Sunday, May 25, 2008


Continuing its association with high fashion and chic glamour, Newbridge Silverware launched its sponsorship of this year’s fashion stakes at Punchestown and as always, did so with style and good taste. Fine champagne – and it was the finest – was sipped amidst the “spot-the-celebrity” whispers of guests: “Is that the presenter of Expose?”; “Is that Lisa Fitzpatrick?” “There’s Alan Hughes!” Guests included Andrea Roche, Winner of VIP Style Award; Tony Reilly; Stylist, Lisa Fitzpatrick; TV3 presenters, Noel Cunninghan, Karen Koster, Aisling O`Loughlin, Sinead Desmond plus leading personalities from the world of racing such as Tom Taaffe, Mary and Arthur Moore, Conor O’Dwyer – and that’s only the tip of the iceberg!
Even before Celia Holman Lee hosted her collection themed “An Extravaganza of Racing Style”, guests like myelf enjoyed a ‘critical analysis’ of fashion on view; Nina Carberry looked refreshingly pretty in a lilac/pink chiffon dress – despite her continuing success as leading female jockey, Nina remains totally down to earth and oblivious to her newfound fame; Noel Cunningham, TV3’s social and gossip columnist, once again stole the show with his dapper top hat and tails ensemble – very naff, very Noel! (Go easy on the fake tan though, Noel) Phil Donnelly, PR of Newbridge Silverware wore a simple black and white dress with large button detail which could easily have fitted in with the Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly collection upstairs in the Museum of Style Icons.

Of the fashions displayed by the Holman Lee Model Agency, Makaba of Newbridge offered a range of stunning styles from classic lines to a lively “Retro” look – located at The Avenue, Whitewater Shopping Centre, this boutique is definitely worth a visit if you’re going to go all for fashion at Punchestown this year. Nip into Shanique then in the centre itself and check out their excellent style; Melie-b (of Roches Stores?) wowed the audience with their chic but ‘fun’ fashions as did Crave of Naas whose coffee and cream ensembles were reminiscent of the “Jackie O” era and Browne’s of Naas provided a sexy variety of formal and casual style for men. (The ladies at our table thought the model was sexy anyway!)

Leading Trainers and Jockeys
Special Presentations were made to the 6 winning trainers from Cheltenham 2008 including:
Eddie Harty, trainer of Captain Cee Bee; Enda Bolger - Garde Champetre ;Willie Mullins - trainer of Fivefourthree and Cousin Vinny; Tom Taaffe - Finger on the Pulse; Arthur Moore – Tiger Cry and Tom Hogan, trainer of Silver Jarro . We were fortunate to be seated at Tom Hogan’s table; he and his wife (who knows as much about horses as I do) traveled up from Tipperary for the event and were delighted with the festive atmosphere and entertainment laid on.

Watch out for Tom’s entry “Kanderon” who won at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday, to be ridden most likely by David Casey during National Hunt Raceweek and “Sounyandyou” in the 3m Tipperkevin Hurdle. Special tributes were also paid to retired Champion Jockey, Conor O`Dwyer and Cheltenham’s most successful lady jockey, Nina Carberry.

Liam O`Connor, one of Ireland’s greatest musicians, master of 20 different musical instruments, stunned the audience with his talents on the concertina and proved to all why he holds the record as the Worlds Fastest Concertina Player and thereby claiming to have the “fastest hands in the world”………. Joined by a pair of talented and beautiful hornpipe dancers, Dick O Sullivan was hijacked onto the stage to display his dancing skills; suffice to say, Michael Flatley need have no fear, his crown is secure………

Guests were then treated to a performance by top Irish Soprano Celine Byrne, winner of 2007 Maria Callas Award, a perfect finale to a fun evening – Newbridge Silverware definitely covered all bases with the launch this year – class entertainment, stylish fashion, fine foods and divine champagne.

Rose B O Donoghue

The Ballymore Connection…………….

Well, if you don’t know the ‘Ballymore’ connection by now, then God Help you……… Sean Mulryan may be a Roscommon man by birth but after 27 years or more living in Ballymore Eustace, I think we can safely call him “one of our own!” His success in the property market is renowned, both in residential and commercial sectors, at home and abroad. The Bugle doesn’t have enough space to even hint at the man’s business history. With his sponsorship of The ‘Ballymore’ Day at Punchestown, Sean Mulryan has identified himself with Kildare’s premier past-time and industry –

,It would be hard to describe the ‘buzz’ amongst the racing fraternity with the introduction of a fifth day during National Hunt Raceweek.

At the recent launch in conjunction with Newbridge Silverware, Dick O’Sullivan, Racecourse Manager, could not curtail his excitement: “We need not have worried about ticket sales for five days of racing this year; since we announced the additional day’s racing, ticket sales are already up on last year’s figures so we are guaranteed to exceed the 2007 attendance of over 90,000. Ballymore’s sponsorship of the “Most Glamorous Couple”, to be judged by Dallas Duo, Larry Hagman and Linda Gray, is causing a great stir. We changed the title from “Hottest Couple” to give ol’ fellas like me a chance!” Undoubtably, The Ballymore Day at Punchestown has given a tremendous boost to our premier Hunt Racecourse but also to the national equine industry.

We thought four days was ambitious a few years ago – but already racecourse management are confident they can sustain five. The village of Ballymore Eustace should get behind Mulryan’s venture 100%; since they became resident in Ballymore Eustace 27 years ago, Bernadine and Sean Mulryan have supported local activities especially our local festival and the GAA, quietly donated generously to other community activities without asking for recognition.

I have no doubt Ballymore Eustace will benefit greatly from corporate guests returning to the village after racing on Saturday 26th. If they do, give them a good welcome! Saturday 26th April – Ballymore Day at Punchestown, let’s make it one to remember!

The Ballymore 25th Anniversary Hurdle, the feature race of Day Five is worth €220,000 - making it the most valuable handicap hurdle ever run in Britain and Ireland. The race will be run over 2 miles 4 furlongs for horses rated 0 – 145. Ballymore’s sponsorship of Saturday’s racing adds another €600,000 to the prize money this year bringing the total festival prize fund to €3 million.

Ballymore & Punchestown Romance
1996: Sponsorship at the Punchestown Festival began with the Ballymore Properties People In Need EBF Handicap Hurdle of £35,000.
1998: Ballymore move to sponsor the Ballymore Properties Barrettstown Gang Camp Champion Stayers Hurdle worth £40,000
Ballymore Properties were involved annually thereafter in the sponsorship of eight Champion Stayers Hurdles (Grade 1) at Punches town.
2006: The prize fund of the Champion Stayers Hurdle rose gradually each year until 2006, under the guise of Whitewater, the race was worth €200,000.
2007: Ballymore sponsored the Ballymore Properties Champion Four Year Old Hurdle worth €110,000
Ballymore moves to take title sponsorship of the first ever fifth day’s racing at Punchestown by sponsoring the richest ever Handicap Hurdle run in Britain and Ireland .

More Connections!
Did you know that William Doyle of Newbridge Silverware will soon be moving his family into Cnoc Avon, formerly Monsignor Browne’s house and more recently that of auctioneer, Paul Newman.
And Janet Creighton of Punches town Racecourse is a niece of Dora O’Brien……..there’s more racing connections in Ballymore than a whole season of Sopranos on TV!

With photo Wedding couple.jpg

Friday 25th will traditionally be “Ladies Day” but there’s one lady heading to the races that day who is certain to turn heads – Mary Doody of Clane will be the first bride ever to host her wedding reception during raceweek! And there will be plenty of Ballymore faces at that party seeing as the groom, Michael MacNamara is a brother of Tony, he who is married to our local beauty therapist Monica from “The Baron’s” laneway.
I worked alongside Mary in the Leinster Leader before she left us to work with the Our House Show. Now the petite ‘go-getter’ is running her own PR company, “Athena” whilst Michael works with Intel.
And the main course at the wedding reception? Beef or Salmon……….what else!! What a great way to celebrate a wedding – guests will be whisked off from the church to the racecourse and afterwards, transported to Avon Ri in
Blessington for an evening barbeque and more entertainment! And the party doesn’t end there, because the Happy Duo and guests are going keep celebrating on Saturday and may even end up back at Punchestown again. Now that’s what I call a wedding – what’s the betting Mary won’t be fashionably late……….any takers?

A GOOD READ with Angie

Most of my reading this month was taken up with the book featured in last month’s Bugle: “DYSLEXIA AN EXPLANATION”, by Martin Murphy (Paperback: Flyleaf Press: 17.50 euro). The feeling of facing into a diagnosis of dyslexia is confusing and disorientating for most parents- what on earth must it be like for our children? Help is at hand with the book and associated DVD. The school has a copy of the DVD and is happy to loan it out to any parent who is concerned and prefers the medium of TV to reading the book.

The book itself is well set out and really comprehensive- it deals with every possible manifestation of dyslexia known to researchers who complied it, and emphasises very clearly that no two children are alike, either in the symptoms of dyslexia they may present with, or with the ways in which they can be helped.

The author has tried to avoid too much jargon and each chapter is in pretty plain English, with useful definitions of terms that you may hear quoted by Educational Psychologists, but are unsure of the exact meaning. I particularly liked the chapter towards the end which cited individuals from across history who are thought to have had dyslexia- for instance I never knew that John F Kennedy, Henry Ford and Walt Disney featured on the same list as more contemporary figures such as Bill Gates and Richard Branson!

As a parent I found the approach of the book and the consultation with a specialist invaluable in helping both myself and my child to deal with the implications of his dyslexia. It gave us hope that the problems we were experiencing could be overcome. There is a plethora of information out there for people wanting to find out about this condition, so to find it all so well summarized in this book was relief. Also, although there is good help generally available in the education system these days for a child with dyslexia, this book and the associated assessments empower parents to take a role in helping their child to realize their potential- it was a revelation to me.

A final point to note is that this process is not just for children- if you are an adult who has struggled to deal with dyslexia in many situations you could find that this approach works for you- so get hold of a copy of the book and check it out.

The book is available from Janet Hawkins in the Blessington Book Store and also from Barker and Jones in Naas.

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