“An Ocras Mór” (“The Great Hunger”), a painting by Irish dancer Michael Flatley, is among the most expensive gifts that Irish leader Enda Kenny has received since he entered office.
Valued at $6,800 (€5,000), the painting was presented to the Irish leader in February 2013. Flatley, famed for his performances in “Riverdance” and “Lord of the Dance,” paints with his shoes, as he dances. To create this 8ft by 4ft painting, he applied paint to the soles of his shoes and tap-danced the Al-Capone solo from his show "Celtic Tiger" and expressed a wish to do other paintings in this way.
The painting is mounted in a hand-carved wooden frame, made from trees on Flatley’s Castlehyde, County Cork estate.
It is said that that the painting is so highly valued because Flatley’s first work of art sold at auction in 2011 for $7,679 (€5,600).
Among the other gifts received by Kenny is a golden replica of the Mecca Royal Hotel Clock Tower, presented to the Irish leader by the King of Saudi Arabia during his trade mission last January. It is currently undergoing valuation.
The Irish Independent also reports that among the gifts, which remain in possession of the State and are kept in the Department of the Taoiseach, is a bust of former US president John F Kennedy from the JFK Presidential Library in Boston. It is valued at $2.742 (€2,000).