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Flatley's next step: being made an 'Honorary Corkman'

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Michael Flatley with his wife Niamh.

Michael Flatley with his wife Niamh.

Michael Flatley outside Castlehyde

Michael Flatley outside Castlehyde

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Michael Flatley with his wife Niamh.

He has won virtually every honour on the planet - ranging from world dance titles to G8 cultural ambassador titles and Smithsonian heritage awards.

Now 'Lord of the Dance' Michael Flatley (55) is to secure the ultimate 'hometown' honour - he is to be made an 'Honorary Corkman'. His wife Niamh will also be honoured at a special Cork Person of the Year awards lunch in the city next January.

The Flatleys will receive their award in recognition of the enormous cultural and tourism contribution they have made to their adopted county over the past decade.

It will also recognise their loving restoration of Castlehyde, the 18th century mansion they own outside of Fermoy, Co Cork.

The couple live in the period house overlooking the River Blackwater with their son, Michael St James. The Chicago-born dancer bought the house for €3m and then invested over €30m in rebuilding and restoring the mansion to its former glory.

Awards founder Manus O'Callaghan said the honour was richly deserved. "Michael and Niamh Flatley have been great ambassadors for Cork and will now join past winners of this award including Jeremy Irons and David and Patsy Puttnam," Mr O'Callaghan said.

The dancer is currently touring his hit show 'Lord of the Dance - Dangerous Games'. The show arrives at the 3Arena in Dublin next March for what will be Flatley's final dance appearance in Ireland.

His wife, son and parents will attend the performance in what is sure to be an emotional night for the dancer after decades spent performing.

"Dance has been very good to me, which is what makes it so hard to say goodbye to it all," he said.

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