Eurovision 2019 second semi-final as it happened - Ireland fail to make the final in Tel Aviv
Eighteen entries must be whittled down to 10 to proceed to Saturday's Eurovision Grand Final at the Expo in Tel Aviv. Will Ireland's Sarah McTernan...
Eighteen entries must be whittled down to 10 to proceed to Saturday's Eurovision Grand Final at the Expo in Tel Aviv. Will Ireland's Sarah McTernan...
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...
The Diver sisters live, work and tour together for most of the year in the US, but they still hang around together when they're at home. Happily they really like one another as people, and are so in tune, they finish each other's sentences.
Jade Cox says that she and her younger brothers consider their mum Aileen to be a superhero. The delightful 17-year-old is also a huge fan of cookbook author Aileen's food, and is a willing guinea pig when new recipes are being trialled. "My mum has always been my best friend," she says. "I can...
By their own admission, Cairenn Foy and Paddy Smyth had a bit of a tempestuous relationship in the early days, resulting in them having an on/off romance for a few years. "We broke up more than Ross and Rachel from Friends," Cairenn laughs, "but we always ended up getting back...
Most of us like the idea of helping people in developing or war-torn countries, but very few of us put our money where our mouth is in a serious manner. Two Dublin brothers have done exactly that, however, by setting up a charitable foundation and actually working on the front line to help people in need.
Karla Tracey's mum Norma married at 19 as did her grandmother Audrey, and while she's that age herself now and has been dating boyfriend Gary for three years, the pretty young soprano insists that there's no way she intends to make it a hat-trick.
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.
Emily Hourican and Andrea Smith have some recommendations to help you on your way.
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."
Maria Kidney and her husband Martin Ballantyne had not one, but two wedding ceremonies on different sides of the world in 2003. The first took place in Gougane Barra in Cork as Maria's late dad Bill loved it there. The second occurred while they were on honeymoon in Kenya, and the locals surprised...
Fiona Heaney met Don Gormley on a summer night in their hometown of Omagh in 1990. He was 20 and she pretended to be 18 as she was only 16 and shouldn't even have been out in the first place.
Having her daughter Isabelle almost four years after her son Jonathan was born, was "the icing on the cake" for radio boss, Margaret Nelson.
Alan Keville says that while he always felt his wife Alex Reid was the "girl of my dreams", the litmus test came when she rowed in with unwavering support when the hair salon they opened in Dublin during the recession struggled to thrive.
Elaine McKeown has been strong and independent from an early age. Her independence was such that her dad Kieran recalls her burning her hand on a hot oven when she was only four, and running...
Jazmin Chiodi and her partner Alexandre Iseli feel they embody the spirit of their home countries in many ways. Argentina-born Jazmin is passionate, fun and fiery and fizzing with ideas that wake her up at 4am. By contrast, Swiss Alex is deep, thoughtful, cool and rational, and while she is the one who drives their dance projects and connects the people and ideas, he shapes them and handles the paperwork.
Nessa Cronin and Dino Vidan couldn't exactly be accused of rushing into marriage, as they tied the knot in December 2015, 20 years to the day after they first met. "We were both very sure we didn't want a traditional Irish wedding," says Nessa (43). "It's impossible to have a small wedding without insulting people, so we only told our two best friends, Shane and Colette, and brought them with us."
They first met back in 1989 when they were involved in a production of The Pyjama Girl for St Michael's Past Pupils Dramatic Society, but Paul and Alva O'Loughlin Kennedy were initially intimidated by each other. Alva, then 19, wasn't a past pupil but had been drafted into the production by a college friend, Joanne. She told her to pass on greetings to "Little Locky", as Paul, then 21, was known.
After busking and living in a London squat for years, Eddi Reader's life changed when she hit the limelight in 1988 with the group Fairground Attraction. They enjoyed huge chart success with their debut number one single, Perfect, and their album, The First of a Million Kisses, was the only album released by the band before their break-up in 1990 and it also topped the charts.
Brendan and Lisa Rossiter have been together for almost 28 years, and they say that they're so in sync with one another, their three daughters find it hard to know where one ends and the other begins. They first met at college in the late 1980s, and while Brendan fell for Lisa's wild streak, his "country boy charm" clinched it for her.
Peter Robbins is desperately proud of his son Will, and he has every right to be as he's a very special young man. After all, there are very few teenagers who have founded a not-for-profit clothing enterprise to raise funds to build a school in Zambia. "Will has exceptional vision and grit," says Peter (54). "I think there must have been a mix-up in the maternity ward and he was actually the love-child of Elon Musk and Sheryl Sandberg, but I'll hold on to him, with great pride, until they come looking for him back."
She may be only 21, but Laura Marshall has already brought about change in her dad David's salon. While he is hugely talented, slightly eccentric and a real character, you can see that the 67-year-old tour de force is putty in his lovely daughter's hands.
'If you had told me 10 years ago that myself and George McMahon would end up together, I would have laughed at you," says dancer Rachel Smyth. Smiling at George, who is holding their adorable baby daughter, Frankie, Rachel explains that they're engaged and plan to marry in Nerja, Spain, next August.
Growing up on the banks of the Danube in Bratislava, Vladimir and Anton Jablokov were full of musical talent, adrenaline and mischief. Luckily, with six children to contend with, their mum was the epitome of cool in the face of their antics. So when the local police came knocking to report the brothers playing on the roof of their three-storey house, having climbed up a shaky ladder to get there, it didn't take a feather out of her. "Mom's answer was, 'Really? We also used to do that as kids'," laughs Vladimir. "'That's so cool'. The shocked policeman said, 'Madam, we don't think it's...
As twins, Lisa and Tahnee Morgan have a hugely intuitive connection, which dates back to when they were young women in Louth. "I'd pick up my phone because I'd just know that Tahnee is going to ring me, or would discover we've bought the same dress," says Lisa. "Tahnee could be away and I'd say, 'I know there's something wrong with her - I can feel it'."
Maud and Sam Black met in their 20s in 2001 while they were travelling in Australia with their respective best friends. Maud and three of her fellow nurse pals moved into a backpacker house in Sydney that slept 14 people, and she hit it off with Sam immediately, although he was due to leave to continue travelling three days later. "I tried to kiss her and she wasn't having any of it, and it kind of reeled me in," he recalls.
Renowned pianist Veronica McSwiney has always been a role model for her youngest daughter, violinist Aisling O'Dea, and they have a very close personal bond that allows for a bit of teasing. "Aisling always says that she was my mistake, because I had my boy and girl and then she came along five years later," Veronica laughs.
We all know that social media has an ugly side, but seeing #ArianaKilledMac trending on Twitter and Instagram yesterday was a particularly shocking moment.
As a drama student, Clare Monnelly was somewhat in awe of Aaron Monaghan, having seen him on stage in various Abbey and Druid productions. When she actually met him in 2011, she was taken by how grounded he was and lacking in ego. "Aaron is a phenomenal actor, but he wasn't cocky and didn't walk around with the swagger that some actors have," she says. "He was an incredibly hardworking, humble guy, who just happened to be a total ride."
When Brian Mitchell met Christiane O'Mahony in 2013, he quickly learned that harpists don't like other people touching their instruments. Nonetheless, he managed to touch her heart when he helped her to bring her instruments in to the Everyman theatre in Cork, where she had a six-week role as a harpist/actor in the opera Orpheus.
It didn't come as a huge surprise to Laois solicitor Tom O'Grady that his daughter Emma grew up to become an actor and playwright. "I knew very early on that she'd be some sort of wordsmith," he says.
The Waterford Rose, Kirsten Mate Maher, has been crowned the 2018 Rose of Tralee. Follow all the live action from the final night of the annual festival in Kerry.
It's the first of the two-night televised extravaganza that is the annual Rose of Tralee International Festival final and Andrea Smith is here to guide you through each and every delicious moment as Daithi O Se hosts the show or RTE One from the festival dome down in Tralee and we meet the first 16 talented hopefuls from 8pm. Enjoy!
As MD of the Dolphin Music Group, Paul O'Reilly has provided the charts with countless Irish, folk and country music hits over the years.
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.
Three years ago, Aisling Kerr was driving home from the month's mind Mass for her late dad Matt, when she turned quietly to her photographer husband Colm and said: "Family is everything, really, isn't it." Colm knew exactly what she meant, as in that simple sentiment lay the hopes and dreams they had buried years earlier of having children.
By her own admission, Sharon Keegan always had a bit of an eye for the 'bad boys', but when she met Sean Hendrick - decent, kind and supportive - she realised what she had been missing all along.
Does anything feel quite as long as a badly-planned summer?
As CEO and owner of a childcare company that caters for over 1,200 children, Karen Clince is a very driven and accomplished businesswoman, who attributes part of her success to coming from a line of strong women. Chief among these is her mum, Mary Fitzpatrick, who effectively raised her three children as a single mum following the breakdown of her marriage.
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...
'I've seen Paul play for 20,000 people at Madison Square Garden, in the RDS with Michael Flatley's Celtic Tiger show, and win Eurovision in front of millions. I've also seen him play for 20 people, and he puts just as much effort in as for the big gigs. If anything, he underestimates how good he is, and I'm a great admirer of his craft."
The ultra-cool Anthony Brabazon devised a good strategy every time his girlfriend Fionnuala Aston broke up with him when they first started dating back in 2000. He would calmly suggest that they meet up the following week for a walk as they are very much outdoor types -and boom, they'd be back together.
Evelyn Grant met Gerry Kelly in 1970, and the first thing that struck her was his "awful lime green shirt". "He has hideous taste in clothes," she laughs. "After we married, his grandmother said, 'Would you not lay out his clothes for him, Evelyn?' but I knew he was a lost cause."
Hot chef Adrian Martin (26) says people regularly assume his dad John is his brother. Naturally John (54) is happy to accept the compliment. Adrian, known as Chef Adrian, has really made a name for himself in recent years, but says that his dad has been an amazing support in helping him to bring his considerable energy and passion for food to the public arena.
Olive Kapil says her husband Arun brings a 'touch of madness' to their 14-year relationship, but she wouldn't have it any other way. She's the calming foil to his wildly enthusiastic effervescence, and the contrast between them is marked. Luckily, it's a match made in Heaven. "We really adore each other," she says.
The French village of Mougins is not quite as showy as its glitzy neighbour Cannes, but its charms have stolen the hearts of New York-based Irish couple, Angela Frawley and Rob Mahon. So much so that Rob proposed to Angela there last summer as they threw coins into its fountain and made a wish. They will be married in Mougins this August, with 150 of their friends and family descending on the village.
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...
Everybody loves a good wedding and a star-studded, royal one holds a particular lure around the world, but eyebrows were raised here at the decision by RTÉ to provide live coverage and analysis of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.
It was the untimely death of their mum Dolores that was the catalyst for Lisa Grainger and Susan-Jane Corbett's decision to leave their successful careers behind and open a boutique in Cork.
Ireland has made it to the final of Eurovision for the first time in five years and we're in with a real chance of bringing home the prize so don your sequins, grab your tricolour, and settle in for all the action as it happens from Lisbon, courtesy of Andrea Smith...
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...
Susan Zelouf met her husband Michael Bell in 1990 when he was in Italy on business, and she was singing at the Cafe de Paris piano bar in Rome. "I thought she was beautiful and I fell in love," he says. He bought her a glass of Champagne, and she responded to his request for a "happy ballad", by singing Embraceable You.
Dave Rudden and Sarah Davis-Goff met at the Hennessy Awards in 2015, because he was up against an author she publishes. Sarah's author, Sarah Baume, scooped the prize, but happily there are no hard feelings there. "I was nervous because everyone was extremely fancy and it was all about high literature," says Dave. "People asked what I did and most of them shut off and weren't...
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.
His death at 62 broke their hearts, but the late Christie Hennessy's children will take to the road in June to perform a series of Irish concerts in his honour. It has taken Hermione, Amber and Tim over a decade to gather the strength to pay tribute to their much-missed dad, who passed away in December 2007.
This time four years ago Tom Doyle became a grandfather for the first time, which he says has been a brilliant experience. It's just as well he likes it as he has now acquired seven grandchildren in four years, courtesy of his three children, Anna, Patrick and Elizabeth, and there's another on the way. To complete his crash course in dealing with toddlers, two now live with him in the family home in Wexford.
When Ellen Christie was growing up in Hong Kong, she could scarcely have imagined that she would one day marry an Irish farmer and live in the grounds of his family's ancient castle. But that's exactly what happened, which is how Ellen (34) found herself packing her bags and moving to Paulstown, Kilkenny. She is married to Reuben Cope (33) and they now live in the steward's house at the edge of the farm at Shankill Castle, and they love it there.
As a teenager growing up in Roscommon, Una Burke spent her nights dreaming of clothes and models walking down ramps in fashion shows.
If you're going on honeymoon, what's the most important thing to bring? Your brand new spouse, of course, so imagine the look on Grainne Parker's face when she arrived at the airport to discover that her husband, Dominic Munnelly, had somehow overlooked booking her flight to Miami.
The one thing Annie Gribbin noticed about her newborn baby daughter, Niamh, was that she had "gorgeous big lips and was long and skinny". Niamh, now 17, has grown into an absolute stunner with those bee-stung lips and beautiful features, and combines her Leaving Cert studies with being a model with Morgan the Agency. She's slender and 5ft, 10in - her mum, Annie, is eight inches shorter - and spent two months of her transition year modelling in Milan.
By his own admission, Kevin Duffy can be a protective older brother when it comes to his sister Louise. While she takes a great sisterly interest in his love life, he was the same when she was dating. He recalls getting a phone call from her to say that she had kissed Paul Galvin, the Kerry footballer-turned-fashion-designer, having met him in Castlebar through a mutual friend. "What,...
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.
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."
St. Valentine was a 3rd Century Roman saint who was was beaten with clubs and stones and then beheaded.
There are huge similarities between Colm O'Gaora and Alison Walsh. Both were born in 1966, grew up in Blackrock, went to UCD and are published authors. They even met aged 19 while working at the Merrion Inn as lounge staff. Their workmates spotted their suitability before they did, however, but they were both shy and hesitant.
And so, three films later, Fifty Shades has finally come to its juddering climax, in a tale of marriage, kidnapping, car chases, blackmail and beautifully-shot kinky sex.
Back in 2001, when Daniel O'Donnell announced at his 40th birthday party that he was planning to marry Majella McLennan, it took the nation by surprise. As one of the most eligible men in the land with a fanbase of adoring women around the world, there was great interest in the singer's love life.
John Devine clearly remembers getting the terrible phone call that every parent dreads, telling him that his daughter had been seriously injured in a car crash. Natasha Rocca Devine was on a J1 in San Francisco at the time, and the incident left the 19-year-old UCD student in a coma, suffering from a brain haemorrhage and jaw and hip injuries.
As they pose for the picture you see here, musical sisters Triona and Maighread Ni Dhomhnaill are colourfully and elegantly dressed. "That's down to Maighread, because left to my own devices, I'd probably be still in the hippie gear of the '70s," says Triona. "She has an eye for beautiful things and is very tender, caring and loving. I don't know what I'd do without her and I love her to bits."
Lisdoonvarna is world famous for matchmaking, and the town in Co Clare certainly worked its magic charm on Ellie and Charlie Mahon. They got together there in November 1991, although not at the festival, mind you.
The definition of the word bullying is “the abuse and mistreatment of a vulnerable person by someone stronger and more powerful.”
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.
From hiking in Iceland to pristine beaches in the Maldives, Emily Hourican and Andrea Smith pick 50 fab destinations for the year ahead...
When talented Megan-Kate Doolan stepped out into the spotlight to launch her debut EP recently, her artist mother Bernadette was amazed at the quiet confidence her eldest daughter exuded. "I'm not musical and I think it's incredible that she has the ability to stand up and sing what she has created in front of other people," she says. "I'd rather hide in the corner."
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.
Brendan Harding was so taken with Eleanor Shanley back in 1998, when he attended a concert she gave in Carrickmore with her long-time musical collaborator, the late Ronnie Drew, that he thought about inviting her on a date. Alas, his nerve failed him as he queued to buy a CD afterwards, so he just bought the album and came away.
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.
Their food might be hot and sizzling with flavour, but there was chill, rather than chilli, in the air when Conor Sexton first started working with Jutarat Suwankeeree, known as R. Conor was running his previous restaurant, Koh, in 2008 when R came to work with him as duty manager. "He was a tough boss and quite stern," R laughs. "Everything had to be perfect."
Antonio Delgado says Isaac Macias's eyes are what he loves most about him physically, and he enjoys gazing into them. "I fall in love with him a thousand times a day," he says. "But when I first met him, I felt he was too handsome for me and I didn't like him at all. I thought he was very annoying as he's very spontaneous and talks to everyone."
Stephanie McNamee says her fiance Chris Emerson, has the ability to always make her feel better about situations. She may be only 25, but the popular make-up artist has been through a lot of emotional hardship in her life, particularly around the loss of one of her premature twin boys from a previous relationship.
When Siobhan Ni Ghadhra first met John Brady back in 1998, he didn't exactly make a great impression on her. She was working as a secretary for American TV producer/director Roger Corman at his company, Concorde Anois Teo in Galway, and when John came in for meetings, he sometimes spoke to her and sometimes didn't.
How I Became a Bastard is the rather startling title of the first chapter of Kenneth King's book, The Endeavourist. When you meet the man himself, with his warm, gentle manner, big smile and open face, it's hard to reconcile him with the picture he paints of a spoiled London City banker who turned into a "demanding, intolerant monster".
Celebrated concert pianist John O'Conor didn't think he stood a chance with his wife Mary when he first met her in 1969 at the College of Music on Chatham Row. John was incredibly shy with women, but was bowled over when Mary arrived to take twice-weekly piano lessons.
Russell Watson thought he was going to die. It was 2007 and he had been rushed to hospital by paramedics after he didn't wake up one morning. He had undergone an operation to remove a pituitary tumour a year earlier, but the tumour had grown back and haemorrhaged in three places.
Yvonne McGarry met Eoin Shanley through friends in a Dun Laoghaire bar in 2007. As they got chatting, they found that they really liked one another. Yvonne was attracted to Eoin's big smile and height and found him handsome, but she thought the jumper he was wearing was so "horrific", it was almost a deal-breaker.
That the musical Cabaret goes heavy on sexy fishnets, suspenders and corsets is a given - but it is also utterly thought-provoking beneath its glittery, hedonistic and somewhat debauched surface. I was blown away when I went to Cardiff to see the production ahead of its arrival at Bord Gais Energy Theatre in Dublin, and was still thinking about it several days later.
Theatre school CEO Claire Tighe vividly remembers choreographing her husband Aidan Mannion in his role of Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz when she was 16. As he was four years younger, she would scarcely have imagined at the time that they would end up married one day, but oh yes they did!
As there is more than a four-year age gap between them, Timothy and James McElroy had different friends growing up. They loved to play pranks on one another though, usually to try to impress their older sister Ciara.
Princess Diana famously complained that there were three people in her marriage, and food writer, Susan Jane White, has the same problem. The only difference is that in Susan Jane's case, her husband Trevor's fascination lies with a succession of long-dead Irishmen of great significance.
Dorothy Parker once asked: "Where's the man that could ease a heart like a satin gown?" For Honor Heffernan, currently channelling the witty American poet and satirist in her new album and stage show, the answer lies in her partner and musical collaborator Trevor Knight.
When Maryrose Fitzsimons McCarthy and Joe McCarthy first met over Christmas 2001 in Bewley's in Ballsbridge, there was an immediate spark between them. It took a few months to get together romantically, however, principally because Joe had come out of a serious relationship in New Jersey and had a five-year-old daughter, Fiona, there.
When Roger Harrington first spotted his future wife Carmel in Ron Black's pub in 2006, she was wearing a red beret, which he thought was very chic. They got talking and he made her laugh, and they ended up going for a drink to The Fitzwilliam Hotel.
In the early years of their relationship,Justin Cochrane-Townshend and Sharon Poulter spent a huge amount of time in each other's company, as they both lived and worked together. Nine years later, they're living in different countries during the week, and only see each other at weekends.
It was at her sister Jane's birthday party in 2000 that Wendy Riordan first encountered her husband Shane Kirwan, who was a friend of Jane's then boyfriend and now husband, Steven. As they hung out at the Mill House pub in Stillorgan, Wendy noticed Shane, who was wearing a top with the number eight on it, and thought he was "totally hot".
Andrea Smith is on hand to guide you through this evening's televised event as it happens...
Gavan Ring was immediately captivated when he first met his wife Nicola in 2006, while they were performing with the Rathmines and Rathgar Musical Society. "Nicola was singing a solo during rehearsals, and I was absolutely spellbound by her voice as it's such a brilliant instrument," he says. "And of course, she's gorgeous. I think every male in the room was looking at her with an open mouth."
This time last year, Doireann Garrihy had just started as an entertainment reporter on Spin 1038 and was delighted that her career was finally on track. The 25-year-old from Castleknock had decided not to pursue acting, although she had a degree in drama and theatre studies from Trinity College and...
To people of a certain vintage, the social media world can be a bewildering place.
Some might say that the beautiful Rosie Connolly has had a run of bad luck when it comes to family.
The Healy family describe themselves as a "typical Puck family", and say that in Killorglin, Kerry, regular life is described as happening either before or after the annual Puck Fair. Pat and Christine Healy are involved in the festival, as is their daughter Laura. Pat is a well-known personality around the town with his fabulous moustache and beard, which has seen him being nicknamed "Handlebars".
'Someone could burn the kitchen down and Colin would say, 'Ah they were only trying out a new dish','' is how Jacinta Downey describes her fiance, Colin Brown. "He's the softy and he looks at the emotion of every situation and is genuinely caring."
Claus Havemann and his daughter Krestine are utterly devoted to one another, but are the first to admit that they have a slightly tempestuous relationship. "We could have a big row and I storm to my room thinking he is an asshole, and 10 minutes later, there is a knock on my door asking if I want tea?" laughs the very personable and beautiful Krestine. "We get over it, but he can drive me crazy."
Family lore has it that Sarah Brennan's nose was put out of joint initially when her baby sister Kate came along when she was five. Sarah is the eldest of Stephen Brennan and Martina Stanley's four children, and after Kate arrived, she was followed by their younger siblings, Holly and Johnny.
The sun beamed down last Tuesday when Aisling Curtin and Trish Leonard were married at Mount Druid before their 120 guests.
When Lisa Cannon interviewed Bob Geldof in London recently, she brought along a copy of Hot Press from the 1970s in which her dad Mick had also interviewed him. "Bob thought it was hilarious," says Mick, who is passionate about music and film, just like his gorgeous daughter.
For most people, meeting the in-laws is nerve-wrecking, but Kwanghi Chan met his fiancee Michelle's mother before he met her. They were both working at Citywest Hotel where Kwanghi was head chef, and then Michelle started work there as a part-time waitress.
Lisa McDermott fondly remembers the shoes she was wearing the night she met her husband Stephen 11 years ago at the Fort Bar in Tyrone. The Grecian-style strappy sandals were embellished with Swarovski crystals, and she had saved hard for them along with her new outfit. She was enjoying being the belle of the ball - well, until she encountered Stephen.
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."
Mairead deBlaca didn't have any great expectations when she signed up for the online dating app, Tinder, but she thought it might be a bit of fun. She got even more fun than she bargained for though, because the Cork woman is now engaged to Kilkenny man, Brendan Doyle, who is a real joker.
Nanci Creedon and her dad John are massive Cork City football fans and love going to matches together. Her earliest memory is her dad throwing her five-year-old self in the air with delight over a goal, and then landing on her knees on the concrete. "He claims the crowd moved but I think he forgot to catch me," she laughs. "Dad was great fun and he was always up to mischief."
Shane Ritchie is lying on the sand at Dunmore East looking rather stressed and angst-ridden. Legendary actress, Fionnula Flanagan, approaches to have what appears to be very strong words with him, and things seem a bit tense, to put it mildly.
What drives Lisa Collins mad about her dad Tony is that he never wants to have proper scheduled meetings with her during the day at work. Instead, he decides to start chatting about business when they sit down together at 9pm to watch a film.
There's no mistaking that Michael and John Scott are brothers. They look and sound alike, but the similarities are not just physical. They have both made careers in the theatre industry, albeit in different areas, and married younger Brazilian men in recent years.
If you're stuck in a rut and looking for motivation and inspiration to move your life forward, Sligo is the place to be next weekend. Thirteen speakers from the US, Canada, Australia, UK and Ireland will share their wisdom at the Get Up and Go event at the Knocknarea Arena, and all have been hand-picked by organisers Eileen Forrestal and Brendan Sands.
Cilian Fennell says he learned about the big picture and the importance of independent thinking from his dad Desmond (88), one of this country's best-known original thinkers. He also learned that you must suffer the consequences of those thoughts because ultimately, that is who you are. Desmond Fennell became known for his outspoken and controversial views, and his son worried for him at times as he didn't always have the approval of the establishment, but ultimately admired his fearlessness.