Thursday 18 July 2019

Society: Bono's billboard wars with Eve

Bono and Ali Hewson at the unveiling of John Rocha's portrait in Dublin. Photo: Arthur Carron
Bono and Ali Hewson at the unveiling of John Rocha's portrait in Dublin. Photo: Arthur Carron
John Rocha, and portrait, at the National Gallery of Art, Dublin. Photo: Arthur Carron.
Paul Ronan and Stormtrooper pictured at the Star Wars The Force Awakens event in Dublin. Photo Anthony Woods
Game of Thrones actor Liam Cunningham was greeted by a Stormtooper
Golfer Padraig Harrington with his wife Caroline at the Irish Independent Sport Star awards.
Brian Kerr and TV3's Sinead Kissane at the Irish Independent Sport Star awards.
Republic of Ireland International Stephanie Roche with her boyfriend Dean Zambra at the Irish Independent Sport Star awards at Croke Park, Dublin. Photo: Paul Mohan.
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

You know you come from a pretty famous family when you start competing over Manhattan billboard space.

Actress Eve Hewson, who had been gracing a New York billboard to promote her new show The Knick, was surprised to see her mug being torn down and replaced with a photo of her old man.

"It's for our HBO tour show," Bono explained. "She called me to tell me - it made me laugh."

How dull do your family fights about the whereabouts of the remote seem now? After months of touring and travelling rockstar Bono looked relieved to be home for the unveiling of John Rocha's new portrait at the National Gallery of Ireland.

"I get to wake up in my own bed and enjoy the p**sing rain," he said. "It's been a great year - a bit like a renaissance."

The gallery was buzzing as John's close friends including Guggi, Ali Hewson and Paddy McKillen milled about.

John's daughter Simone arrived with her partner Eoin McLoughlin and their one month old daughter Valentine.

Simone, who has dressed everyone from Rihanna and Lady Gaga to Julianne Moore, was delighted her father was in such good company.

"His painting is going to be in a room full of Turners," she said. Simone opened her flagship store in London's Mayfair this autumn.

"I opened the store and just had a baby, it's a surreal but very special time."

After the festive break she will be getting ready for London Fashion Week.

The man of the moment was feeling humbled by the whole experience.

"It took six months and I had three sittings and it is the greatest honour of my career," John said proudly.

Artist Geraldine O'Neill, explained the unique relationship between painter and sitter.

"We would eat some cáca milis and chat. I don't paint that many portraits but this was a joy. It's a bit like doing a two-step dance with someone."

Asked if she had managed to wangle any complimentary clothes out of the commission, she gasped.

"What a terrible question. I am not much of a gúna girl. I love them on other people but I am more sneakers and jeans."

Once the portrait had been studied we darted into the adjoining No 5 South Leinster Street for several glasses of chilled Moet.

Fans feel force flow with in-spired light

By Kirsty Blake Knox

Like the shining North Star guiding sailors home, the world's largest lightsaber (aka Dublin's Spire covered in fancy blue lights) acted as a beacon for Star Wars fanatics on Wednesday night.

The premiere of JJ Abrams film took place at The Savoy Cinema. Outside there were endless debates about Death Stars, Wookies, and whether Princess Leia is, in fact, still a princess.

Moone Boy star David Rawle was barely able to contain himself. "I am a raving Star Wars fan... I am a bundle of nerves and excitement."

Emmy winner Baz Ashmawy talked about returning to reality after picking up the prestigious TV gong State Side. "One Lidl shop and a school run and it's forgotten," he laughed. Ashmawy had been avoiding Star Wars spoilers on line. "I have had a bucket on my head. I feel like a kid. My missus thinks I'm a loser." Stormtroopers greeted actors Paul Ronan and Liam Cunningham. "I was 16 years old when I saw the first one," Liam said. "I think you should be arrested if you don't see this film." We took to seats and I finally got a sense of the force.

Dublin can be heaven as stars arrive home

By Bairbre Power

Dublin is teaming with sportstars, home for the holidays and I bumped into a very relaxed Rory McIlroy as he exited the Westbury Hotel on Thursday after a busy few days celebrating his engagement to Erica Stoll.

Dressed casually in jeans, shirt and a gilet, the 26-year-old looked up at the sunny sky and you could see he was somewhat bemused by the temperatures we are enjoying when normally we have snow around the corner.

Meanwhile, Conor McGregor's many Irish fans are keenly awaiting his arrival home for Christmas early next week and after dropping off the cases in Crumlin, he will no doubt be into town and into his favourite hairdressers.

Christian Shannon, salon manager of Brown Sugar on Dublin's South William Street, has been creating slick hair styles for the Notorious one over the last few years and Conor won't recognise the salon as the owner, Mark O'Keeffe has given it a total facelift in soothing tones.

"I've been a little busy," Mark smiled as he explained how the elegant architectural arches were inspired by Christchurch cathedral. Turns out that he is expanding the Sugar Culture family with a new salon in Ranelagh, a Sugar Culture hair and make-up academy opening in the New year and last month, he opened Sugar Daddy at Exchequer Street. Pals tell me Conor McGregor especially likes three things - to train, eat and shop so you can fully expect to see him out and about his home town over the holidays, at eateries like Dylan McGrath's Rustic Stone and Taste at Rustic.

I suspect a trip to Brown Thomas might just be in order and he wants to buy his girlfriend, Dee Devlin, a Porsche for Christmas. As you do.

In Brown Thomas, I bumped into fashion director Shelly Corkery who told me how the dressing of feet is a major trend next season so girls, feel free to indulge in some shoe buying in the sales. The capital is full of exciting pop ups like Industry 2 on the Hibernian Mall, in which Rob Kearney has a share and Cuisine de France opened the Boulangarie De Noel for 12 days on South great George's Street. Among those spotted there were Des Bishop, 2fm's DJ's Conor Behan and Tracy Clifford as well as up and coming fashion photographer, Aaron Hurley. Try the brandy mince puffs!

Eoin is Macken the most of his time home

By Kirsty Blake Knox

Having spent months in South Africa tussling with Milla Jovovich and Orange is the New Black star Ruby Rose, Irish actor and author Eoin Macken has returned to our shores.

Eoin, who you may recall began his career on Fair City, will star as rebel leader Doc alongside the two ladies in Hollywood blockbuster Resident Evil: The Last Chapter.

"I got to do whatever stunts they'd let me, a lot of kicking and killing in front of a green screen," he said. "It is not as scary as the video game - I think."

He is also working on the third series of NBC medical drama The Night Shift and The Green Rabbit and Ice Cream Van. Before he heads back to LA, Eoin is judging the Jameson Done in 60 Second film competition in January - which lets would be Spielbergs showcase their directing chops.

"They have to try and recreate a movie we all know in 6o seconds which should be enough time to save the world, get the boy or girl of your dreams and live happily ever after," Eoin said.

New Year's race first past post

By Bairbre Power

Soccer and celebrity pundit Niall Quinn hosted a party at Lawlor's Hotel - of which he is one of the owners - to mark their involvement in the annual New Year's race meeting at Naas Racecourse.

The inaugural Winter Ladies Day competition takes place on January 3 and the winner will take away a Raymond Weil gold watch worth €2,500.

Naas native Daniella Moyles was at the party looking gorgeous in a black jump suit from H&M. The Spin 1038 radio presenter plans to spend Christmas at home with her family and then jets off to Mexico for a short break with her boyfriend, 98FM's Dara Quilty.

Auctioneer Richard Brophy from Goffs Country attended the party as did Catherine Murray from the race course and trainer Willie Mullins.

Also there were known breeders Dermot Cantillon, Robbie Osbourne and David Cox (husband of Tamso Doyle) who are all directors of Naas Racecourse.

Hawaii to go as Padraig ignores  a rough start

By Kirsty Blake Knox

While the nation is nursing a collective New Year's hangover on January 1, golfing champ Padraig Harrington will be saying Aloha and heading to Hawaii for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua.

"It'll be a working holiday this Christmas with a few parties," he said. "Its a nice way to start the New Year." Harrington along with his wife Caroline was one of the sporting giants to attend the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards in association with Croke Park Hotel this week.

Dr Ronnie Delaney, Joe Ward, Michael Carruth, and Stephanie Roche got catch up with old pals. John Delaney and Emma English arrived alongside Martin O'Neill and Brian Kerr. "It's a fantastic night," Kerr said. "I'm delighted Kevin Moran is being inaugurated into the Hall of Fame. He's the only person I know who went from playing GAA in Dublin to centre field for Manchester United."

Dublin midfielder Brian Fenton talked about the team's recent trip to Thailand.

"It was 10 great days but I won't be saying too much about it," he joked.

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