It's not such a long way from Clare to Croatia, Ms Ambassador


THE SOCIAL NETWORK:The ambassador of the Republic of Croatia, Jasna Ognjanovac, celebrated Croatia’s national day by hosting a guitar recital at the National Concert Hall on Wednesday evening. According to a member of the ambassador’s staff, the literal translation of her name is “Clare Coal”.

Our man in Croatia is none other than Gerry Danaher SC. He is Honorary Consul of Croatia as well as being a senior counsel in Dublin 7.

The guitarist Srdjan Bulat’s repertoire included three Croatian dances; whether they were a homage to his country’s three goals against us in Euro 2012 was unclear.

The nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, was on great form. He was chatting to the Lithuanian ambassador, Vidmantas Purlys, and his wife, Dita Purliëne.

The French ambassador, Emmanuelle d’Achon, said that July was going to be a busy month for her. She’s throwing a party on Ailesbury Road on July 14th for Bastille Day.

The French government is putting its chancery, across the road from its embassy, up for sale as soon as it finds alternative accommodation in the city.

D’Achon caught up with her neighbour from Ailesbury Road Javier Garrigues, the Spanish ambassador.

Who we spottedSimon Taylor, CEO of the NCH; Olive Braiden

What we drankRed wine from Peljesac and white wine from Kutjevo.

Wedding is next on mayor's diary

Dublin’s lord mayor, Cllr Andrew Montague, will be leaving Mansion House on Monday evening, when his term comes to an end. He has had a busy year attending functions and ceremonies, but one ceremony that he has been keeping below the radar is his forthcoming wedding, in Kilkenny on July 7th, to his fiancee, Sinéad Ahern.

A prince sails in

The Royal Palace of Stockholm has confirmed that Sweden’s Prince Carl Philip, duke of Värmland, will be visiting Galway on July 7th for the finale of the Volvo Ocean Race. The 33-year-old prince is a patron of the race. He is a renowned long-distance skier and is currently taking part in the Scandinavian car-racing series. He was commissioned as a naval officer in 2007 and served as a combat-boat commander. The prince regularly undertakes royal duties at home and abroad on behalf of his father, King Carl XVI Gustaf.

Respect your elders

Four hundred guests, including Tony Fenton, Kathryn Thomas and Andrea Roche, are expected at today’s Respect Summer Lunch at the Four Seasons in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. They will be entertained by Paul Harrington and Mario Rosenstock. Proceeds from the lunch, which costs €90 per person, will go towards buiding, among other things, an Alzheimer’s unit at St Joseph’s in Clonsilla.

Hutch and Hall love it up in Dublin

Desmond and Penny Guinness travelled to the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin from Leixlip Castle on Tuesday evening for the opening of Love Letters, which stars Jerry Hall and David Soul.

Hall is no stranger to Leixlip Castle and used to stay there with her former husband, Mick Jagger. She visited the Guinnesses earlier this week with her partner, Warwick Hemsley, who told me they had had a nice dinner.

Hemsley, who is from Australia, says he’s enjoying his stay at the Shelbourne with Hall. He told me he’s here for the whole season. The season in this instance is eight days. He loves Ireland and says that lots of Australians do: “Thirty-five per cent of Australians claim Irish ancestry.” He has visited Dalkey, Wicklow and the National Gallery of Ireland.

If he had been at the gallery on Wednesday he would have heard the last instalment of Romantic Verse and WB Yeats, with Kathleen Watkins and Prof Maurice Harmon. Watkins was at Love Letters on Tuesday evening, which must have been something of a busman’s holiday.

Jacqueline O’Brien, the wife of the late racehorse trainer Vincent O’Brien, told me she is just finishing a new book on the history of her native Australia. She has written books with Desmond Guinness, including Dublin: A Grand Tour’and Great Irish Houses and Castles. She didn’t go to Ascot this week. She was at the Epsom Derby to see Aidan O’Brien’s son, Joseph, win on Camelot. Aidan O’Brien – no relation – took over Ballydoyle stables when Vincent retired.

According to the programme, “Mr Soul’s pyjamas” were designed by Synan O’Mahony. Michael Scott, who directed the play, said it might travel to Australia, but he’s not packing his pyjamas just yet.

When Jerry Hall went on The Late Late Show a few weeks ago, Engelbert Humperdinck was also on the show. Afterwards Hall was introduced to Humperdinck’s son, who is a producer in Australia, and he invited her over there.

“I never believe I’m going to Australia until I’m standing at the airport with my tickets in my hand,” Scott said. He was catching up with the actor Roisin Sullivan and her sister Aisling Sullivan, who is the creative director of the Mill Theatre in Dundrum.

Who we spotted:Jennifer Maguire of Republic of Telly; comedian Alan Shortt; theatre director Brian Merriman; broadcasters Gay Byrne and Aonghus McAnally

Midsummer night streams at Solomon gallery

Suzanne MacDougald’s midsummer party on Thursday marked the opening of the summer show at Solomon Fine Art, on Balfe Street in Dublin.

The only downside – apart from the nonstop rain outside – was that MacDougald was away sunning herself. Her son and heir, the sculptor Reza MacDougald, and Suzanne’s business partner, Tara Murphy, greeted guests.

Murphy told me that although it hasn’t been officially announced yet, Suzanne has just been appointed to the board of the National College of Art and Design.

Reza has some pieces of sculpture in the show, including Eve’s Apple, made from carrera marble and based on carnal knowledge. His partner, Paula Flanagan, arrived from Johnstown in Co Kildare with the couple’s three children, six-year-old Matthew, four-year-old James and five-month-old Daniel.

Antoinette Penny arrived from Ballsbridge in Dublin 4. She works “as a freelance private manager and private assistant”, and for 13 years was engaged in a private capacity by John McColgan and Moya Doherty. She said the creators of Riverdance have a new show that will be ready to be showcased in October. Elizabeth Senior, from Blackrock in Co Dublin, has been collecting art for years. She told me her son, Edgar, has inherited her love of art and recently bought a Robert Ballagh picture.

The Government chief whip in the Seanad, Sen Paul Coghlan, chatted to the sculptor Orla de Brí, from Primatestown in Co Meath. She has just completed a piece of public sculpture for the Ratoath roundabout.

Who we spotted: artist Jackie Stanley; retired engineer Laragh Neelin

When Melanie met Suu Kyi

Bono isn’t the only one who is starstruck by Aung San Suu Kyi. When Melanie Verwoerd met her on Monday it was a dream come true.

“She was truly charming. It was so nice to meet a personal hero,” she said.

Verwoerd, who is the former South African ambassador to Ireland, helped to co-ordinate the Irish leg of Aung San Suu Kyi’s tour. Apart from dealing with protocol for the Amnesty International event, the former executive director of Unicef Ireland and the partner of the late Gerry Ryan also helped with the stars. She liked using her old skills again, and it “restored a little bit of my faith in humanity”.

She invited Roger Moore over for the event, and met him last weekend when he arrived at the Dylan Hotel. Moore was bombarded by a hen party whose members were delighted to see James Bond arriving.

Verwoerd’s son Wian is reading law at Trinity College Dublin. Wian’s sister, Wilmé, is interning on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, on the Washington Ireland Program. She eventually hopes to go into public service. The Trinity student is the great-granddaughter of the former prime minister of South Africa HF Verwoerd, who was assassinated in 1966.

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