Bairbre Power... Out and about
Our resident diarist calls into the best parties and events around the country
The inaugural Ursula Uí Chuinneagáin 'emerging talent' bursary at the Royal Irish Academy of Music attracted a capacity audience, testimony to the contribution she has made to the music world in Ireland.
Ursula (far right, main photo), is pictured alongside (from left) Josepha Madigan, the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Luke Ó Cuinneagáin who sponsored the bursary, Defne Gultoprak, the 13-year-old winner who is a student of Professor Therese Fahy at the RIAM, and classical pianist and conductor Barry Douglas who chaired the judging panel. Among the guests on the night were Michael Martin and Paul Pritchard pictured, below, with Ursula's daughter, Darina Ní Chuinneagáin-Donnelly.
Meanwhile, New York-based Irish designer (4) Don O'Neill was telling me how he flew to LA for 24 hours to dress actress Sarah Bolger for the Oscar Wilde Awards. Sarah had celebrated her 27th birthday the previous day with her mum, Monica, and younger sister Emma, who had flown out for it. Emma and Sarah starred together in In America 16 years ago, and Emma did Sarah's flawless make-up to match Don's green sequinned Theia jumpsuit.
Don and his florist husband, Pascal, fought the jetlag when they discovered that their great pal, hotelier Marie Chawke was also in town after flying in from Phoenix to promote Dromoland Castle. "We hadn't seen her since our wedding so we jumped in an Uber for the Roosevelt Hotel where Marie ordered up a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. We chatted for hours and then Facetimed Gráinne Seoige as it was 8.30am in snowy Dublin and then we flew back to New York." As you do!
The Italian ambassador to Ireland, Paolo Serpi, and former AC Milan footballer, Gianni Rivera, were guests of honour at the annual Club Italiano Irlanda Ball 2018 at the Mansion House, where we met, from left, Livia, Pierina and Nicoletta Borza
I enjoyed some post-snow drinks at the Westbury Hotel with Annie Gribbin, whose Make Up For Ever store is close by on Clarendon Street. Annie is getting ready to head off on her 'Age Beautifully' masterclass roadshow which starts in the Clayton Galway on April 15, followed by Cork and Limerick on the next two Sundays. It's two years since Annie won Breast Cancer Ireland's 'Battle of the Stars' dance competition, and this year it takes place on April 14 with RTÉ's Dancing With the Stars backstage reporter, James Patrice partnering RTÉ's Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh. Judges include DWTS's Julian Benson, who has the best wardrobe of snazzy jackets I've ever seen.