Friday 30 September 2016

Over 2,000 party night away at lavish AP retirement bash

Published 09/08/2015 | 02:30

BIG BASH: JP McManus threw a monster retirement party for pal and jockey AP McCoy
BIG BASH: JP McManus threw a monster retirement party for pal and jockey AP McCoy
Gillian Filan
The party took place in a huge marquee at Adare Manor

Former Take That member and solo entertainer Robbie Williams in concert, a specially constructed multi-storey marquee, and a constant stream of helicopters chauffeuring guests as 2,000 danced the night away.

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It was the party of the year last night as JP McManus threw the ultimate retirement bash at his own five-star Adare Manor for his close friend and legendary jockey, AP McCoy.

At 6pm the crème de le crème of Ireland's rich and famous - and VIP guests from four corners of the world - descended on the manor for what is the first major party hosted by the billionaire at the resort since he purchased it in February for €30m.

Guests invited by the racing magnate on the night included An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Finance Minister Michael Noonan and businessman Dermot Desmond.

Westlife star Nicky Byrne and TV presenter Clare Balding were also seen rubbing shoulders.

Champagne flowed as singer Shane Filan and wife Gillian kick-started the entertainment, while lucky guests hob-nobbed over two floors of the purpose-built luxury marquee.

There was said to be up to 1,200 staff on hand to take care of party-goers' every need as they sat down to a three-course dinner before dancing the night away to Robbie Williams' hits.

The dinner, sourced from local specialities such as prime rib of Golden Vale beef and wild Kerry salmon, was served up at 7.30pm and was accompanied by vintages from JP's personal collection - an oenophile's treasure trove said to be the size of the average one-bed apartment.

A 'smart casual' dress code was requested on the invitations and local hotels Adare Manor, the Dunraven Arms and The Strand were booked to accommodate guests who were ferried to and from Martinstown Stud in a fleet of coaches.

Some of JP's inner circle stayed at his new palatial home. The faux-Palladian mansion at Kilmallock, complete with artificial lake, houses nine bedroom suites, an 18m pool, a 200-seat cinema and an underground car park which can fit six cars.

The €50m 38,372 sq ft home is set on 600 acres where his wife Noreen operates the stud and horse farm which stocks thoroughbred racehorses.

In addition to his Martinstown mansion, he also has the ultimate beach hideaway on one of the world's most exclusive stretches of coastline - a €150m home in Barbados next to the Sandy Lane resort, which he co-owns with John Magnier and Dermot Desmond.

McManus is known for his generous nature and it's not surprising given the luxury life he leads. Last year he splashed out an estimated €55million on a top-of-the-range Gulfstream G650 personal jet, the fastest civilian aircraft available.

It was through horses that the colourful businessman first tasted the thrill of moneymaking.

McCoy, a 20-time champion, was McManus's main jockey from 2004.

Sunday Independent

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