Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Hollywood star Saoirse Ronan was bedecked in the creations of Mayo goldsmith Nigel O’Reilly during a recent awards ceremony in New York.

The Oscar-nominated Irish actress wore a pair of Viola drop earrings made in O’Reilly’s Castlebar studio. The earrings feature central marquise diamonds, set in 18ct rose gold hinged drop earrings, with diamonds and pink sapphires in the design.

The ‘Ladybird’ starlet was also adorned in one of the Mayo man’s signature rings, La Dame Blue. The creation bears a 13.28 ct rare blue topaz with 310 coloured diamonds and pink sapphires, set into 18ct white gold with yellow gold claws and a honeycomb panel on the rear.

Ronan wore O’Reilly’s work at the Ireland Funds Awards in New York. The Greystone native was receiving an award from the philanthropic organisation for her achievements in the performing arts.

The three times Oscar-nominated star was the headliner at Irish America’s biggest gala event as close to 1,000 guests from business, the arts and politics came together in New York to raise $2.3m for a number of Irish charities.

It has been a long-held aspiration of Nigel O’Reilly to see Ireland’s premier movie star sport his glamorous creations.

“I always said Saoirse Ronan was the Irish star I wanted to first see wear my work. She represents everything that I want to see represented in my business. She is working at the very highest end of her trade and is a great ambassador for Ireland, the arts and creativity,” said the talented designer.

O’Reilly said the actress loved the fact that the work was made in Ireland and Mayo.

“For some reason, the Mayo connection really seemed to seal the deal,” he said. “She is a really nice and down-to-earth person,” said Nigel.

Saoirse’s endorsement of Mr O’Reilly’s work has led to a number of inquiries from overseas with the La Dame Bleu ring attracting particular interest. The 36-year-old operates the most state-of-the-art jewellery design studio in the country from Bridge Lane off Castlebar’s Main Street. His work has previously attracted the attention of US Vogue and is on display in Ashford Castle.

Hollywood star Saoirse Ronan pictured with Mayo goldsmith Nigel O’Reilly after she wore his creations at the Ireland Funds Awards in New York. Photo: James Higgins.

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By Keith Bourke
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