Bairbre Power... Out and about
Our resident diarist calls into the best parties and events around the country
So we are all off to Capri on our winnings courtesy of the Aidan O'Brien-trained Capri, which landed the trainer his 12th Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby success at odds of 6/1. The Seamie Heffernan-ridden three-year-old finished ahead of its stablemate, Wings Of Eagles, who came in third after going out as 2/1 favourite.
The 153rd running of Ireland's most lucrative race was this year worth €1.5 million. Dubai Duty Free celebrated their 10th year as the title sponsors of the race, with the world's largest airport retailer sponsoring six of the eight races on last Saturday's card.
"I'm a euro up," announced Gay Byrne with a cheery smile as we walked out to watch the racing from our vantage point close to the winning post. The legendary broadcaster and former host of the world's longest running chat show (1) attended the Derby with his wife, Kathleen Watkins, who looked wow in a Louise Kennedy coat, green dress and pendant. The couple were guests of Colm McLoughlin, executive vice chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, and his wife, Breeda (both also pictured), who hosted almost 400 people in their exclusive VIP pavilion inside the track at The Curragh.
Gay was on the receiving end of lots of warm wishes from other guests for his recovery from prostate cancer. Himself and Kathleen were joined by friends from Donegal at the races and, next day, were heading into the National Gallery (where Kathleen has served on the board) to see the Vermeer exhibition.
I was joined in my judging of Most Stylish Lady by RTÉ's newest Dragon, Chanelle McCoy, who was enjoying quite a busman's holiday with her husband, former champion jockey AP McCoy. We were joined by Melanie Morris of Image Publications and Breeda O'Loughlin, who was heading north this week with Colm and the DDF team for their sponsorship of the Irish Open in Portstewart.
If you thought your shoe collection at the bottom of the wardrobe was big, get your head around these facts: the new Shoe Gallery at Arnotts has 3,000 styles from 52 brands, which equates to 54,000 pairs of shoes.
Businessman Marcus Sweeney and his fiancée, Carrie Pearce, were among the guests who dressed up in style for the annual Derby Ball at The K Club in aid of the Jack and Jill Children's Foundation. The fairy-themed ball took place on the eve of the Irish Derby, and one of the highlights of the evening was the interpretive dance performance by Monica Loughman and her Elite Ballet Company.
Monica was photographed earlier in the evening with Sinead El Sibai (left), vice president of Dubai Duty Free, sponsors of the Derby. Also in attendance were COO Ramesh Cidambi and his wife, Alpana.