Tuesday 21 February 2017

Top stars who holiday in Ireland

While we dream of holidays abroad, stars retreat to our greener shores...

Published 01/05/2014 | 12:23

Liam Gallagher outside The Strand in Sligo last summer
Liam Gallagher outside The Strand in Sligo last summer
John Slattery visited Inishbofin in 2011
Michael Jackson retreated to Co. Westmeath for 6 months in 2006
Sarah Jessica Parker says she could envision making a permanent move to Ireland
Matthew Broderick's holiday home in Co Donegal
The Moate, Co. Westmeath residence taken up by Michael Jackson during his visit
Julia Roberts holidays in Co. Mayo last summer
Julia Roberts holidays in Mayo last summer
Angela Lansbury feels like Ireland is her sanctuary

The Irish are not always ones for appreciating what our shores have to offer.

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Characteristically, our summers are spent moaning about the rain and giving out about the inevitable scalding that occurs should the sun sneak out for even an afternoon. Top tourist hot spots are scoffed at and too right we say.  Sure what would be the point in paying into that gimmicky thing anyway?

Selfies of friends lapping up the sun in the likes of Bondi Beach and Phuket are flicked through with deep envy as the countdown begins for our own escape to paradise. The pros and cons of a dip in the Atlantic may be considered but the perishing swim is incomparable to Beyonce’s feeds straight from her St. Bart’s side yacht.

And yet while Ireland’s beauty and potential is often overlooked by the Irish themselves, it seems Hollywood’s A-listers have other ideas. An quiet escape from the bedlam that is life in Los Angeles is their ticket. Here are some of Hollywood’s most famous Irish holiday-ers.

Michael Jackson

The King of Pop arrived in Moate, Co. Westmeath with his children in tow shortly after his aquittal in 2006. Taking up residence in a converted cowshed, Michael remained in the country until the end of that year falling in love with the rich history and folklore of Ireland. During his long holiday, many high profile houseguests made the journey to the midlands haven including Will.I.Am who was believed to be helping to whip up some new tunes. Bowling was a particular favourite for the Jackson clan, often heading to Tullamore Adventure Centre for a game or two.

Michaels House.jpg

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick

The Parker-Brodricks have been visiting Ireland each summer for a decade where  they set up shop in their modest holiday home in Kilcar, Co. Donegal. With three kids in two, the family depart their New York City townhouse for greener grasses. SJP has often dreamt of making the move permanent. “"Financially, Matthew and I do not have to work as hard as we do," she said.

"I feel I could learn to knit and earn a living in Ireland."


John Slattery

The Mad Men star regularly boasts about his Irish roots and lapped up a holiday on the island of Inishbofin in Co. Galway in 2011.


Julia Roberts

She’s Hollywood’s ‘Pretty Woman’ but Julia spent a chunk of summer 2012 traipsing around Mayo with her young children. The Oscar winner and Co particularly enjoyed their visit to Westport House’s Pirate Adventure Park and spent their stay exploring the county’s enviable beaches. It is not the only time Roberts’ has escaped to Ireland, reportedly taking up residence in Palmerstown following her split with Kiefer Sutherland days before their wedding.

Liam Gallagher

When the ex-Oasis frontman visited Sligo last summer, he made the most of Ireland’s pub culture. The controversial musician supped down pints in Hargadons after lapping up Sligo’s surf offerings following revelations of a secret love child with journalist Liza Ghorbani.


Beyonce may have only been in the country for a few days but it didn’t stop her making the most out of her time in the Emerald Isle. With Jay-Z and baby Blue Ivy in tow, Queen B spent her time getting to know the capital with trips to Phoenix Park, a personal tour of Dublin Zoo and a meal in Rustic Stone.

Angela Lansbury

The ‘Murder She Wrote’ star revealed that Ireland was a ‘sanctuary’ for her family following a fire in her Malibu home, and now she spends most of her time in her home in Ballycotton, Co. Cork. Some of her happiest times, she says, were spent with her late husband Peter Shaw in her south of Ireland haven.


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