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Galway Races diary: Ronan's having the time of his life in Oz, reveals brother Gary

RONAN Keating isn't letting his marriage woes get him down in his temporary home of Australia.

The Boyzone singer's brother has revealed Ronan has never been happier as his television career begins to take off Down Under.

The 33-year-old has had a turbulent few months after it emerged that his marriage to former model Yvonne Connolly is on the rocks following an alleged seven month affair with dancer Francine Cornell.

"He was here last year but he won't be around this year as obviously he's in Australia working on the X-Factor," Gary Keating told the Diary.

"He loves it over there. It seems to be going really well for him, he's very happy with it all."

The event planner declined to comment further, saying only that Ronan will be greatly missed by his family over the coming months.

Ronan is said to be working hard to repair his marriage by spending as much time as possible with Yvonne and their three children; Jack (11), Marie (9) and Ali (4).

Gary was speaking at a special fundraising event in aid of The Marie Keating Foundation, which took place at the Killanin suite and was sponsored by Ladbrokes bookmakers.

"We're delighted with how it went. Last year we raised over €35,000 and we're hoping to be on course for the same again this year."

Among the big names spotted at the VIP event was former Irish rugby player Shane Byrne, acclaimed horse trainer Fozzy Stack, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and jockey Ruby Walsh.

Earlier that evening Ruby, who is still out of action after breaking his arm, was spotted quaffing a bottle of bubbly with his dad, acclaimed trainer Ted Walsh in the VIP tent.


Ruby is set to make his return to the small screen this afternoon when he joins the RTE panel to commentate on the third day's racing festivities.

His wife Gillian meanwhile has been busy manning her jewellery stand, Diamond Lite.

With excitement building ahead of tomorrow's Ladies' Day event, celebs were thin on the ground last night, although Monaghan player Tommy Bowe did return for another flutter on the gee-gees.

The Irish player was previously joined by fellow sportsmen Ronan O'Gara and Alan Quinlan on Monday evening.

There was no shortage of Taoisigh past and present in attendance yesterday with former Fianna Fail leader Albert Reynolds taking in the form for the 42nd year in a row.

The Longford native is set to attend for the rest of the week and says he is looking forward to catching up with Brian Cowen this afternoon.

The current Taoiseach made a brief appearance at yesterday's festivities when he arrived at the Galway course accompanied by his political advisers shortly before 6pm, having declared the brand new Limerick Tunnel officially open.

Despite his party's iffy poll rartings Cowen found himself mobbed by punters while taking a stroll through the racecourse.

The Fianna Fail party leader is due to return to Ballybrit this afternoon to present the prize for the highlight of the racing festival, the 5.25pm Galway Plate race.

He's then looking forward to taking some downtime with his family.