Thursday 22 February 2018

Forget candlet-lit dinners, Irish rugby games are a hot bed of romance

Yvonne Keating with partner cameraman John Conroy
Yvonne Keating with partner cameraman John Conroy
Michael Flatley and his wife Niamh O'Brien
Yvonne Keating & son Jack Keating - turning 15 next week
Amy Huberman missed the game in Twickenham last week
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

Perhaps it's something to do with me and events in my own life, but everything – especially rugby – seems to me to be imbued with a preternatural romance.

Okay, stunning Niamh O'Brien and her husband Michael Flatley are the very epitome of romance anyway. So it was nice to find them at the Ronan O'Gara gala dinner in The Hilton in Park Lane in London last weekend.

Niamh is charming and captivating and the fact that she has stunning legs had nothing to do with my unabashed admiration. Remember my new-found status.

In fact, it looks as if the best Irish legs were all in London last weekend. For Yvonne Keating was also in London.

The mother, TV presenter, cook, model, interior designer, columnist, etc... spent a few romantic nights in swish Richmond-upon-Thames with her boyfriend of two years, John Conroy. The ex-wife of Ronan Keating dined with her cameraman beau in an Italian restaurant on the Friday night. Then, on the Saturday, beautiful blonde Yvonne, in a patriotically coloured green army parka, and her beau went to cheer on Ireland against England in Twickenham along with 15,000 other Irish fans.

Sadly, Yvonne won't be able to attend the crunch game against France in Paris on March 15.

"I would love to go but it is my son Jack's 15th birthday that day," she told me.

Yvonne and John turned up in the Bollinger tent before the big game, before taking their VIP seats.

With the drama building, when England's Jonny May was denied a try early on in the game, Yvonne sighed: "It's nerve wracking. I'm breathless. What a start to the Six Nations at Twickenham." before telling me that "it was an honour to be here to watch Brian O'Driscoll play his 139th cap for Ireland."

That's not me turning into Neil Francis – that's Yvonne. Yvonne and John, despite the sad result, also went out in Richmond after the match. How do I know? Because she invited me.

BOD's lovely wife Amy Huberman wasn't able to attend last weekend in Twickers but, a source close to the actress told me: "Naturally she will be in The Aviva Stadium for his last match in an Irish jersey against Italy," before adding, unnecessarily, "of course that is dependent on Brian being chosen for the Italy match."

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