Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley and his wife Niamh opened their beautiful Castlehyde mansion outside Fermoy, Co. Cork to spread Christmas cheer to vulnerable children in the Cork region.

Over 100 children and families supported by Barnardos enjoyed an afternoon of festivities in the 18th century home of the famous Irish dancer, where they met Santa and left brimming with gifts and treats.

Commenting on the event, Flatley said “Unfortunately, there are so many families in Ireland who cannot afford to give their children the Christmas they deserve. We wanted to make a little difference to as many children in Cork as possible – to give them a Christmas to remember, and to ensure they all have a present to unwrap on Christmas morning.”

Fergus Finlay, Chief Executive of Barnardos, said, “We are hugely grateful to Michael and Niamh Flatley for opening their home and their hearts to children we work with in Cork. Their support will help ease the burden of many families this Christmas.”

Barnardos works throughout Ireland with children and families who are in need, proving vital services and support. They also campaign for the rights of all children in Ireland, and provide training and knowledge resources to childcare professionals. To see more about the work of Barnardos at Christmas time and beyond see www.barnardos.ie.

After the Christmas break, Michael Flatley will continue touring with his hit show 'Lord of the Dance – Dangerous Games.' The show arrives at the 3Arena in Dublin next March for what will be Flatley's final dance appearance in Ireland.