Katy’s Biography

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31 October 1983

Born Katy Ellen French in Basle, Switzerland. She was the first born of parents Janet and John French.
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July 1985

Moved with her parents to Dundrum, Dublin, and 5 months later her sister, Jill was born. Katy spent her mornings in Lilliput Montessori in Dundrum for a year before going to Ardtona Primary School at the age of 3 ½.
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September 1988

Started in Alexandra College Junior School, going on to senior school and remaining there until 1998.
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June 2000

Achieved six passes in her Honours Leaving Cert at The Institute of Education in Leeson Street Dublin.
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July – September 2000

Worked in her father’s business managing the bookings for holiday homes in Ireland and organising the accounts and collection of rents.
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October 2000 – September 2001

Katy worked in her mother’s marketing consultancy, organising and helping to run corporate marketing workshops and consumer research. At the same time she retook her Maths Leaving Cert and achieved an A grade. Katy supplemented her income with a part time job in Planet Hollywood on Stephen’s Green, working at weekends organising schedules and managing the seating arrangements for guests.
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October 2001

Enrolled in the American College Dublin for a BA in Psychology, choosing to defer after her first year.
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September 2002

Studied for a Diploma in Public Relations and Communications at Dublin City College.
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October 2002

Signed up with Assets Model Agency.
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February 2003

Signed up by Social and Personal to write a monthly series of articles on Dublin’s social life. Katy’s approach was in the style of Sex and The City’s heroine, Carrie Bradshaw, making a humourous yet personal commentary on life in Dublin.
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Jan – May 2004

Writes the “Let’s Get Personal” series of monthly columns on beauty treatment and products.
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May 2004

Modelled in the Blossom Hill Catwalk, a national series of fashion and beauty evenings Cork, Killarney, Limerick, Dundalk, Dublin, Wexford, Waterford, Mullingar, Galway and Naas.
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December 2004

Katy’s parents separate and she moves to an apartment in Donnybrook, Dublin 6.
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January 2005

Modelled for exclusive Irish wedding trends in special edition of Social and Personal.
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13 February 2005

Appears on the front cover of Life magazine ‘The Secret Lives of the Irish Models’ and is also featured in a ‘picture of innocence’ photo in the same edition.

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March 2005

Starts a series of articles for Social and Personal entitled ‘The French Connection’ interviewing Irish entrepreneurs. These articles continued throughout 2006. Those interviewed and photographed with Katy included Partrick Campbell, Gillian Bowler, Ben de Lisi, Bill Cullen, Christian Louboutin, Pat Austin, Paul Shearan, Paschal O’Reilly, Sine Quinn and Valerie Roe.
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May 2005

Represented Ireland in the Miss Hawaiian Tropic competition in Las Vegas.
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1 May 2005

Appears on cover of Sunday World magazine with her article on the Irish modelling scene.
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Jan 2006

Katy studies TV presenting at Carr Communications in Dublin.
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June 2006 – July 2007

Starts to write a weekly column for the Sunday Independent entitled ‘French Fancy’
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15 October 2006

Interviews for a full length feature article for Life magazine along with a photo shoot in her home entitled ‘Katy French on deciding to become a Domestic Goddess’.
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January 2007

Returns to modelling with stylised ‘Celtic Tiger’ shoot for the Sunday Independent. Her fiancé explodes and causes a bitter scene, which hits the news headlines and is the start of endless publicity about Katy and her relationships. Katy calls off her engagement and returns home to live with her mother and sister in Stillorgan.
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31 January 2007

Attends the VIP Style Awards and causes a stir wearing a fox fur stole.
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31 January 2007

VIP magazine eight-page photo shoot at Palmerston House.
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February 2007

Katy continues her work – attending PR events, modeling, writing, panel judge in fashion and talent shows, presenting awards, opening nightclubs and master of ceremonies. She appears regularly throughout the rest of the year on TV3 morning breakfast show.

Although she admitted that PR and press modelling was her ‘bread and butter’ she also enjoyed her day to day involvement with people and brands.  Demand for Katy as a press model rapidly grew as PR companies quickly realised that Katy’s involvement would ensure press coverage for their clients, not just because of her popularity, but because of her ability and willingness to create unusual situations and poses that could provide an interesting story. See Photos PR Events
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19 February 2007

Cheekily accepts a press call opportunity for Sony Ericsson where Katy models red mobiles in a red dress on top of a dining table.
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5 March 2007

First TV internet host show for Patron Tequila.
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20 March 2007

TV appearance on Seoige and O’Shea with Eamon Dunphy filming Katy on a day spent with the Dublin Fire Brigade.
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26 March 2007

Asked to take part in a live panel discussion on Newstalk radio to discuss a series of contemporary issues. It was to be the first of many panel discussions Katy was involved in.

April 2007

Signed up by Sunday Independent Life magazine for a series of articles titled ‘French Letters’ on her personal attitudes to life and love in today’s world.
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8 April 2007

Appears as guest in the Podge and Rodge show on RTÉ.
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April 2007

She attends a course on TV presenting at the London Academy of Film and produces her TV casting CD.
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21 April 2007

Presented ‘Best TV Actress Award’ at the TV Now Awards ceremony in Dublin.
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24 April 2007

Took part in Ireland’s Rock the Vote campaign in a series of TV commercials..
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24 April 2007

Judged the Punchestown Races Best Dressed Lady competition.

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18 May 2007

Appears on RTÉ 1’s Late Late raising over €40,000 for Crumlin Children’s Hospital by facing her fears of snakes, rats, maggots and lying with a boa constrictor.

24 May 2007

Appears on Miriam O’Callaghan Show.
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June 2007

Starts to present a radio music programme on Saturday nights for Newstalk radio.
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July 2007

Writes some of the weekly Showbiz gossip columns for The Sun newspaper, continuing on from those she contributed in February 2007.
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July 2007

Invited to appear in charity TV show ‘You’re a Star’, but work commitments with her model agency prevented it.
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July 2007

Represented Goal with a visit to Calcutta to help the plight of the street children. On 7 October 2007 Katy’s article on the importance of smiles and belonging, arguably her best to date, is published in the Sunday Independent Life magazine entitled ‘ The Queen of Hearts’.
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July 2007

Offered roles in two planned TV productions for RTÉ 2 – ‘Ten Things Not To Do Before You Die’ with Katy helping to deride the current fad for lifestyle makeovers and ‘Destination Unknown’ where presenter Katy French is transported to an unknown destination and left to fend for herself.
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1 October 2007

Exclusive interview in Hot Press where Katy discusses her career and personal life as Ireland’s top model of 2007.
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October 2007

Continues her charity work for The Irish Kidney Foundation as special guest and compere for the launch of the film ‘Tales of Scarry.’ She also runs the charity auction during the evening.
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October 2007

Takes part in the Mondello Park around Ireland bike ride for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin
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16 October 2007

Around the country by helicopter PR event created, staged and managed by Katy for menupages.ie, which was filmed and aired on Exposé TV3’s television series.
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October 2007

Takes part in Celebrities Go Wild, an RTÉ television production. Katy does a bungee jump, rows a canoe, hikes, traverses a bog on a tight rope and rides horses on the Mayo beaches. She is the first to be voted off amidst radio and press speculation that the voting was not properly organised.
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November 2007

John O’Shea of Goal asks Katy to become a Goal ambassador and discusses her next visit to children in Darfur.
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15 November 2007

Recording of Christmas CD with all the cast of Celebrities go Wild. The CD was not released at Christmas out of respect for Katy and her family.
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16 November 2007

Guest appearance on Tubridy Tonight show on RTÉ television with Michael Healy-Ray.
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28 November 2007

Leading role in wedding photo shoot in County Offaly for launch of The Wedding Planner magazine. The magazine launch in 2008 paid special tribute to Katy.
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29 November 2007

Katy’s birthday party at Kristal nightclub in Dublin attended by family, friends, celebrities and the media. Katy’s birthday is 31 October, but the party was delayed due to Katy’s busy schedules.
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30 November 2007

Pilot TV shoot with Sideline Productions for TV3 programme on Ireland’s Next Top Model.
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1 December 2007

Katy spent an evening at home with her mother and sister watching TV and having dinner. She leaves at 11.30pm and arranges to meet with her family the next day to celebrate her aunt Alison’s birthday.
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2 December 2007

At 10.30am in the morning Katy is taken to Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan under suspicious circumstances and her family is called to her bedside.

5 December 2007

The French family call in the Gardaí to investigate the circumstances of Katy’s tragedy.
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6 December 2007

Katy passed away at 5pm in the arms of her sister Jill, with her mother and father by her side.
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16 December 2007

Appears on the front cover of Life magazine – Katy’s last interview to given to Sunday Independent journalist and friend, Brendan O’Connor.
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March 2008

TV3’s one hour documentary ‘Diary of a Model’ following the lives of three models in Ireland and featuring Katy’s career as a press and PR model, achieves TV3’s highest rated viewership.
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April – November 2008

Speculation, rumours and stories still abound about the causes of Katy’s death, but to date there is no confirmed evidence released to the public or the family.
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6 December 2008

Katy’s mother and sister arrange a Memorial Service in the Church of Ireland, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, to celebrate Katy’s life twelve months after her passing and to give the opportunity to those friends of Katy, who knew her and loved her, to honour the beautiful human being that she was and to pay their respects and tributes to her.
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Excerpts from Katy’s funeral

You can read the funeral Eulogy, speeches and Memorial service by Katy’s mother Janet and her sister Jill here.
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