perhaps because her real name is Zdravka, he lost the bet and the forfeit was that he bought her a White Russian drink. "I liked her smile and dark skin and hair and thought she was gorgeous," he says. "I was gobsmacked when I first saw her. She seemed to think I was funny and laughed at my jokes, although most people don't."

Mark Golden and Mark Johnston own The Beara Coast Hotel. Photo: Dave Conachy

Making their mark in life and love 

There was no big proposal when Mark Golden and Mark Johnston decided to get married, because they always knew they were heading in that direction. They were married in Castletownbere in November 2016, and naturally held the reception at their own hotel, The Beara Coast Hotel, surrounded by 180 guests. When they arrived back after the ceremony, they were really touched that their staff had lined up outside to greet them, dressed all in black with white bow-ties, which was a complete surprise.

Altona Myers admits she can't cook and that Ross Tracy is the chef of the household. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Dr Altona Myers refused to give Ross Tracy her number in Krystle - now they're in business together and expecting a baby 

Sometimes it pays to stand out from the crowd, as Dr Altona Myers, a dentist and cosmetic facial aesthetician, discovered when she met her husband, Ross Tracy, five years ago in Krystal nightclub. Both were at their respective work Christmas parties, and Ross noticed Altona as she was wearing leather trousers and had a baseball hat on backwards, which he found refreshing in a sea of...

Amanda Vencatasamy and Joe Hayden started Hey Bulldog! Design in 2015. Photo: David Conachy

'We're all about colour and playfulness' - Couple who share their love of colour with playful, sustainable homewares 

As a Londoner over in Dublin for a girlie weekend, Amanda Vencatasamy's introduction to Ireland was a dramatic one. She met her husband-to-be, Joe Hayden, the first evening and had her bag stolen on the second night. Passport, money, cards - the lot. However, she was impressed at Joe's calm, reassuring manner and helpfulness in dealing with the situation, which put her at ease and scored...

David O'Halloran and Martin Buckley own The Lifeboat Inn in Courtmacsherry. Photo: Steve Humphreys

'We left stress behind in Dublin, now we just laugh' - Pair who moved to small village to open dream restaurant 

David O'Halloran and his husband Martin Buckley enjoyed getting married so much, they went and did it twice. The first time was just by themselves, while they were on a wine appreciation trip to Napa Valley in California. The reason behind getting married abroad was that they wanted full marriage rights, not thinking marriage equality would come here, but their families were disappointed they...

Former Beatle Pete Best. Photo: Damien Eagers

'There was a bit of heartbreak because of what could have been' - Pete Best on being sacked from The Beatles 

Losing a job you love is a challenge at any time, but losing a high-profile place in the biggest band in the world just as they were on the verge of mega-stardom has to be a particularly savage blow. This happened to Pete Best, who was sacked from The Beatles after two years in 1962. While it was devastating to the then 21-year-old man, Pete speaks without bitterness about the experience.

Roisin (left) and Cliona Maher are both involved in the ‘Finding a Voice’ festival. Photo: Tony Gavin

Sisters are doing it for themselves 

When Roisin and Cliona Maher were children, they loved pretending they were Mary and Laura Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie. They took it too far one day and burned a patch of the bedroom carpet with candles - well, Walnut Grove didn't have electricity in the 1870s. Although they did their best to disguise it, their younger sister Derbhile, aka Carrie Ingalls, let slip to their dad that they had a secret. He soon wheedled it out of her and the jig was royally up.

Actors Peter Daly and Lauren Larkin were married in December. Photo: Frank McGrath

Some things in this life just really do add up 

One of the things Peter Daly loved most about Lauren Larkin from the very beginning is that she is so sure of her own mind and doesn't take no for an answer. "It also infuriates me at times, because there are limited possibilities around some things in this world and it can't always go her way," he says, gazing fondly at his wife of 10 weeks. "I love it way more than it annoys me though, and it makes me realise that maybe my own imagination is a bit limited."

Brian and Catriona Flaherty run What's For Pudding. Photo: Steve Humphreys

The proof of true love is in the pudding 

We have a theologian working in our kitchen," Brian Flaherty announces proudly, referring to his wife of 41 years, Catriona. And, indeed, Catriona (64) is some dynamo of energy, as apart from founding and running the dessert production company, What's for Pudding, in 2013, and raising four children, she went to Maynooth University as a mature student in her 40s to pursue a degree in maths and theology, and received a degree. She followed this up with a master's degree in theology.

Johnny Ward and Rachel Tracey are appearing in 'Rapunzel' at the Gaiety Theatre. Photo: Steven Humphreys

Johnny and Rachel: Oh yes they did 

Dating a well-known baddie can be tricky, even if he's only playing the part, as Rachel Tracey knows all too well. When she's out and about with boyfriend Johnny Ward, fans of RTE drama Love/Hate are always thrilled to encounter the gangster Pauley, whose dramatic demise came about when his lover Siobhan pushed him off her balcony to his death. Meanwhile Fair City aficionados are equally keen for a selfie with psychopathic Ciaran Holloway, who kept Katy captive for over a year in a storyline that gripped the nation this year.

Cecily Strong and Saoirse Ronan on Saturday Night Live

Andrea Smith: 'Some of us are deeply disappointed at one of our own brightest stars reinforcing stereotypes that are outdated and insulting' 

In the 18th Century, Edmund Burke famously wrote that, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Fast forward three centuries and I’m borrowing the essence of that sentiment to say, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of casual racism and distasteful disloyalty is for good people to do nothing.” Saoirse Ronan, I’m looking at you.

Sisters Sophie Cafolla and Vicky O'Dwyer have just launched The Stork Box. Photo: David Conachy

Look what the stork brought - a service for expectant parents 

Vicky O'Dwyer may be an obstetrician at Holles Street, but she was still fazed when she went to give her own newborn son, Paddy, a bath. She enlisted the help of her sister Sophie, but alas for poor little Paddy, she wasn't much more clued-in. "We put water and suds in a tub and plopped him in," Sophie recalls. "He started screaming crying and we realised that the water was freezing cold. We totally messed it up, but it was hilarious."