Miriam Lord’s Week: taking to the political catwalk
Dressed up with somewhere to go for charity
President Higgins with his Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto, at the National Palace in Mexico City.
The state of them in Leinster House. Sashaying up and down the stairs, clip-clopping like ponies around the Dáil chamber, pouting at the ush- ers, falling off their platforms.
They’ll be back to normal in a couple of weeks. It’s all to do with the second Annual Oireachtas Charity Fashion Show which happens on November 12th in the Shelbourne Hotel.
Last year’s inaugural show was a huge success and raised more than €20,000 for motor neurone disease research. The event was established after Nicky McFadden, the Fine Gael TD for Longford- Westmeath, was diagnosed with MND and she joined forces with her colleagues in Leinster House to put together the fashion fundraiser.
Minister Jimmy “Zoolander” Deenihan was one of the main organisers and he brought stylist Marietta Doran on to the team as show director.
Radio station Newstalk is sponsoring this year’s extravaganza, which is no bad thing as some of the politicians who have agreed to “model” might be best highlighted in sound rather than pictures.
Among those set to strut their stuff are Ministers Simon Coveney and Richard Bruton and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.
Members of FG’s famous five (a-side) bunch are out in force for the occasion: we see the likes of Eoghan Murphy, Seán Conlan, Martin Haydon and Anthony Lawlor on the start list.
The glamorous Mary Mitchell O’Connor heads up a long list of female TDs and senators taking to the runway.
They include Áine Collins, Heather Humphreys, Sandra McLellen, Fidelma Healy Eames, Hildegarde Naughton, Michelle Mulherin, Deirdre Clune, Catherine Noone, Cáit Keane, Imelda Henry, Susan O’Keeffe and Averil Power.
GAA stars Bernard Brogan and Paul Galvin are among the star guests drafted in to show up the politicians.
The professional models doing their best not to laugh at the competition include Rosanna Davison, Roz Purcell, Cristina Aston, Sarah Morrissey, Karen Fitzpatrick, Yumiko Chen, Naomi Cullen and Matthew John.
We note that Suzanne Jackson of So Sue Me Blog will be taking part.
She was doing the fashion show in Liffey Valley Shopping Centre that Enda Kenny crashed during the referendum campaign. It’s very brave of her to venture back among politicians.
And what about the clothes? All from leading Irish designers including tailor Louis Copeland, couturier Jen Kelly, Helen Cody, Seán Byrne, Heidi Higgins, Niamh O’Neill, Claire Garvey and Helen Steele. Award-winning milliners Mark T. Burke, Aoife Hannon and Aoife Kirwan will supply the hats.
The evening – with entertainment from accordion prodigy Liam O’Connor and champion Irish dancer Kelly McDonnell – kicks off at 7pm.
Tickets are €50 each, available from 01-631 3806 or email@example.com.
Press corps’ Central American odyssey
We won’t lie about it. Yes, we were a little envious of those lucky journalists who got to go on that long trip around Central America with President Higgins.
Thanks to the infernal smartphone, we were treated to lovely snaps as they journeyed from Mexico to El Salvador to Costa Rica. All smiles. Lots of men in braided caps with tropical plants in the background. And parrots, probably.
Little did we know, but that group suffered. Oh, yes. Midway through their excursion, they all experienced a Mexican wave of epic proportions. Chicken wings, said some. Sandwiches, said others – but ice-cubes were considered the most likely culprit. Some were more stricken than others, but few escaped.
By the time they returned to Ireland after their 12-day odyssey, the large Irish delegation had thoroughly bonded as a result of their shared experience and through the sharing of drugs.