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Thy Kingdom come - all the way to London

 

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Daithai rushed home to share a romantic St Valentine's meal with wife Rita

Daithai rushed home to share a romantic St Valentine's meal with wife Rita

Dinner date ... Leo and Matt are fans of 'Green Book'

Dinner date ... Leo and Matt are fans of 'Green Book'

Gay and Kathleen

Gay and Kathleen

Helen Cody opens the show. Photo: David Conachy

Helen Cody opens the show. Photo: David Conachy

TV presenter Yvonne and her 'Valentine date' Jack

TV presenter Yvonne and her 'Valentine date' Jack

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Daithai rushed home to share a romantic St Valentine's meal with wife Rita

I can solve the mystery of why Daithi O Se left the Cork studios of the Today show last Thursday in such a hurry...

Despite Phil Collins singing You Can't Hurry Love - "you'll just have to wait" - Daithi was, as he told me, "rushing home to Rita in Galway where she had a romantic dinner made".

"Valentine's is special to Rita and me because we moved into our house on Valentine's Day in 2015," Daithi said.

Delightful Maura Derrane's co-host added that "romance is about being there for someone, even when they don't need you.

"It's about having a hand on your partner's shoulder and having their back all the time. It's the ordinary things in life".

The Valentine's meal at Chez O Se in the West was "just a few hours chatting and eating", because Daithi had to be up early the next morning to catch a flight to London.

Daithi was MC at a fundraiser at the Grange St Paul's Hotel in Godliman Street for Kerry GAA. Mick Galwey, Bomber Liston, Marc O Se, Paul Galvin and other Kerry luminaries were expected to bring the particular frisson of the kingdom to London.

"What I love most about London is having a load of Kerry fellas with me," laughed Daithi. Yes, yes, but does anyone in London understand a word spoken when Daithi and these Kerry fellas get together?

Do the accents not get if anything thicker, like the finest Kerry butter, when lads from Kerry's lands gather in one space?

"We're well cultured in Kerry!" roared Daithi, who had to be up early yesterday morning to catch a flight to Shannon.

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"I have to bring Micheal - who turns five on St Patrick's Day - swimming in the afternoon."

So, Micheal's famous dad won't be swimming in Guinness in London?

"Only a few!"

 

Romantic repast for Leo & Matt before cinema date

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Dinner date ... Leo and Matt are fans of 'Green Book'

Dinner date ... Leo and Matt are fans of 'Green Book'

Dinner date ... Leo and Matt are fans of 'Green Book'

 

Anyone who put off going to see Green Book because a critic recently described it as a bland, regressive flip on Driving Miss Daisy, should ponder perhaps that the film has a big fan in a certain young man from Castleknock who turned 40 recently.

Leo Varadkar and his boyfriend, Dr Matthew Barrett, went to see it at the Light House cinema in Smithfield last Saturday night. "It's a good feel-good movie," An Taoiseach told me. "Great performances."

Leo and Matt enjoyed an early bird in the Whitefriar Grill on Aungier Street beforehand. How did Leo spend Valentine's Day? Please do not say work! "Afraid so!" he replied. "The staff in Dublin Airport gave me some chocolate hearts, though, which was really thoughtful." Aforesaid choccies can't have been helpful to Leo's much discussed-by-chattering-classes metabolic age of 53 possibly. But I digress.

What about Matt? "All work and no play at the moment." Would An T describe himself as a romantic person? "I don't like to think about myself as romantic," he said, "because I am not sentimental or emotional in any way. But I am vulnerable to romantic movies and candlelit dinners."

 

Love in the afternoon in Laragh for Gay & Kathleen

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Gay and Kathleen

Gay and Kathleen

Gay and Kathleen

 

'It was a beautiful drive on a sunny spring day." Thus spoke one half of the nation's next most romantic couple - after Leo 'n' Matt, natch - of how she and her husband of five decades celebrated St Valentine's Day. Kathleen Watkins and Gay Byrne had lunch at The Wicklow Heather Restaurant in Laragh. "Gay had whiskey and I had water," the author of Pigin of Howth and, Happy Christmas, Pigin, told me.

I asked Kathleen was she the romantic type. Her answer: "Deep down I am..."

Well, she did marry Mr B on June 25, 1964, in the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Saggart, Co Dublin. They have never been apart since. Except for Friday nights, once upon a time.

 

Yvonne's off to Vancouver; Mary going to Paris

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TV presenter Yvonne and her 'Valentine date' Jack

TV presenter Yvonne and her 'Valentine date' Jack

TV presenter Yvonne and her 'Valentine date' Jack

 

Contrary to her ex-husband's popular song, Yvonne Connolly doesn't say it best when she says nothing at all. I have always found her enormously articulate and candid.

"My son came home from Australia today," she told me last Thursday in reference to Jack who took a year out to go Down Under last September, "so that made my Valentine's."

Yvonne's other half, film cameraman John Conroy, wasn't around the place in Malahide on Valentine's alas. "He is away in Vancouver. I am going over next week," the TV presenter told me.

Another TV presenter - you might have heard of her - Mary Kennedy, is also jetting off. National treasure Mary is going to Paris the weekend after with a friend.

"We were supposed to go before Christmas but postponed because of the unrest," said Mary who has a trip booked to Kerry to film a Nationwide story with artist Pauline Bewick and her daughter Poppy.

She has also done a big story on Don Mescall, who is breaking internationally.

"He's a great singer-songwriter from Limerick," said Mary.

A great sporting hero turned TV pundit from Cork, Ronan O'Gara dined with his two brothers and their wives last Saturday night in Rasam in Glasthule.

As well as chatting amongst themselves, they had a word with diners at the adjoining table, none other than Rasam regulars Pat Kenny and his wife Kathy.

 

Helen lines up for her ARC fashion show moment

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Helen Cody opens the show. Photo: David Conachy

Helen Cody opens the show. Photo: David Conachy

Helen Cody opens the show. Photo: David Conachy

 

We're all about the rugby at the moment, aren't we? Ireland play Italy in the rugby next Sunday in Rome and I'd go if my wife would let me.

So what better time to announce that Leinster head coach Leo Cullen's wife Dairine Kennedy and her sister Keira have their KDK scarves collection on the runway at this year's ARC fashion show at the RDS on March 28.

I'm told that designer Helen Cody will open the show - produced by retail deity Eddie Shanahan - which will also include Heidi Higgins, who celebrated when Good Morning Britain presenter Kate Garraway wore one of her bright pink dresses on the UK TV show two weeks ago.

Media types will be likewise celebrating that broadcaster Olivia O'Leary will open this year's ARC Fashion Show with a few words.

More than 800 guests are expected to see this showcase of the best-established names alongside emerging design talent.

Tickets cost €55 and are selling out fast - so get yours quick on 01 830 7333 or www.arccancersupport.ie/events


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