Style Celebrity

Wednesday 18 September 2019

Louis Murray's girl is now the African Queen

Sarah Swan and husband Mark
Sarah Swan and husband Mark
Footie legend Stephen Hunt
Pippa O'Connor
Fine dining... Dave Grohl
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

Sarah Murray's father took on the bank. And survived. Not many people in this country can say that, can they?

In June, tycoon Louis told me - after his High Court action against a bank and a receiver had been withdrawn on confidential terms agreed between the parties - "I walked out with a signed, sealed settlement."

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Far more impressively, Lou also beat cancer. "I have never felt better, and I am far from broke," he said. "The fees were over €1m. So, not many people can take a bank to court for obvious reasons. But if I have endured those seven-and-a-half years, I will endure anything. That's it in a nutshell. I survived.

"I'm a free man. I'm going to live every day of it," he told me in his mansion next door to Bono's mansion on Killiney Hill during the summer.

You can see where young Sarah gets her drive and will to succeed from (to say nothing of her ambition: her dad, once upon a time, had a hotel, a bar, a restaurant, a nightclub and other establishments back through the years).

Beautiful designer Sarah Swan (her married name) told your diarist: "I'm really confident with my latest collection, called Swan Song. I did a fashion shoot of scarves for autumn/winter in Italy. I think it's wonderful but of course I'm biased!" she laughed.

"It is a South African themed shoot. I spent time in Johannesburg with my friend Bernice, who is a pilot for Virgin Atlantic, and took photographs in a beautiful game reserve called Leopardsong. I then created my scarf range.

"It's a luxury collection of oversized cashmere blends and wool maglia, all made in Lake Como in Italy. The collection features beautiful images of plains wildlife captured in their natural habitat."

Her dad will soon move into his new penthouse in Marbella - the 74-year-old will live six months in southern Spain and the other six months next door to Bono, the poor diddums. I will probably have a drink with Lou on Christmas Eve, as I do most years.

So maybe Sarah's next collection could be inspired by the designer-clad species of sun-tanned creatures captured in their natural habitat of nocturnal Marbs?


The life of bustling Brian at House...

Pippa O'Connor

Oh, to be Brian Ormond? The life of Brian, or what? Last weekend, to celebrate his 40th birthday, not only did he have a giant birthday bash for 200 people at the Powerscourt Hotel in Enniskerry on the Friday (there was also golfing at Adare Manor the day before), but on the Saturday night the party continued in Dublin's city centre in (where else?) House.

Arriving at 6pm, guests - among them included Brian Dowling and husband Arthur Gourounlian and Welsh rugby player Dominic Day, plus the birthday boy's gorgeous wife Pippa O'Connor - enjoyed bespoke passion fruit Martinis with a photo of Brian and Pippa printed on them. Lucky them.

Footie legend Stephen Hunt

They also got Whispering Angel Rose wine and canapes by Gourmet Food Parlour at the birthday party that went on until late. Further south, in Wexford town, at my favourite hipster pizza restaurant, Crust, footie legend Stephen Hunt was in (he owns one of my fav pubs, Tides in Rosslare), not least because he is a regular, as are local hurling heroes like Lee Chin.


Rebecca's recipe for a happy marriage

Daniel Day-Lewis was in Greystones last Tuesday night in a local restaurant.

Was he researching a new role? Or just, and more likely, having his dinner? Has he moved back from America? He used to live up the road in his Wicklow idyll with his novelist wife Rebecca Miller and their sons, Cashel Blake and Ronan Cal. I once met her in 2008, the iconoclastic daughter of American playwright Arthur Miller and photographer Inge Morath. I was a huge fan of her book The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.

I recall saying to Rebecca that some people might imagine she and her husband, the original Dan and Becs, sitting up all night discussing Beckett and Sartre, while the truth is that they are more likely to be tickling each other with feather dusters watching Duck Soup by the Marx Brothers.

"Or worse!" she laughed.

"I mean, humour is the main way of surviving life. And that's it. Without that, you can just die... Not that I find everything funny, but that's the primary thing that would attract me to a person as a friend or a husband or anything else. And to share that way of looking at the world - there is no better intimacy," said the author of such magnificently intriguing sentences as, ''Gradually, I stopped crying about my mother. I bled the emotions from my memory until they hung lifeless in my mind like a pig on a hook in a butcher's shop window."


Full circle as rockers get a taste for Hugo's

Fine dining... Dave Grohl

How about this for synchronicity? Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and his wife Jill McCormick were in fancy bistro Hugo's for dinner last month. While last Tuesday night, Dave Grohl and his band the Foo Fighters were in the same restaurant on Merrion Row ahead of their sold-out - and explosively exhilarating - show at the RDS Arena last Wednesday night.

And the synchronicity? Well, on January 8, 1995, the Foo Fighters received their first public airing, albeit they were announced under Grohl's name, on Eddie Vedder's Self-Pollution Radio show.

Let's hope there was no food fighting in Hugo's with Grohl et al on Wednesday.

The band was staying a hop, skip and a jump from their concert venue around the corner on Simmonscourt Road at the five-star InterContinental. On Wednesday night they went back to Hugo's for their after show party.

Meanwhile, the hotel's debonair Louis Copeland-sporting general manager Nicky Logue had just flown the other way. Ennis-born Nicky was back from America after a four-day work trip to Las Vegas for a tourism conference to sing the praises of our great little country.

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