Monday 12 November 2018

Chicago-born Flatley (59), whose parents came from Carlow and Sligo, made his name starring in Riverdance but then struck out on his own to create Lord of the Dance, which has toured the globe numerous times.

One of his six homes, Castlehyde estate, which sits on the banks of the Cork Blackwater among 150 acres of woodland, is being marketed to potential buyers having failed to sell since late 2015. He added mod cons that only a multimillionaire could need such as an earthquake-proof garage for his car collection and a multi-storey library for his rare book collection. He spent up to €40m on the work over a decade, according to reports, sparing no expense on things like skilled purveyors of stonework and the best of materials. The asking price is currently €20m, according to reports. However, a legal dispute with the architect who oversaw the work, Peter Inston, erupted late last year.

Flatley's dance business meanwhile has been a substantial operation, employing 300 people and making profits of up to 40pc on ticket sales, having played to over 50 million people. At one stage there was talk of him floating his Las Vegas-based Unicorn Entertainment to cash in on its success. He continues as a producer, creator and choreographer, according to his website, which also now sells Lord of the Dance merchandise.

More recently, while supporting the arts in Sligo and Clare, Flatley also runs a dance academy that gives dance workshops across London. He is also financing, directing and acting in a film in which he plays a retired spy alongside Julia Roberts' brother Eric, who plays a villain.

There was also a stint which he spent creating one-off paintings with his feet that sold for up to €340,000 from a gallery in Mayfair.

From a base in London's Knightsbridge, he also owns valuable properties in the Caribbean, New York, Beverly Hills and Villefranche. It's believed he has shares in Berkshire Hathaway, which have risen by 10pc in the past year.

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