“Lord of the Dance” Michael Flatley plans to sell his 18th century mansion in Cork for between $22.7 and $34 million.
Castlehyde House in north Cork, described as his “dream home,” will sell as one of the largest landmark properties in Europe for 2015. Bidders are expected from America, Germany, Russia and the Middle East. The sale is expected to be boosted by the strength of the British pound and US dollar against the euro.
Flatley said he hopes the north Cork house sells to someone who can spend more time there than a couple of weeks a year.
The mansion is one of the best examples of the “great houses” built along the River Blackwater in the 18th century by the aristocracy.
The Irish dancer, who will soon perform his last show in New York, told the Sunday Independent, "We took the decision to sell Castlehyde, but that doesn't mean that I will be leaving Ireland. I love Ireland with all my heart and I always will.
"But my work commitments are increasingly keeping me in London and in other parts of the world.
"The show (“Lord of the Dance – Dangerous Games”) opened in Bulgaria last week and we have major tour commitments coming up in the United States and Australia.
"It simply wasn't an option going forward to have this beautiful house and yet be only able to spend a couple of weeks there every year. It wasn't right and it wasn't feasible."
Flatley bought the house in 2001 for $3.4 million. The house was in a near derelict condition, but the king of Irish dance returned it to its previous splendor. At the time, Tom Cruise and Hugh Grant had both expressed interest in purchasing the property. Ten years ago he turned down an offer from Michael Jackson.
He admitted that the house holds a many, many memories for him and his wife, Niamh.
“I've had almost 20 years at Castlehyde and it has been a wonderful experience – some of the best times of my life have been spent there.
Flatley to sell Castlehyde: Check out VIP's exclusive photos! http://t.co/eKnItkIfA1— VIP Magazine (@VIPmagaz) October 11, 2015
"That is what made this such a tough decision. There are so many happy memories."
Flatley’s Christmas parties and decorations had become the stuff of legends with people driving up to 50 miles to see the house. He also used the house to support charities including those working with disadvantaged children and St. Patrick’s Hospital, in Fermoy.
In January 2016 Flatley, whose massive global Irish dance career started in 1994, will perform his last professional dance on Broadway, at the debut of “Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games." The show, which recently had an acclaimed sold-out run in London, was created, directed by and stars international sensation Flatley in what will serve as his swan song as a performer, celebrating his Broadway debut with the 20th Anniversary of Flatley’s "Lord of the Dance" global enterprise.
Castlehyde Fermoy unfortunately Michael Flatley was out this evening pic.twitter.com/NnlMHpY9Up— Rathcormac Scouts (@82ndCorkScouts) May 28, 2015