Hollywood actress Christy Cashman has explained how she acquired Kilkea Castle in County Kildare with her husband in 2012. 

Christy Cashman and her husband Jay, whose ancestors emigrated from Ireland to the US during the Great Hunger in the 1850s, have made regular trips to Ireland since their marriage in 1999. 

The Hollywood actress, who has starred in films such as "Ted 2" and "American Hustle", revealed that she met her husband shortly before a planned trip to Ireland to go horse riding. 

Jay Cashman, a successful businessman who had never been to his ancestral homeland, invited himself on the trip and joked that he would keep himself occupied by buying a castle while Christy was off horse riding. 

She said her then-boyfriend went to an Irish estate agent and announced that he was on the hunt for an Irish castle, only for the estate agent to recommend a cottage instead. 

"I guess he didn’t have any on the books at the time," Cashman told the Irish Independent in a recent interview. 

The couple visited Ireland several times in the coming years and always searched for properties while they were there, generally searching for run-down properties in need of renovation. 

A friend of theirs eventually recommended Kilkea Castle, which had been abandoned for two years when the couple bought it in 2012. 

"It had been a hotel but it wasn’t in great shape, for sure. We gutted it. Redid every single room," Cashman told the Irish Independent. 

The couple had a soft opening in 2018 and Kilkea Castle is now a popular high-end destination. 

It offers rooms in the castle itself in addition to carriage rooms in the courtyard and guesthouses on the grounds. It also features a spa, golf course, and a restaurant in the clubhouse. 

"It’s a constant renovation. Some of what we renovated we’re going back to do it again already." 

She added that she and her husband stay in a gatehouse on the grounds once every few months, describing it as the "epitome" of an Irish cottage. 

"It’s adorable. Really tiny, and a little better for one person than two. It’s the epitome, to me, of an Irish cottage," she told the Irish Independent. 

Cashman recently traveled to Dublin to launch her debut novel "The Truth About Horses" at the Dublin Horse Show, in the RDS, earlier in August. 

The novel, which is aimed at young adults, follows a 14-year-old girl seeking to track down a beloved horse following the premature death of her mother. The book is set to be transformed into a TV series. 

Despite appearing in more than 20 films, Cashman believes that she was never a "successful" actress, revealing that she also failed to hit the big time as a model. 

However, she said her failure to make it big as an actress or a model allowed her to discover that there was more to life and subsequently discover her calling as a writer. 

"It took a really long time for me to find that it was writing for me. That didn’t happen until my 40s," Cashman told the Irish Independent.