OUR old pal Michael Flatley is expanding his real estate empire again. Though they say there's a housing slump in Ireland, Michael is taking the opposite view and building a new holiday crib that will naturally be huge and spectacular.

Last year he laid out $6 million for a 56 acre tract of land on Rossmore Island which is just off the south Kerry coast. Now he's lodged an application to build a new home which will serve as a vacation retreat for Michael, wife Niamh and baby Michael Junior, who's 15 months old.

"He has requested permission to demolish an existing house on the site and to build a dwelling and associated works," the Irish Independent reports.

In typical snail-like fashion, Michael's application won't be dealt with by the Kerry County Council for quite some time, so it'll be a while before he's able to enjoy his new creation, which will reportedly "reflect the wild nature of the area and fit in sympathetically with the environment," the paper adds.

In the meantime, he'll have to make do at Castlehyde, his ultra-luxe castle/mansion in Cork that's basically got anything and everything you could ever dream of.

Incidentally, believe it or not Michael will celebrate his 50th birthday on July 18. Undoubtedly there are celebrations in the works to celebrate that milestone.