The Irish Film & Drama Awards 2016 Red Carpet Round UP

The 2016 Irish film & drama Awards rolled into town last Saturday night and with this year being especially strong for Irish film worldwide, the awards were welcomed with huge hype and excitement!  Taking place in the beautiful Mansion House, the Kennedy PR + Brand team had the pleasure of working alongside the IFTA team for this very special evening.

The red carpet was laid out early Saturday afternoon and an immediate crowd gathered to await the arrival of the star-studded nominees and guest presenters line-up. Obviously everyone wanted to hear what Liam Neeson had to say as he was there on the night to receive an Outstanding Contribution to Cinema Award which was presented to him by President Michael D Higgins. The president even managed to squeeze a quote in from Neeson’s iconic movie role in ‘Taken’. Neeson didn’t disappoint and spent over an hour chatting to fans and press on the red carpet.

 April showers did not stop the glamour that rocked the red carpet. Our own personal  favourites  were Amy Huberman who wore a floral and mesh calf-length dress by Turkish designer Umit Kutluk, and the stunning LA based Victoria Smurfit, in a warm cream layered gown by Alice + Olivia. Many Irish designers were supported on the red carpet including Louise Kennedy and Don O’Neill, and Charlie Murphy wowed the crowd in a stunning black vintage swing dress which she has charitably donated to Down Syndrome Ireland as part of the Buy My Dress Campaign.

The 500 guests were seated in the Round Room as host Deirdre O’Kane kicked-off the ceremony. We saw many heart throbs presenting and winning awards including Chris O’Dowd, Moe Dunford, Clive Standen and Jack Reynor not to mention the stunning female nominees and winners Sarah Greene, Evanna Lynch, Charlie Murphy and Ruth Bradley.

Roma Downey was presented with the Irish Diaspora Award for her outstanding work as a humanitarian by musician and political activist Bob Geldof, who was more than generous with his time to press and fans on the red carpet.

Other stars we spotted enjoying the night included our TV3 favourites Lisa Cannon, Aisling O’Loughlin and Debbie O’Donnell as well as the An Klondike gang who walked away with three awards including Best Actor for Dara Devaney. Room was the big winner on the night taking home seven awards including Best Script for Emma Donohue who adorably bought her two young children up on stage to thank them for their continued support.

Mo Kelly took to the decks to close out the night and to mark a truly special evening for Irish film in Ireland!


For a full list of IFTA 2016 winners head to:

Laura's Guide to Lisbon


A girlie city trip was decided very quickly in January to get rid of the blues and with Lisbon being an unanimous choice, a March break was booked. Both Ryanair and Aer Lingus fly direct and with only a two hour flight time we were set for a great weekend ahead.

Lisbon airport is located just 10 kilometers from the city so no long taxi drive was required and we were lucky to have a very knowledgeable driver who informed us on the history of the city and main attractions.

The chief on tour found the most perfect accommodation. Spotted on Wallpaper, the guest house run by Lost Lisbon was located just off the Marina (which is the central point of the city) and with a price tag of €30 per night (including a continental breakfast) we really couldn't have done any better.

Weather wise we got lucky! 20 degrees each day meant long lunches were enjoyed at the grand plaza which seemed to be where tourists and locals merged with one shared agenda - to watch the world go by. 

We were spoilt for choice when it came to food and drink. Very affordable, Lisbon prides itself on fresh local produce and with so many Michelin chefs dotted around the city, the standard of food is very high! A tip from a friend about Restaurant Pharmacia was definitely a highlight. Located in Museu de Farmacia on Rua Marechal Saldanha in the Santa Catarina district the restaurant is based on a 1950's traditional pharmacy with drinks served in giant medicine bottles and cocktails names after medical essentials such as Ibuprofena and Morphine. Small plates called Petiscos (Portuguese for “tapas”) were shared with some highlights including a goats cheese and mango sorbet salad as well as scallop linguine all ranging in price from €8-14.

The city comes to life post-midnight with bohemian bars and late-night street parties taking place on the narrow cobblestone lanes. We stumbled across a very cool cocktail bar called Cinco Lounge and danced the night away in Lisbon's trendiest nightclub Lux, owned by Hollywood actor John Malkovich.

DON'T set an Agenda, discover Lisbon at your leisure and explore the many back streets and stumble upon the cities fabulous cathedrals, boutiques and local bars and restaurants.

DO book a three night break. We only did two and definitely wanted to stay!

DON'T bring the Louboutins on tour - Lisbon has cobbled, hilly streets so flat shoes are essential.


The nominees for the upcoming IFTA Film & Drama Awards have been announced and this year’s Awards promises one of the most star-studded line-ups to date!

Taking place on Saturday April 9th at the Mansion House in Dublin, this year’s Irish Film & Drama Awards will pay tribute to the success of the Irish film industry. It has already been a sensational start to the year for Irish film with a slew of nominations for our home-grown talent at the 2016 Oscars and Golden Globes.

With the likes of Saoirse Ronan, Michael Fassbender and Lenny Abrahamson up for pivotal awards, the IFTA 2016 red carpet will be nothing short of amazing.

Here is a snapshot of this year’s nominee list (you can find the full list over on  

Best Film

  • Brooklyn
  • My Name is Emily
  • Room
  • Sing Street
  • The Survivalist
  • Viva

Director Film

  • Lenny Abrahamson - Room
  • Paddy Breathnach - Viva
  • John Carney – Sing Street
  • John Crowley – Brooklyn
  • Stephen Fingleton – The Survivalist

Script Film

  • John Carney – Sing Street
  • Emma Donoghue - Room
  • Simon Fitzmaurice – My Name is Emily
  • Mark O’Halloran – Viva
  • Johnny O’Reilly – Moscow Never Sleeps

Actor in a Lead Role in Film

  • Colin Farrell – The Lobster
  • Domhnall Gleeson – Ex Machina
  • Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
  • Barry Keoghan - Mammal
  • Martin McCann – The Survivalist

Actress in a Lead Role in Film

  • Eva Birthistle - Swansong
  • Ruth Bradley - Pursuit
  • Orla Brady – The Price of Desire
  • Evanna Lynch – My Name is Emily
  • Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn

Actor in a Supporting Role in Film

  • Domhnall Gleeson - Brooklyn
  • Michael Smiley – My Name is Emily
  • Owen Roe - Pursuit
  • Jack Reynor – Sing Street
  • Sean T O Meallaigh – The Callback Queen

Actress in a Supporting Role in Film

  • Jane Brennan – Brooklyn
  • Gemma-Leah Devereux – Get Up and Go
  • Olwen Fouere – The Survivalist
  • Siobhan O’Kelly – An Klondike
  • Ger Ryan – The Callback Queen

the wedding salon at the merrion hotel

Brides-to-be, Mothers-of-the-Bride and steadfast Bridesmaids all flocked to The Merrion hotel last weekend for the wedding event of the year – the annual The Gloss Magazine Wedding Salon!

No other wedding event brings together the crème de la crème of the wedding industry, arming brides-to-be with all the knowledge they need to know for their big day. We were lucky to pick up some great advice from these industry experts and if you’re in the middle of planning your nuptials, or know someone who is, here are some insider tips you need to know! 

1.       Planning and Prep – Wedding Planner Extraordinaire Tara Faye had some quality words of wisdom when it comes to organising your big day – “Don’t agonise, organise!”

2.       The Dress – A top tip from Sarah Kate Mc Caughey, Bridal Expert at Louise Kennedy is to buy your wedding underwear the day you choose your dress and bring it with you for every dress fitting for a seamless end result!

3.       For the groom – According to Brown Thomas Personal Shopper Michelle Curtin, groomswear is all about ‘blue black’ shades, made popular by Coco Channel!

4.       Bridal Beauty – Prep your skin in the lead up to your big day with La Prairie Anti-Aging Day Cream – no day should go by without it according to Nicole Lynch, Brown Thomas Beauty Stylist!

5.       Say it with FlowersRuth Monaghan of Appassionata Flowers advised brides to keep things seasonal when choosing your blooms to avoid unnecessary hassle.

6.       Wedding food – Mirroring Ruth’s floral tip above, Executive Chef at The Merrion hotel Ed Cooney advises to keep to seasonal foods and not to let anyone influence your menu choice, after all it is the bride & groom’s day.

7.       The icing on the cake – To the wedding soiree, we all need a showstopping cake! Paul Kelly, The Merrion’s Executive Pastry Chef and Great Irish Bake-Off Judge, showcased this year’s most popular cake, ‘The Naked Cake’, which has no icing, showing the inner layers of sponge cake and jam. Naked Cakes are great for those who prefer a more rustic feel, and they give you the chance to be more creative with cake decoration – think fresh flowers, mounds of fresh fruit and even bunting!

Head over to for all the pictures from the event!

5-Star Mother's Day Treats at Sheen Falls Lodge

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and if you have yet to think of the perfect gift for the special lady in your life, why not look to Kenmare’s five star gem, Sheen Falls Lodge, for some inspiration!

On March Sunday 6th from 2-5pm, Sheen Falls Lodge will be hosting a special Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea, serving an array of savoury and sweet treats carefully curated by Head Chef Phillip Brazil. The three-tier feast is served with a glass of prosecco, live music by local pianist Jim Kiely and of course, the incredible views of the cascading Sheen Waterfalls.

After all, life is all about those little luxuries and what better excuse to indulge in some five-star luxury than treating your Mum this Mother’s Day! Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea is priced at €60 for two – to book, simply visit

After-Dinner Tipples with Nespresso Coffee

It is safe to say that there has been a growing love for coffee (especially here in the Kennedy PR + Brand office!). We wake up looking forward to a morning moment with our favourite cup of coffee in our hand. Why not bring coffee into more moments throughout the day? After all, who is to say coffee can’t be an experience of indulgence too?

For an after dinner digestif or coffee centred deserts look to one of Nespresso’s coffee recipes which are effortlessly simple to recreate. Nespresso coffee embodies rich aromas and creamy textures with every sip. The following recipes include a delectable café banana split and the ever popular Nespresso Martini which do not fall short of amazing!

Café Banana Split




  • capsule of either Livanto  Grand Cru

  • brown sugar

  • Milk

  • Rich Tea biscuit

  • banana

  • Caramel dessert topping



  • Place a spoonful of brown sugar in the glass

  • Prepare a Livanto Grand Cru in espresso (40 ml / 15 oz)

  • Pour the milk in the milk frother and press the cold milk froth button or use the steam pipe of your Nespresso machine

  • Pour the milk froth in the espresso

  • Place a whole Rich Tea biscuit halfway down the glass to act as a support for the banana cubes

  • Cut the banana into cubes

  • Place the pieces of banana on the biscuit

  • Pour the caramel dessert topping over the banana

The delicate blend of banana and milk froth promises an exquisite experience.


Nespresso Martini


  • capsule of Ristretto Grand Cru

  • 15 ml / 0.5 oz of vanilla flavoured vodka

  • 30 ml / 1 oz of milk

  • 2 teaspoons of cacao powder

  • A couple of strawberries

  • ice cubes


  • Prepare the Ristretto Grand Cru in espresso (40 ml / 15 oz)

  • Pour all ingredients in the shaker, shake vigorously

  • Pour everything but the ice cubes into a small glass cup

A smooth, inviting, vodka & coffee elegance is served!