Mayday, Mayday, ship to shore


ALL day long the choppy weather on Thursday meant that it was touch and go whether the American ambassador's Fourth of July party on "the boat" would go ahead. In the end it did - just 1,000 people were ferried out expectations, naturally, were running high. The trouble was - really does seem to be stating the obvious to say this - a warship is not a great place for a party after all.

The bash was held in a giant aircraft hangar on board and even though the marines had dickied it up with flags and there was food and drink aplenty, a party atmosphere never really got going. The invitees starting arriving on board at about 6.30 p.m. and there was a rush to get off when the first ferry left to go back at 9 p.m. - this meant that The Corrs played to an audience of mostly marines.

It was probably the only party where the best dressed men wore anoraks - Patrick Mason and Theo Dorgan, and the best dressed women wore smart trouser suits - Finola Bruton and Jean Kennedy Smith. The guest list was made up mostly of the diplomatic corps, the judiciary and what seemed like the entire Oireachtas. There was a sprinkling of local celebrities, but anyone who had come expecting the much rumoured appearance of Tina Turner, U2 and The Eagles left disappointed.

The real party was on the pier in Dun Laoghaire where there was a carnival atmosphere, with thousands braving the traffic jam to see the spectacular fireworks display.

The party to be at this week was on land - at businessman Ulick McEvaddy's home in Dublin. The top brass from the JFK was there, as was John Bruton and several high powered business people. The house, complete with an outdoor heated swimming pool and all weather tennis court, is now for sale a snip at around £800,000. The McEvaddys are moving to Auburn House in Malahide, which they bought last week for £1.4 million.

Ulick and his brother Des, who are planning to build a £50 million terminal at Dublin Airport, were also part of the consortium that developed the £14 million Malahide marina, so Ulick should feel right at home in the area.