Towie and Hollyoaks arrive in Kildare

The bar may still very much be under construction – but earlier today Billie Faiers and Gemma Merna were smiling and happy when they called into the Cathedral Bar in Maynooth a full month ahead of its planned launch night.

And the duo were certainly eye-catching in their club-appropriate attire: Gemma wore an LBD by House of CB, while Billie opted for a red-hued crop top and matching pencil skirt from Torn by Ronny Kobo. They even managed to accessorise their looks with… builders hard hats!


Billie called the venue, which opens on June 12, “absolutely stunning,” and said: “it’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen and the décor is just out of this world.”

She also added with a smile: “We’ll definitely be recommending it as a go-to place for celebs!”

Gemma, 31, is best known for her playing Carmel Valentine on Hollyoaks, a role she left last year to pursue other acting projects. She opened up to earlier today, explaining why she withdrew from her planned appearance on I’m A Celebrity last year – a departure which opened the door for Dublin model Nadia Forde to take her place.


“I had just left a soap and for me my priority is being an actress,” she revealed. “So for me my decision was to concentrate on my acting career.”

Meanwhile, The Only Way Is Essex’s Billie also appeared on Celebrity Big Brother last year. When she’s not staring in reality TV shows, she co-owns and runs a boutique with her younger sister, Sam. At the weekend, 25-year-old Billie was looking decidedly more low-key then she did this morning – namely at a Thomas The Tank Engine event in London.

She attended with her fiancé, Greg Shepherd, whom she marries in September, and their young daughter, Nelly, who turns one in July.


The Cathedral Bar was originally a ballroom, hotel and coach house dating back to 1777. It stretches to 2,800sq metres and when completed next month, will be a massive multi-level restaurant and bar complex. The tropical garden outdoor space is a real gem too – complete with a waterfall.

The owners have also signed up head chef Austin Byrne, who moves from the Trocadero in Dublin, to mastermind their kitchens.