Brides, bust-ups, babies, and bumps

JANUARY

The publicity-hungry Sinéad O’Connor broke up with her newest husband, Barry Herridge, for the second time since they tied the knot in Las Vegas late last year.

Before she had decided to make the placid and unreadable Barry her fourth husband, Sinéad had to cover up a “Mrs Cooney” tattoo on her chest — in honour of her marriage to third husband, musician Steve Cooney — with a bigger one of Jesus Christ.

Oh dear... Grumpy ex-Westlife member Brian McFadden had a ‘pikey rant’ (whatever that is) after an internet troll poked fun at him online. The cheek. How dare he criticise such an extremely talented individual!

Holly Sweeney said she doesn’t blame the shapely (and very rich) tennis ace Caroline Wozniaki for her split from golf king Rory McIlroy.

Gorgeous Georgia Salpa, whose career started with an advert on a bus shelter, denied that she is Ireland’s answer to the equally well-endowed glamour model Jordan. “She’s just trashy,” declared Georgia. Miaoow!

Comic Brendan O’Carroll’s son Danny is hailed as a hero after he saves a drowning man in a Florida pool in the holiday complex where Brendan, daughter Fiona, and Danny all own holiday homes. Actor Danny revealed: “He wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse. I hauled him out and kept slapping his back and eventually water started coming out of his mouth.”

Actor Liam Neeson unnecessarily revealed how his pee froze while shooting survival movie The Grey in the Canadian wilderness.

Bartra House, the luxury seafront mansion in Dalkey, is put on the market. It was originally bought in 1996 for €2.47m by former Indo supremo Gavin O’Reilly and his actress wife Alison Doody. The couple eventually split and the current asking price is €3.9m.

FEBRUARY

Al Pacino brought some real Hollywood style and panache to Ireland when he jetted in to Dublin with his partner, Lucila Stola, for a red carpet screening of his movie Wilde Salome as part of the Jameson Film Festival.

Brendan O’Carroll’s comedy creation Mrs Brown’s Boys trashed Jonathan Ross in the TV ratings war. The magnificently potty- mouthed Mrs Brown pulled in an incredible 6.2m viewers for the final show in the series on BBC, while floppy-haired Ross, who had David Beckham as his main guest the same night on ITV, only managed a measly 4.2m.

Veteran rockers Aslan accidently released !a cover of a Boyzone song. Ironically, Too Late for Hallelujah provided them with one of their biggest hits. But it wasn’t enough for them to sell out a gig at Tallaght Stadium.

Ken ‘Don’t Call Me Kenny’ Egan split from PR babe Sharon McHugh. He was reportedly searching for other dates online while he was with her.

Caroline Downey Desmond, the wife of MCD promoter Denis Desmond, revealed at a Hot Press seminar in the RDS how there was to be no Oxegen festival in 2012 due to the costly police bills and other local expenses involved.

MARCH

Ryan Tubridy quit Twitter in a huff over what he claimed was the constant abuse he’d been getting. He revealed: “If you’re sending out 10 tweets a day and getting 100 back, one in every 10 is bad.”

One Direction’s Irish star Niall Horan revealed he had banked a cool cheque for €2.4m — just two years after he auditioned for The X Factor.

Former bad boy Colin Farrell has reportedly dropped €4m as a result of property dealings here.

Christian and Simon Stokes — the one-time poster boys for the boom generation — started a claim to the Employment Appeals Tribunal against the new owners of their former members’ club, Residence, of St Stephen’s Green. The Bang Brothers eventually had their claim rejected by the tribunal.

Lorraine Keane showed up at the opening of an envelope.

APRIL

Pint-sized pop star Ronan Keating and his wife Yvonne finally declared that their 14-year marriage was over after revelations of his lengthy affair with Boyzone backing dancer Francine Cornell. The pair have vowed to stay cordial for the sake of their three children.

A new series called Vikings started filming in Co Wicklow with smouldering Irish actor Gabriel Byrne (someone throw a bucket of water over him) in a lead role.

Curvy TV star and musician Myleene Klass was unceremoniously dumped by her Irish husband Graham Smith, who is Boyzone star Keith Duffy’s brother-in-law.

Wacky pop duo Jedward declared they were not scared by al-Qaeda threats ahead of their appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan. Not too sure who posed the greatest threat!

Grumpy Bob Geldof declared how he dislikes his new grandson Astala’s name, given to the unfortunate child by his daughter Peaches, who has a ridiculous moniker herself. “What’s he going to be called at school? Ass?” he fumed. Probably the same thing you were, Bob.

Bono and Ali Hewson visited Israel, where he is believed to have business interests. He left a personal note in his hotel room thanking the staff.

After going over her due date, actress Leigh Arnold gave birth to her first child with partner Steve Davies, a boy named Hunter. Within weeks, the former star of The Clinic successfully auditioned for a role in the upcoming TV3 show Deception.

Veteran presenter Mike Murphy slammed RTÉ’s scheduling of his TV show Masterpiece: Ireland’s Favourite Painting, claiming it was scheduled in a graveyeard slot after “one of the most excruciatingly boring Prime Time on record”.

MAY

In a nice big beauty queen controversy, the new Miss Ireland, Marie Hughes, was dramatically stripped of her title for being too old. She had to hand over her crown, sceptre, and probably most of her pride and dignity, to the delighted runner-up, Rebecca Maguire.

Everyone’s number one model, Georgia Salpa, is included in the top five of FHM’s Sexiest Women In The World poll. She is the highest placed newcomer at number five.

Thirty years after becoming an overnight sensation, a delighted Brendan O’Carroll received a Bafta gong in London for Best Sitcom for Mrs Brown’s Boys.

Paul McGuinness launched an exhibition of early U2 pictures in Dublin’s Little Museum. He seemed to expect everyone from that era to be there.!

On day release from court proceedings, Seán Quinn Jr married future style icon Karen Woods. Her upmarket and stylish outfits, complete with killer heels, were much pictured in the press during her visits to Seán while was residing in the big house on the North Circular Rd later in the year.

Despite the hype, oddball duo Jedward crashed out of the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, Azerbaijan, only managing to reach 19th place with the decidedly wet song Waterline. Their flop cost Ireland a whopping €254,000.

JUNE

The now decidedly creaky Late Show celebrated its 50th birthday, with Ryan Tubridy, Pat Kenny, and Gaybo back in the spotlight, and a whiskey-demanding Nell McCafferty in the audience. Unfortunately there wasn’t one for everyone. But there definitely was more than one for everyone in the backstage canteen, where rivers of whiskey flowed. Guest Liam Neeson came across as tired and emotional, while other guests include a dog-collared Sinéad O’Connor and the nearly always tired and emotional Shane MacGowan.

Westlife played two farewell shows to 82,000 fans in Dublin’s Croke Park. Many tears are shed, but none by music lovers.

Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh defiantly denied newspaper reports she will be hosting an afternoon show for RTÉ in Cork. Come October, it all came to pass.

Una Healy of pop group The Saturdays married her rugby player fiancee Ben Foden in Bansha in her native Co Tipperary. The couple sold the photo rights to OK magazine.

The Edge’s beloved mum Gwenda Evans passed away. The woman was described by Bono as the band’s first roadie as she ferried them around in the family car during their teenage years.

Dublin’s Woollen Mills, the legendary thread and wool institution which once employed James Joyce as their agent in Zurich, closed down — on Bloomsday!

Westlife’s Shane Filan was declared bankrupt in Britain after the building company he set up with his brother incurred debts of €23m. With Westlife kaput, a solo career is planned by the singer. Get your skates on, Shane!

The atrocious Dublin Housewives hit the small screen “starring” Lisa Murphy, Virginia Macari, and Danielle Meagher — with most of the best action taking place off screen. Danielle acquired the lovely nickname of Dr Botox.

JULY

A Grade A celebrity finally came to town in the shape of Victoria Beckham. During a visit to meet fans in Brown Thomas store she was very nearly upstaged by her 1-year-old daughter Harper. Despite her sulky demeanour, she came across as quite friendly in a radio interview — Victoria, that is!

Enigmatic chicklit princess Cecelia Ahern gave birth to her second child, a son named Sonny, and a companion for daughter Robin. She and equally enigmatic husband David Keoghan were over the metaphorical moon.

Rockabilly sensation Imelda May had her first baby — a girl named Violet Kathleen. Her and her cool, guitar-playing husband Darren were delighted.

The great Bruce Springsteen played two sold-out shows in Dublin’s RDS Arena and Spot the Boss quickly became the new game around town. During his free time he was, erm, spotted downing pints in the Long Hall with his son and a pal, and designing his own customised burger in The Counter restaurant on Suffolk St. Truly a man of the people.

The Edge found a passport bag outside Dalkey Dart Station lost by some American tourists. He handed it in to Killiney Castle Hotel, where they had been staying, and slipped in a signed CD as well. Unfortunately it was the decidedly mediocre No Line On The Horizon. But it’s the thought that counts, Dave.

The insatiable former weatherman Dáithí Ó Sé enjoyed four stag nights before finally walking up the aisle with Rita Talty. What a long goodbye to bachelorhood.

Exuberant chef and entrepreneur Jamie Oliver launched the rain-sodden Taste of Dublin Festival and waxed lyrical, as is his cheeky chappie wont, about his upcoming eatery in Dundrum Town Centre.

Una Healy and Ben Foden’s wedding pictures featured in OK magazine. She revealed how she had closed the hotel bar early on the night before the wedding as she didn’t want Ben appearing in OK with a “puffy face” on him. Fair enough. Now we know who wears the rugby shorts and who wears the trousers in that relationship.

Adam Clayton’s former housekeeper Carol Hawkins was sentenced to seven years in jail for defrauding the U2 bassist of €2.8m.

POD Concerts goes into liquidation, with €750,000 owed to the Revenue. But John Reynolds’s company insisted that the Electric Picnic, which it also ran, is to continue.

Lorraine Keane showed up at the opening of a book of stamps.

AUGUST

Ronan Keating’s estranged wife Yvonne is pictured for the first time with her new love, a bearded cameraman named John Conroy who has six children — yes six — and is separated from his wife.

Van Morrison refused to take his ever-present fedora off in order to enter an exhibition of pencil sketches by the great Leonard da Vinci in Belfast, and is subsequently turned away, bald pate still unrevealed to the masses.

Touchy singer/ actress Maria Doyle Kennedy stated that joining The Commitments reunion would have been a backwards step for her. At least Johnny Murphy (Joey the Lips) had a sick cert for the reunion.

Pugnacious Brian McFadden and his young fiancee, the statuesque Vogue Williams, married “in secret” in a Dublin registry office on a Thursday before jetting off to Florence for the main event on the Sunday, at which Brian’s best man failed to turn up. They then, thankfully, return to Australia.

Georgia Salpa upped sticks and moved to London and was pictured, all loved-up, with her financier boyfriend Joe Penna.

SEPTEMBER

The splendidly well-endowed former Miss World Rosanna Davison got the whole nation talking as she posed topless (but in the best possible taste of course) in Playboy magazine’s German edition, apparently with the complete backing of parents Diane and Chris de Burgh.

Aspiring actress Caroline Morahan, now based in Los Angeles, tied the knot in Tuscany with her partner of five years Dáithí Ó Caoimh. The celebrations lasted for three days!

Variety magazine namechecked Brendan Gleeson’s flame-haired actor son Domhnall as “one to watch” in 2013.

The late Phil Lynott’s mum Philomena lambasted Republican Mitt Romney and co for using Thin Lizzy’s hit The Boys Are Back in Town as their rallying call. Philo’s former wife Caroline later joined in, threatening legal action.

Businesswoman Norah Casey joined Newstalk for a morning radio show. An RTÉ gig on Fridays in Cork then popped up. She quit the now jaded Dragon’s Den.

Ronan Keating showed off his new girlfriend, the delightfully monikered Storm Uechtritz, a TV executive he first met in Australia last year. Again, she’s taller than him. But sure who isn’t?

Georgia Salpa split with her Irish model agency Andrea Roche Models. But did she jump or was she pushed? Does anybody care?

Model-turned-TV presenter Glenda Gilson appeared on a tax defaulters’ list for allegedly under-declaring income tax and Vat. She settled with the Revenue for €73,000. She had previously appeared in court in relation to the collapse of a car sales company where she was a director.

OCTOBER

After deferring their wedding plans numerous times, the flamboyant celebrity lawyer Gerald Kean (his clients include Manchester United players, you know?) and his pneumatic fiancee Lisa Murphy announced they’d split. That one we saw coming.

And splitsville yet again — TV babe Kathryn Thomas confirmed she had separated from her big, beefy motorbike cop boyfriend Enda and is doing fine on her own.

Back home from a lovely Lotto junket to New York, celebrity couple Brian Ormond and Pippa O’Connor couldn’t wait to tell their friends that they are infanticipating. Brian eventually tweeted it this month and among the first to congratulate them on the net were fellow beautiful people Rosanna Davison and Claudine Keane.

Aspiring actress Sonya Macari and her musician boyfriend of 10 years, Colin Devlin, finally tied the knot in a small ceremony for family and friends. Her sister Virginia attended, as did his brother Peter.

Liam Neeson revealed that he misses his late wife, the actress Natasha Richardson, every day.

Melanie Verwoerd, the partner of the late Gerry Ryan, ran in to major trouble with her memoir When We Dance, much of which details her time with the Big G. But Gerry’s old pal Dave Kavanagh (who was with him on the night he died) went to court to stop the book for alleged defamation against him. He succeeded, got it taken off the shelves, and had an addendum added before it could go back on sale. Bookshop staff everywhere breathed a sigh of relief.

Calum Best, who starred in Celebrity Bainisteoir, had a €10,000 hair transplant in an effort to stay young and virile. He also launched his own cologne. We don’t think more hair will make you more (emotionally) mature Calum. Try getting a real job maybe.

RTÉ’s Afternoon Show co-presenter Dáithí Ó Sé will have to take the train to Cork. Wonder if he’s in first class or steerage due to budget cuts in Montrose?

Meanwhile the vociferous Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh, who really just loves to natter, has been hitching a ride home from the same city with her co-presenter Norah Casey on Fridays.

Model Aoife Cogan and rugby player Gordon D’Arcy wed at St Macartans Cathedral in Monaghan.

NOVEMBER

Gabriel Byrne began shooting his new series, Quirke, based on John Banville’s books credited to his alias Benjamin Black, in Dublin. He attended Anglo: The Musical after dissing The Gathering. He joked he might take part in a spoof The Gathering: The Musical next year by Anglo’s producers. At least he has a sense of humour.

RTÉ’s Pat Kenny said he is (relatively) broke and will have to work past retirement age. Altogether now — aww!

Louis Walsh won a €500,000 defamatory case against The Irish Sun.

Panto queen Twink’s book Unzipped failed to set the nation alight, reportedly only selling 167 copies in its first week. Oh dear. Maybe that’s why she went back to panto, this time in Limerick with Dustin the Turkey. !

Cecelia Ahern published yet another chick-lit best-seller, as did the now pregnant Amy Huberman.

Ireland’s controversial soccer manager Giovanni Trappatoni caused a sensation when he dined at the award-winning L’Ecrivain restaurant on Baggot St in the company of the FAI’s John Delaney and, more importantly, French footballing legend Michel Platini. Michel signed an awestruck waiter’s shirt on his way out. Class.

DECEMBER

The mainly New York-based Bono (it’s well for some) booked his OBE pal (amazing what throwing a party for the Queen can get you!) Harry Crosbie’s new Cafe H diner for his annual Christmas bash for staff and pals this month.

Former Miss Ireland Andrea Roche married her beau Rob White, brother of stunning actress Holly White.

Poor ol’ Bill Cullen lost both The Apprentice television show and his Renault car dealership. Looks like that space trip is off for the timer being, William.

MTV presenter Laura Whitmore split from Danny O’Reilly of soft rock band The Coronas.

Former Miss Ireland Sarah Morrissey announced her engagement to her footballer boyfriend Pat Jennings Jr. Pat, who plays for Derry City, is the son of the former Northern Irish international goalkeeper.

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