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Ryan's girl goes to Washington

Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain has ditched her St Patrick's Day TV duties in favour of an invite-only event at the White House alongside boyfriend Ryan Tubridy.

Earlier this week, the Herald revealed that the former Rose of Tralee (27) was due to host the St Patrick's Day highlights on RTE but pulled out at the last minute due to "unforeseen circumstances".

Speculation that she would be joining her high-profile boyfriend on the once in a lifetime trip has now been confirmed.

The couple's agent Niamh Kirwan said: "Herself and Ryan are heading over to Washington for St Patrick's Day.


"It's the opportunity of a lifetime for them both, so they're very excited about the trip."

Ryan (36), who has always had an avid interest in US politics, told listeners of his radio show about his "kindly" invite yesterday to attend a White House function alongside the Obamas and the Clintons.

"I've been very kindly invited to Washington for St Patrick's Day. I'm very excited, it's like Charlie Bucket going to the chocolate factory," he said.

"I'm not meeting anyone or shaking any hands. I'll probably be standing at the back with a glass of Coke and a cocktail sausage in my hand."

Although he may not meet the man of the hour, Ryan spoke fondly about the current US President.

"I'm three weeks away from finishing my book on Kennedy and I think Obama's amazing. He's doing for Africa what Kennedy did for Ireland, he's an extraordinary man, there's no doubt about it," said the Late Late Show host.

Before the couple jet off on their Washington trip, they will be taking to the red carpet at the Shelbourne this evening for the Peter Mark VIP Style Awards.

Bilingual teacher Aoibhinn is one of the front-runners at tonight's awards after being nominated for the first time in the Most Stylish Lady category in the glitzy event.

But smitten Tubridy has revealed that his girlfriend will always be a style winner in his eyes -- regardless of whether she takes home the gong tonight.

"I really don't worry hugely about the outcome of these things but Aoibhinn always looks very stylish to me, it doesn't matter whether she wins the award or not, she always looks lovely," he said.

The RTE presenter who has also been given the nod in the Man of Style category, and will be walking down the red carpet with his partner this evening, has said that he doesn't take any of it too seriously.

Stylish newcomer Aoibhinn will be going up against some social scene stalwarts including Anne Doyle, Celia Holman Lee and Victoria Smurfit.