The Edge: Dolores decides not to linger in Ireland
Everyone needs a Cranberry for Christmas.
The good news is that Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of one the biggest bands to come out of Ireland (the Cranberries, U fools) will be in Ireland in mid-December, but alas, it is only a flying visit in her role as coach on RTE's The Voice.
Because last Tuesday, Dolores and one of Ireland's greatest-ever pop stars left this country "for good".
The singer, with her husband Don Burton and their three children, Taylor, Mollie and Dakota, have moved back to Canada.
Since late July they had rented a mansion in the trendy Malahide enclave of Abington (their neighbours included Yvonne Keating, Marty Whelan, Robbie Keane and Claudine Palmer, Nicky Byrne and Georgina Ahern).
On Monday morning, the movers came; Don went to the airport with all the stuff and their two dogs. Dolores's mother travelled up from Limerick to say goodbye to her grandchildren.
Dolores' return in mid-December is to replace Sharon Corr as a coach on the RTE talent show.
Dolores and Don were testing the water to see if they would stay in Ireland, possibly buying a house. However, in the end, they just pined for the wide open spaces of their palace in Ontario. Well – it does have its own private lake.
"It was too built up for us. Too many people and cars and it felt like being in a box," she told me of her place in Malahide.
"We missed the wilderness. You get used to the great outdoors.
"From my window at home in Canada with the heavy snow on the trees, I can see people fishing through the ice. Doesn't that sound enticing?"
"I'm looking forward to peaceful silence at last!" she texted on the bus to Heathrow Terminal 4. Peaceful silence? To the social diarist that's akin to working in a Buddhist retreat.
Rock gods sup elixir of life in Dublin
Oh to have been a fly on the wall of Doheny & Nesbitt's last weekend when not one, but two multi-millionaire Dionysian rock gods shot the breeze over pints of the black stuff.
Robert Plant, the tousled frontman of what was once the biggest rock band on planet Earth – Led Zeppelin – hung out with Joe Elliot of the mighty, US-conquering, Def Leppard in the Baggot Street bar on the Saturday night drinking Guinness after Guinness.
They came in at 11pm and stayed until closing time. No one recognised them other than the bug-eyed staff, as the music legends never left the heavenly sanctuary of the snug (usually a second home for political hacks and politicians to discuss the nation's woes).
Robert, who was staying in the Dylan Hotel nearby and only flew in the day before, had been picked up from RTE earlier in a taxi by Elliott. Robert was backing up his girlfriend, Grammy Award-winning singer Patti Griffin, who performed on Brendan O'Connor's Saturday Night Show.
The happy pair had been on a trip around Kerry last month to rediscover Patti's Irish roots and the couple will be returning to Dublin on November 21 to play the Sugar Club on Leeson Street.
The Rugger ace Sexton marks another happy Chapter
It's heartening to see some people still know how to celebrate in Ireland.
Sporting demi-god Johnny Sexton was in Chapter One restaurant on Tuesday night with his wife Laura Priestly and a gang of eight friends. The hooley that started at 8.30pm and went on until 1.30am was to mark Johnny's birthday.
Meanwhile, your diarist bumped into film producer Zoe Rocha on Wednesday night in London. She excitedly told me that she was in the final countdown to her wedding to boyfriend Matt. "It's in the first weekend in December, here in London. It's not long now!" she said. "It's going to be a small wedding. Just close friends and family."
Staying with matters matrimonial, childhood sweethearts Ruth Cahill and Ian Barrett got married in Castle Leslie in Monaghan last weekend. A two-day bash – with even Sir Jack Leslie making an appearance – it was attended by friends who travelled from Australia, America and South America. Businessman Ian (one of the directors of Joule Energy) proposed to ravishing Ruth (who works for the Susquehanna Group in the IFSC) in Brisbane in September of last year. The very personal wedding ceremony was in Corracrin. Congrats to the Barretts.
Imelda knows how to make an exit
Some things you can say for certain about fashionistas: they don't allow themselves to be fazed by national credit lines and bailouts and a few of them have experience of exits – even if it is stage left, falling off the catwalk, like stunning Senator Imelda Henry, who fell coming off the ramp at the Garda Charity Fashion Show in Sligo Park Hotel last Thursday week in aid of SHOUT and the Special Olympics.
Senator Henry also modelled at the second annual show at the Shelbourne Hotel on Tuesday to help raise much-needed funds for Motor Neurone Disease Research Foundation. In a striking cobalt blue dress from ZULU boutique in Sligo – and a specially commissioned headpiece by Leitrim-based Milliner , Jennifer Wynne – Imelda put commitment to the cause over pain.
Her VBF Mary Mitchell O'Connor, who modelled at the Oireachtas Charity fashion show, will be supporting the local traders in Sandycove and Glasthule at their Christmas fashion event on Saturday. The villages by the sea will sizzle as O'Connor models an outfit from Soul Woman in Glasthule, not to mention gloves from Paula Rowan – glovier to the stars. Feel the Glove, I always say.
Deirdre Kelly's Angels Quest charity lunch in the Four Seasons on Friday was another gloved up event. Someone should appoint Ms Kelly to Cabinet for the great work she has done. The fashion was fantastic on Friday but the cause was better.
The fashion is always fantastic at the Tommy Hilfiger parties. Last year, it was a feast of great people and fun. This year will be no exception. In association with Life Magazine, the team at Tommy is hosting its annual Holiday Shopping Evening from 6-9pm on Thursday, November 28 in Dublin and Friday November 29 in Cork.
Today at noon, in Smock Alley main theatre, under the auspices (I've always wondered what the auspices were) of Bord Gais Energy, Emily Hourican, of this parish, converses with Roisin Ingle and Emma Hannigan about motherhood. Forget bailout exits – that's the real rock'n'roll.
Kean reveals his (not so) secret recipe
I'm now so far ahead of myself I'm meeting myself coming backwards. I can actually tell you what Gerald Kean and Lisa Murphy are having for Christmas dinner and where they're having it (Info I know you've all been waiting for with bated breath).
"We're having Christmas this year in Drayton Manor in Wicklow," Mr Kean informed me. "I'm cooking pheasant as a main course and a foie gras starter. I'll be doing a more traditional turkey and ham for people who don't like pheasant," the garrulous solicitor told your (showbiz) diarist (of the year) over lunch in the Pearl Brasserie last week, adding that he will be cooking for more than 20 guests this yuletide – among them his beloved Lisa, his sister Adrienne and brother Richard and their respective partners, as well as all his nieces and nephews.
Mr Kean is also bringing a gang to Marco Pierre White's on Dawson Street for his annual late lunch on Christmas Eve. "Lisa and I will be in Dublin this year for Christmas," he explained. "We're not going to Miami."
Just home from the US of A is Kathryn Thomas, whom I bumped into last weekend at the Irish Tatler Women Of The Year Awards in the Four Seasons. The RTE superstar, wearing Jovani from Cari's Closet in Malahide, had returned from Los Angeles where she was visiting her sister Linda who lives there now.
Crimper Mark's special delivery
Life got a little bit sweeter for Brown Sugar guru Mark O'Keeffe last weekend when on Saturday at 6am his partner Aimee Tenco gave birth to baby Riley in Holles Street hospital.
"I named him in memory of my best friend Eugene Reilly, who died two years ago, and who I started the business with," Mark told me. "I miss him."
Cool coiffeur Mark grooms the tresses of various gorgeous Gaels – Sile and Grainne Seoige, and Lisa Fitzpatrick among them – in Brown Sugar in South William Street and Blackrock as well as the recently opened Sugar Cubed in Clarendon Street.
Riley will, of course, be a brother for Mark's three other children – Charlotte, Isabella and Ely – by his former wife, top make-up artist Paula Callan.
Still on matters maternal, Ireland's most famous Polish import, Izabela Chudzicka, had a baby shower at her Donnybrook apartment last weekend to celebrate the imminent arrival of her child with partner Omar Bux.
The former City Channel presenter, who now has her own high-end fashion brand, Muse La Belle, invited gal pals Emma Forsythe, Avril Mulcahy, Rosemary Walshe and Keelin Murphy to whoop it up for baby. The last, who used to own Pangaea spa in Howth, tells me she's dating Miles from Bath. "I'm going to visit him this weekend."
What was it the poet said? "And Miles to go before I sleep."