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Adele Astaire: the dancing queen who became lady of Lismore Castle

From Broadway to the Blackwater, the dancer was once as renowned as her brother Fred - and he saw her as his 'shining light', writes Nicola Cassidy

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Adele Astaire

Adele Astaire

Dance stars: Adele Astaire with her brother Fred

Dance stars: Adele Astaire with her brother Fred

Alamy Stock Photo

Adele by Nicola Cassidy

Adele by Nicola Cassidy

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Adele Astaire

Lismore Castle in west Co Waterford hangs on a craggy rock, looming majestically over the small picturesque town. It dominates the landscape, creating a postcard-perfect background, a home fit for a queen.

In 1932, it became home to queen of the stage Adele Astaire, sibling of dancer Fred Astaire, upon her marriage to Lord Charles Cavendish. It was the beginning of a love affair with Ireland for the Astaire family that would last until 2010.

The duo began their stage career in New York in 1905. Johanna Austerlitz had travelled half way across America by sleeper train, from the mid-western beer-making, meat-packing city of Omaha, with her enthusiastic eight-year-old, Adele, and her quiet five-year-old, Fred.