Exclusive A bright future: Missy Keating talks growing up on tour and dealing with her parents' divorce
Missy Keating and her family always knew that she was going to be a performer. Where her older brother, Jack, was into rugby, and her younger...
Missy Keating and her family always knew that she was going to be a performer. Where her older brother, Jack, was into rugby, and her younger...
In what is one of the busiest weeks in new homes so far this season, a number of developments are seeing the launch of a new phase.
The latest Daft.ie House Price Report found that between December and March of this year, house prices in all six Dublin regions were on the up by between 2.6 to 4.1pc, having fallen back in...
'I guess I fell out of love with cooking, and my kitchen," reflects Fiona Gratzer. Food is a way...
In the new homes market, buyers typically look to the commuter belt for reasons of space and size. If they are not from the area, buyers moving to the counties surrounding Dublin offset a significantly...
If you are looking for individuality in the new homes market, then schemes built on the grounds of former large houses, and those built in small, infill sites, promise the most reward.
'Don't look down," my companion shouts from above.
It is just over two years since Ballymore launched Portmarnock new homes development, St Marnock's Bay. At the time, demand was so pent up that, in advance of the highly anticipated launch, a queue of buyers formed outside the site.
When Marianella in Rathgar first launched in November 2017, it was a flagship product for Cairn Homes. One of their first major launches, the development sold 128 of its 198 apartments before the launch kicked off, such was the level of interest and pent-up demand.
One-time princess, actress, muse, interior designer, fashion PR, art lover, a Truman Capote ''swan'', and the ultimate doyenne of her family, most of whom she outlived; Jackie Kennedy's little sister can't have been an easy moniker to have been lumbered with for Lee Radziwill. Three years apart in age, so intense was the competition between the two sisters according to one biographer that, after Jackie's death in 1994, Lee had to completely rethink who she was, so utterly had she defined herself against her older sister.
Full disclosure; a few years ago, I would have laughed up my sleeve at the idea of a yoga retreat with a group of people I didn't know.
A week has passed since the launch of the Helen Steele X Dunnes Stores collection when we meet, and Instagram is awash with pictures of women...
Nowadays, anyone with an Instagram account and a YouTube channel can call themselves a MUA (a...
Danny O'Brien was 23 when he first considered becoming a comedian. In Melbourne during the Comedy Festival, he found himself watching acts performing at the bar where he was working,...
Every year we ask some of our favourite people to share their festive memories and experiences.
Vogue Williams's followers first suggested her mother Sandra Wilson should start an Instagram account.
Brighton Wood in Foxrock originally launched in early 2018, on Brighton Road in the heart of Foxrock Village, 600 metres from the village centre.
'Obviously break-ups are hard, and it's not the greatest time, especially when there's a child involved, but I just found the loneliness on the weekends so stark, and overwhelming," says Zoe Desmond. Zoe's son Billy, now three, was one when she and his father ended their relationship. Originally from Donnybrook in Dublin, Zoe was living in London at the time.
Sile Seoige turns 40 in three weeks time - and it seems fair to say that, in the main, she has never been happier. In large part, that is thanks to her gorgeous son Cathal, now 19 months, and her fiance Damien. There's also her ongoing work as a presenter, most recently with the return of Realta agus Gaolta, which begins again on TG4 tonight, but also her work in the wellness area, with Beo, as a speaker, and a yoga teacher.
Of all the commuter belt counties, Wicklow is typically not the most popular new homes location. Yet Greystones defies that trend. Since the market kicked back into gear, the area has been a notably favourite spot for prestigious new developments. SeaGreen, for example, launched in early 2017 to great fanfare. A development of three-, four- and five-bedroom family homes, it enjoys a...
Ardstone Homes, the developers behind this week's launch of Ballinahinch in Ashford, Co Wicklow, are also the company behind Muileann, in Kinsealy, Co Dublin; Castle Farm and Furness Wood in Naas; and White Pines in Rathfarnham. As well as this weekend's new development, they are expected to launch An Fuaran in Oranmore, Co Galway, later this year.
Also new this week is Rathangan Manor, in Rathangan, Co Kildare, from Anthony Neville Homes. There are 15 homes in this release of two-, three- and four-bedroom detached, semi-detached and terraced units.
Also new to the market this weekend is the third phase of White Pines on Stocking Avenue in Rathfarnham.
Gannon Homes launches Meadowbank this weekend, in a site that is directly adjacent to their existing large development at Millers Glen in Swords.
'A headline in The Irish Times asked 'Who's afraid of Edna O'Brien?' over an interview with the controversial author in 1967. All official Ireland, it seemed at the time.
It would be easy, if you were Thalia Heffernan, to pretend that everything was OK all the time. Better than OK, even.
We're going to a stay in a nightclub!" my daughter took to announcing to everyone the week before our trip. In fact, our destination was a lighthouse, although in the world of a three-year-old, it's possibly the same thing. Worthy of the same level of excitement anyhow.
I last met Erin McGregor a few days before it was revealed that she would be a contestant on 2018's Dancing with the Stars.
Fitzwilliam Quay, which launches this weekend, is likely to have huge appeal for buyers looking for a larger, modern house but wanting to avoid a move out to the commuter belt to find it.
In the run up to our trip to Lapland, I became convinced that the key to getting through the whole thing with a modicum of sanity was sugar management.
Derek Behan and Cliona Butler moved from a Georgian villa in Glenageary to a three-bed in Brighton Wood, Foxrock, on the market with Sherry FitzGerald
Shauna Burke bought a five-bedroom home in Rathcoole, Co Dublin, for €485,000.
'You can't put a square peg into a round hole," Holly White says decisively. "It was always going to take me a while to figure out what kind of career I wanted, because it didn't exist for a time."
Ellie Kisyombe is a natural community builder. When I first met her, it was at the birthday party of her good friend Mags. At the centre of the night was a group of women who form a supper club.
Leaving the dream job, one you have worked years to achieve, in an industry that is known to be competitive to the point of brutal, is not an easy thing to do. But that is exactly what Ruth O'Neill did last year, when she left her job as one of the presenters of TV3's Xpose, to widespread surprise.
How to manage putting your child to bed and then having some sort of adult socialisation time has always been one of the major challenges when you are on holiday.
Within minutes of us sitting down to talk, Lynn Kelly's eyes fill with tears and she chokes up, unable to speak. It is not long since the VIP Style Awards. That night, which is one of the biggest of the year for her industry, Lynn became a target of the anonymous Instagram account @bloggersunveiled. Now private (meaning the account holder has to approve any requests to follow it), it has a...
By this stage, body positivity, or BoPo as it is also known, has been hijacked by the internet at large, and adopted as a sort of general, think positively, love yourself, life philosophy.
It has been an extremely active new homes season," says Ken MacDonald of Hooke & MacDonald. "Particularly in the first-time buyer section but also in the trade-up sector, like Fairways which launches this weekend. There is a very strong demand from families who are expanding and moving from smaller accommodation such as apartments.
Last year was a turning point for new homes in Cork. "That was when we saw new schemes happening for the first time of any scale since the crash," says Paul Hannon, director of new homes for Sherry FitzGerald Cork.
Obviously all any mother wants for Mother's Day morning is breakfast in bed and a homemade card from her little darlings.
Time's Up. #MeToo. The outing of workplace harassment, personified by the bogeyman-like spectre of Harvey Weinstein. Wearing black. Repeal the 8th. Millions marching for women's rights. Oprah at the Golden Globes, Frances McDormand at the Oscars. Larry Nassar's victims facing him down in court.
BEER facials. Leech facials. Vampire facials, using your own blood. Organically fed snail facials, sheep placenta facials (Victoria Beckham and J-Lo are fans, apparently); diamond; bird poo; urine, and ruby facials. It seems we will put anything on our faces in the quest to stop the progress of age.
It's hard to go any way into telling artist Zane Sutra's story without talking about her youngest daughter Gabriela. Several years ago, the intense years of mothering very young children beginning to pass, Zane began to look into studying art again, to reconnect with what had been a passion of hers since a young age.
No clothes, no lines, no audition - Olwen Kelly's breakout roles have been anything but typical. In 2016's The Autopsy of Jane Doe, the actor played the corpse in the title and it was a feat which won her rave reviews when the film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.
When Thalia Heffernan signed up for the first series of RTE's Dancing with the Stars, a boyfriend was the last thing on her mind.
The theory that the dearth of new apartments is a major contributing factor to the current house crisis is gaining traction. Some market commentators believe it is an even more important factor than the lack of three or four-bed semi-detached homes.
Of all Dublin's urban villages currently undergoing a process of gentrification, the area around Arbour Hill and Stoneybatter in Dublin 7 might be the most desirable. More des res than East Wall, less prohibitively priced than Portobello, more hipster than Phibsborough, with a better atmosphere than Ringsend, for buyers who wish to live close to town, and whose budget or lifestyle doesn't stretch to a three-bed semi in the 'burbs, this area is a favourite.
It was the launch party to eclipse all others, for a magazine that was intended to reinvent the genre, and in the process become a bible for US opinion-formers on both coasts.
The trade-down buyer is one of the most important in the new apartments market, and this week sees the launch of two new developments that will appeal to this under-supplied market segment. In suburban new apartment developments, the downsizer can make up to two thirds of purchasers.
In new homes the first-time buyer sector receives the lion's share of the attention - most developments are built with this sector in mind, most media attention focuses on the difficulties of first-time buyers attempting to buy a home. Launches aimed at second time, trade-up buyers are less plentiful. Planning laws, apart from anything else, favour higher densities, which means developments of three- and four-bed semi-detached units.
When someone is suffering from some form of dementia it can be hard to spot the signs. If that person is an older adult, the onset of a certain forgetfulness, even the occasional out-of-character behaviour, can be easily ascribed to age. Who, after all, wants to broach the possibility of this most awful of diseases? For Deborah Veale's family, there was a whole other, terrible reason for not really clocking the first signs of the disease in her beloved father Ken Meehan. In 2000, Deborah's younger sister, Alacoque, a mother of one, was diagnosed with cancer which would eventually...
It's a rosier outlook for new home buyers this year than last, with supply beginning to increase as a result of the Help to Buy scheme. However, the number of new developments still falls far short of demand.
'I want to be treated like a model." This was the one condition Celine Dion laid down to Vogue magazine before agreeing to pose in couture for a video made for its Instagram account at this year's Paris Couture Week.
Acting is one of the world's most uncertain professions; nevertheless, its inherent vagaries have taught Aoibhin Garrihy numerous valuable life lessons: how to cope with stress, the importance of self care, and, not least, the importance of diversification - she recently graced our screens on RTE's Dancing With The Stars; she runs wellness workshops for women, and she's now the face of Knight...
When my daughter, now three, was six weeks old, I was foolhardy enough to venture as far from home as Dingle for a family holiday.
Elizabeth Day's new book, The Party, her fourth, is the story of Martin Gilmour, a rather nondescript creature who in boarding school forms an obsessive attachment to the glamorous upper-class Ben Fitzmaurice, gaining himself the rather demeaning nickname Little Shadow in the process.
Like all life's big events, weddings evoke a visceral reaction. So if your dream has always been to get married in a huge white dress purchased in a bridal store, then look away now. Because I'm going to suggest that spending thousands on a wedding dress is totally unnecessary. These days, the high street has such a comprehensive selection of wedding collections that really, unless you want the full meringue, that's the best place to purchase a dress you will only wear once.
'It is always incomprehensible to a man that a woman should ever refuse an offer of marriage. A man always imagines a woman to be ready for anybody who asks her." Emma Woodhouse, Emma.
When Adamstown first launched in 2003, then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern appeared at a ceremony to celebrate the start of work on the site.
Typically new homes schemes in the environs of North County Dublin are aimed at either those trading up or the more affluent first-time buyer (FTB) who is being substantially underwritten by parents, with prices usually north of €500,000. This is not the usual hunting ground for first-time buyers availing of the Government's help-to-buy scheme.
One would be justified in suggesting that we have reached a peak with lifestyle blogging. That the market for everything from beauty to fashion, food to travel blogs has been well and truly saturated. In fact though, it's saturated specifically with those in their twenties and early-thirties. Unlike Britain, whose 40-plus blogging business is booming, no one of that age here has really captured the public's imagination.
The year 2011 was not an ideal time to set up a business; five companies closed every day. And yet this is the year that iClothing, now Ireland's most successful online fashion business, launched.
'Countless individuals have noted that the president's death affected them even more deeply than the death of their own parents even. The reason, I believe, is that the latter situation most often represented a loss of the past, while the assassination of President Kennedy represented an incalculable loss of the future," said Theodore C Sorensen, President Kennedy's adviser, in December, 1963.
Kabira Allain's label Kymaia was born out of practicality. The designer's professional background was originally in the financial services. She worked part-time after having children, but once they started school, she decided to use some of her newfound spare time to study fashion.
It's fair to say that the word "unique" is somewhat overused in the world of property. In relation to new homes, which are built in bulk, and with regulations that aim to standardise quality, "unique" is a difficult thing to achieve. There is, out of necessity, a certain uniformity in housing developments. Hence it is usually through its "location", that other buzzword for property, that...
Two years ago, the manufacturing side of the Fran & Jane business closed down. Three boutiques remained open: Blackrock, Co Dublin; Clonmel, Co Tipperary; and the original store on Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork, which, last Friday, celebrated its 15th year in business. A complete rethink was required. Now, everything would have to be bought in - previously three-quarters of the Fran & Jane stores' stock had been their own label.
Davy Hickey Properties have been building in West Dublin for over 25 years - they are the builders responsible for the Citywest Business Campus.
Becoming a beauty queen, winning Miss Ireland and moving to New York were never part of Aoife Walsh's plan.
My dream is some day to marry Alix. I have loved her a long while and still deeper and stronger since she spent six weeks in St Petersburg." So wrote Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov, future last Tsar of Russia, in a diary entry in 1892. It seemed unlikely that the future emperor would be permitted to marry the obscure German princess Princess Alix of Hesse - his parents did not view the match favourably.
For many men, fashion trends are something to be approached with caution. Women can take up and throw off a trend as the mood takes them. But as much as they may want to look current, most men really want their clothes to be simple, functional - sensible, even.
Bertie Daly and his wife Louise have been living in Maynooth for 10 years. Originally from Cork, he moved to Dublin after being headhunted by biopharmaceutical company Wyeth, now Pfizer. "I said I'd go to Dublin for a year, to get some experience, and then go back to Cork," he explains. "Thirteen years later I'm still in Dublin." Having rented for three years in Dundrum, the couple decided to buy a three-bedroom semi-detached house in Maynooth, in a new homes development, Straffan Wood.
When Carolyn Donnelly first launched Carolyn Donnelly - The Edit, her clothing line for Dunnes Stores, the aim was to provide the perfect collection of wardrobe basics, mostly in a palette of black, navy, white and grey. Several seasons on, the line has expanded to include a full complement of wardrobe requirements, in an array of colours and prints each season.
Right at the apex of Mount Anville Road, just opposite the gates of Mount Anville School, sits the site of Knockrabo, on what was formerly the land of Mount Anville House.
Can you take a toddler to the Venetian Riviera? Absolutely says Liadan Hynes - here's how she did it.
The feedback from buyers, boutique owners, and many Irish designers of the last two seasons is that the Irish customer is more confident than ever about styling her own look. Some put it down to the blogger effect, which is all about mixing it up to create an individual look.
Working out your wedding-day style can be a difficult business.
Courtney Smith had been on friendly terms with Neil McCarthy and Audrey Murray of Buffalo Shoe Lab for years when the idea of a collaboration came about. She wore the label herself, and she used their shoes in her work as a stylist. So synonymous was Courtney with the brand that last year they nicknamed a green military boot after her, calling it the Coco boot.
Shopping at this time of year can be a little like gorging on cheap, sugary food. You're tired, your willpower has disappeared and you end up indulging in the sort of rubbish you don't actually want, which leaves behind a vague sense of free-floating guilt.
How can you host the perfect, stress-free dinner party? And what are the worst mistakes a host can make? Liadan Hynes gets some top tips from the experts
What Susan Moylett doesn't know about lingerie really isn't worth knowing. Proprietor of the deceptively small Susan Hunter Lingerie boutique in the Westbury Mall, her shop has long been one of Dublin's, if not Ireland's, leading suppliers of luxury underwear.
It is a little-known fact that Donegal brand, Magee, designs and creates some of the most sought-after luxurious fabrics for the world's finest fashion houses. Innovation, as well as heritage, has always been the heart of this family-run business. "We've got all this heritage, bags of heritage," says Charlotte Temple. This year, her family's business, Magee 1866, celebrates its 150th anniversary. It began life as a draper's shop that sold hand-woven tweed, then Robert Temple, a cousin of John Magee, bought the business in 1900, and it has been in the family since.
'Banish bread', says newly svelte Francis Brennan. 'Move away from the table', is Daniel O'Donnell's sage advance, while Roz Purcell says meal preparation is the top tip. Catherine Fulvio's advice is to downsize to fit the dress size, while Keith Barry has found visualising a fit version of himself does the trick, and stir fries are Brent Pope's secret weapon.
'It's not about being defined by what other people think is sexy, it's about being comfortable in your own skin," says Lingerie, Swimwear and Hosiery Group Buyer Roslyn Ellis, of this season's collection in the Brown Thomas Lingerie Rooms. It's an ethos that is exemplified in their shoot, which is as much about comfortable layering as it is the sexy side of scanties. "It's very much around loungewear. Relaxed, laid-back, but something really special," explains Roslyn.
As a father of five children between the ages of seven and 14, and a resident of Malahide village, Mark Elliott of Greenleaf Homes has road-tested both the requirements of a spacious family home and the environs of the new homes development, Whitegables, which he launches this weekend in the north Dublin village.
'New Homes does not do uncertainty," says David Browne, head of New Homes at Savills, reflecting that uncertainty over the Budget saw the season get off to something of a slow start as buyers and builders sat back and waited.
When they first met at an exhibition several years ago, their appreciation for each other's designs was such that Grainne Finn and Hannah Mullan, of the Irish fashion label Tissue, ended up bartering their work.
School is out and children are full of exuberance, especially given the amount of Halloween candy going around. Yet don’t panic, Liadan Hynes and Emily Hourican have your holiday sorted.
'When was the first time? I think I was 12." Louise O'Neill is recalling the first time she had a non-consensual sexual experience. "I was walking down St Patrick's Street in Cork, wearing a vest top, because it was summer.
It's hard to believe that Lucy Nagle's business is only in its third year. In an astonishingly short time, she has managed to establish herself as one of the leading Irish designers in her field, a creator of classic, contemporary knitwear.
It's easy to knock fashion bloggers and street-style stars. All that self-conscious preening and pouting for the camera, the endless selfies, the videos of shopping hauls - which is where one records oneself pulling recently purchased clothes (the 'haul') out of bags to show viewers.
Originally built in 2007 by former IRA hunger striker Tom McFeely, the Priory Hall complex was revealed to be suffering from serious structural and fire safety regulation issues in 2011. The apartments were evacuated by order of the High Court, with the debts of all owners eventually being written off by the banks after a long, painful struggle for the families concerned. Buy-to-let owners received a moratorium on their mortgage payments.
We've all done it. Thrown money at the situation when inspiration, or time, fails us, when we are buying a gift for a loved one, and need to get something quickly, that looks thoughtful but expensive. Usually, it results in something the receiver has no interest in - few men consider clothes a gift, and women get far less pleasure from receiving expensive underwear than you might think.
At London Fashion Week for this season, there was a buzz around Zoe Jordan. Fashion finally turned on to her style - a mix of street-urchin-with-a-nod-to-punk and subtle femininity.
The elegant surroundings of the Hibernian Club in St Stephen's Green provided the perfect runway for Peter O'Brien. His years as a couturier in Paris showed in every garment, from the olive-green hounds-tooth check coat and his signature "New Look" numbers, to his wide variety of dresses, this time adding an early 1960s flavour to his ballet-length sunray-pleated number. His show stopper was a vivid red cocktail dress with a train from the shoulder. With Martha Lynn's Star Wars hat.
'I had to have it," says developer Neill Collins, recalling the day he first came across Bolton Hall House in Rathfarnham in Dublin 16. The site that includes the Georgian home, a listed building dating from 1818, launches this weekend as a new homes development, Bolton Park.
'So what are this season's trends?" People ask this question when you work in fashion, usually in the weary tones of someone already slightly exhausted at the very notion of having to 'nail' this season's latest. And really, to a great extent, who cares? Once you get to a certain age, the years have, hopefully, provided an accumulation of knowledge as to what works on you. Hopefully, some sort of personal style has been ratcheted up, that can stare down the latest take on Stevie Nicks or Miss Havisham, and allow you to say: Not for my wardrobe, thank you.
'I'm paying almost €900 to share a room with two other people. There are 10 of us in the house and only two bathrooms." Margaret Path is a student from the US. She has been living in Portobello but this week, along with two of her fellow students, she attended a viewing in Irishtown. Soaring rents and landlords' preference for tenants who are professionals - seen as more likely to fulfil a full year's lease and maintain the upkeep of a property - makes finding rental accommodation as a student challenging.
When Dunnes Stores came to Joanne Hynes about working with it on a collection, she recalls that Margaret Heffernan told her, "I want you to do you". "That was really important," the designer says now of that freedom to create an undiluted collection, not to have to water down her work. "I wouldn't have done it otherwise," she reflects.
She was the first 'nice girl' he had known… He found her excitingly desirable. He was at present a penniless young man without a past… but now he found that he had committed himself to the following of a grail… She vanished into her rich house, into her rich, full life, leaving Gatsby - nothing… Daisy, gleaming like silver, safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor."
Clontarf is often described as 'the Ballsbridge of the Northside' - although locals would contend Ballsbridge is the Clontarf of the Southside. And like Ballsbridge, property prices are notoriously high as demand consistently outweighs supply. The combination of abundant amenities, the seaside location, St Anne's Park, a number of good schools, proximity to town, and excellent bus and Dart transport links all make this one of the Northside's most sought-after areas.
'In my mind, time had frozen. Especially in LA; there were no seasons and I was still going out all the time. And then I came home and I was like: "What, people don't go out any more? People are getting engaged and buying houses? Oh my God, I'm not at that stage. I felt a little out of place for a little while. I still feel a little out of place, I guess," Ruth confesses with her trademark throaty chuckle.
Just over a decade ago, running a boutique had become something of a hobby. As a buyer, on buying trips, I would regularly see fellow buyers for whom running their own store was as much an extension of their social life as it was a career. They favoured the 'one for me, one for the shop, one for my BF' method of buying. But the crash separated the wheat from the chaff, and now it is mostly the pioneers who remain as boutique owners. Women who have a strong, individual aesthetic, and who tirelessly chase exclusive labels, rather than just imitating what others are doing.
'To be honest, we said we'd take a chance in 2015 because the prices were tight but we had to get going again if we wanted to stay in the house building business. You can't wait forever." After a seven-year hiatus, beginning in 2008, developer Francis Rhatigan relaunched his business early last year with a new phase of his sizeable project Dalriada in Knocklyon, Dublin 16.
'It's an overused word but the Marina Village at Greystones is 'unique'. It's the only marina in Ireland that is planned so it's not going to repeat in terms of its rarity," reflects Ivan Gaine, head of new homes at Sherry FitzGerald, of last weekend's launch of the Marina Village, the first new homes launch of the season.
'The most important thing for me was change, this season. I think we've seen lots of little changes over the years - contrast, over-sizing, feminine glamour; but this season was definitely the most diverse change," Shelly Corkery, fashion director of Brown Thomas reflects, describing the huge transition in trends for autumn/winter 2016.
Since moving home to Ireland several years ago, Helen Cody has successfully rebuilt her fashion business. Now, with her first show in almost a decade, she is about to become the only designer ever to put on a fashion show in Christ Church Cathedral. "It's a really big deal for me," she says of the event, all proceeds of which will go to St Francis Hospice. Tickets for the show are on sale now, from Havana; Costume; Só Collective, and St Francis Hospice (contact details in credits, page 37). Partly inspired by the show's location, for autumn/winter 2016, Helen has created a...
'For me, this fabric was the lynchpin of the whole collection," says Caroline Kilkenny, lifting a ballerina skirt in a vivid, abstract print. "Generally, you would build a story around all the fabrics, but in this case, the whole collection is inspired by this one. That's unusual. It just keeps giving you little treats and treasures with the colours. It's like a beautiful oil canvas; it reminds me of a [Gustav] Klimt painting."
Even at the height of her career, Louise Bowden was aware of the brutal nature of life as a performer. One day she might be starring as the lead in a West End musical, the next day, production over, she could be out on the street handing out leaflets for a living. "One minute you're on the stage, your poster's outside the theatre. The next minute you're trying to look for work to pay your bills. It doesn't matter how successful you are. I could be 55 and it would still be the same. And I just didn't see myself wanting that life."
Before moving to Ireland in 2003, photographer Agata Stoinska knew little if anything about Ireland.
So enamoured is Greg Jones with his Wicklow home that, had this been a sunny week, he might have turned down the offer of coverage on these pages - the sight of his beloved property at its very best might almost have made him doubt his decision to sell.
'I think growing up on an island, you are more relaxed than your average bear," smiles Roisin Derrane. Sister of TV presenter Maura, Roisin is one of Ireland's top make-up artists, having worked with everyone from Ali Hewson to Helena Christensen, Bradley Cooper, Mia Farrow and Barbra Streisand. It's all a long way from where she grew up, in a family of four girls, on the Aran Islands.
It was an auspicious season for new homes, but sales would have been better if strong buyer demand was not hindered by several factors. Lack of stock and difficulties accessing funding due to the Central Bank mortgage lending rules remain major obstacles. First-time buyers, most typically two professionals around the age of 34, were the most common purchasers. Their house of choice? The three- and four-bed semi-detached.
During the boom, infill sites were popular as any viable land was mined for its potential. Now, as the new homes market gets going again, infill sites provide a good entry-level way in for developers returning to the market, or for those new to building who want to move up from one-off projects or home renovations. They are also a less expensive option than a larger project - although they still require the same construction plant, much of the infrastructure and services will already be in place.
'Can you check there's nothing in that cup, that I haven't put bleach into it?" says Bryony Gordon, holding up the empty cup she's about to pour her three-year-old daughters milk into for me to check. "It's an OCD thing," she says, muttering that they don't even have bleach in the house.