Michael Flatley wants to put the Cliffs of Moher on top of the world – and threw open his palatial Cork mansion to prove it.
The man who put Irish dancing on the world map is leading the charge to have the Cliffs recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of Nature.
Flatley believes the County Clare attraction deserves to be globally acknowledged alongside the likes of the Grand Canyon, the Barrier Reef and the Amazon river as one of the top seven wonders of the world.
The Lord of the Dance will headline a fund-raising spectacular at the Cliffs of Moher in September to highlight the campaign.
Over 10,000 fans are expected to block to the ‘Edge of the World’ series of concerts which will also feature singer Finbar Furey and the renowned
Kilfenora Ceili Band.
Over one billion votes will be cast to decide the Seven Wonders of the World and the cliffs are currently seventh in the betting.
Flatley invited the world’s media into his lavish Castlehyde Estate in County Cork to promote the event and the campaign and spoke of his pride at the efforts of all concerned.
Chicago born Flatley said: “We were delighted to be asked to effectively represent Ireland and help make the Cliffs of Moher one of the Seven Wonders of Nature.
“I think it is an extraordinary idea and a wonderful chance for Ireland to be seen in the light it should be.”
The global vote will be held on the 11th of November next and Flatley pointed out at his media event that 11-11 is his ‘lucky’ number.
He also offered visits a fascinating tour of his mansion, bought for $4.2million in 2000 and restored to his 18th Century glory at a cost of almost $40million.
The house, which overlooks the River Blackwater, cost Flatley another $28million in furnishings, equipment and decoration.
The Irish Independent reports that Castlehyde has its own six-bay garage, complete with a clock tower and a reinforced steel roof to protect the dancer’s prized car collection from rocks that might dislodge from the limestone cliff to its rear.
Flatley’s car collection includes a Jaguar, an MG, a BMW and a Rolls-Royce.
The house itself boasts two wine cellars, a whiskey room, bedrooms decorated according to global themes, a music room, bar, games room and a three-storey library.
“I love it here -- I just wish I could get to spend more time in Castlehyde but I have a lot of business commitments in London and overseas,” Flatley told the Irish Independent.
“It is my dream home. I will always keep Castlehyde.”