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'right offer' Michael Flatley vetoed Cork home deal, 'I couldn't go through with the sale'


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Michael Flatley at his Castlehyde home in Co Cork. He was too emotionally attached to sell the mansion

Michael Flatley at his Castlehyde home in Co Cork. He was too emotionally attached to sell the mansion

Michael Flatley at his Castlehyde home in Co Cork. He was too emotionally attached to sell the mansion

Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley has revealed he vetoed a deal to sell his multi-million euro Cork mansion because he couldn't bear to sever such a deeply emotional link to Ireland.

The dancer has instead sold his UK properties - and Ireland and France will now serve as his bases.

The star was speaking to the Herald as he launched a special Christmas charity appeal, Flatley's Tap For Ten, for the homeless.

"Castlehyde House was for sale. The price was dropped and, in the end, I pulled it from the market," he said.

"Then, out of nowhere, I got an offer and it was better than I had ever hoped for.

"The next thing the (sale) contract came through and I looked at my wife Niamh and son (Michael St James) and I realised I just couldn't do it.

"I think I am too emotionally attached to Castlehyde. I just cannot leave Cork - my wife and I just love it too much.

"We liquidated our properties in the UK so we are living in Monte Carlo and Cork.

"You never know what the future brings but we love coming home to Castlehyde.

"We are blessed with our neighbours, and people in Fermoy and Cork have been wonderful to us over the years," he said.

Bought in a derelict condition in 2001 for €3m, Flatley ordered a loving refurbishment of Castlehyde aimed at restoring the ancestral home of Ireland's first president Douglas Hyde to its 18th-century glory.

By the time the work was completed in 2004, the dancer had lavished €27m on the mansion.

Flatley's Tap For Ten dance challenge aims to raise funds for Depaul Ireland and CentrePoint in the UK to help their work with the homeless and vulnerable.

People are asked to post a 10-second dance video on social media, make a donation to charity (at gofundme.com/f/flatleystapforten) and nominate their friends and families to do the same.

Flatley admitted he was prompted to launch the challenge by the plight of an elderly woman he spotted on a windswept Cork street.

"I walked by this older woman in a doorway - she had a couple of suitcases and she was trying to pull a piece of plastic over herself to shield herself from the freezing rain," he said.

"I thought to myself 'dear God'. It was heart-breaking.

"But it got me thinking. What if that was one of my family? Everybody on the street is somebody's son or daughter.

"So I decided I had to do something to help the charities that are doing such great work to help the homeless and vulnerable."

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