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Cork to pop as main attraction for millennium celebrity parties

TWO star-studded Millennium parties in West Cork are set to dominate Ireland's social ``wannabe'' diary on December 31.Multimillionaire Disney heir Roy Disney is planning an historic New Year bash at his magnificent Kilbrittain home while celebrity couple Jeremy Irons and Sinead Cusack are also set to `christen' their recently-refurbished 15th-century castle outside Ballydehob.

Cusack and Irons have conducted one of the most painstaking restorations ever attempted in Ireland on Kilcoe Castle.

Stonemasons restored the keep to its pre-Cromwellian glory, while the interior has been restored to precisely mirror its medieval glory, complete with tapestries, rugs and oak furniture.

Now, Kilcoe is set to host a remarkable Millennium party with a guest list rumoured to include such frequent visitors to Ireland as Robert de Niro, Julia Roberts, Aidan Quinn and Albert Finney.

Both Irons and Cusack are also extremely friendly with Liam Neeson and his actress wife, Natasha Richardson. Other ``celebrity neighbours'' in West Cork include Neil Jordan and David Puttnam.

The two West Cork Millennium parties are now tipped to prove the most exclusive celebrations on the island.

Roy Disney's Kilbrittain home is considered one of the most palatial ``hideaways'' in Western Europe with magnificent views over Courtmacsherry Bay. The Disney family are frequent visitors to Ireland and are described by locals as ``polite but private''.

The heir to the multi-billion pound Disney empire purchased the 19th-century house a decade ago and gradually purchased all properties between the house and the Atlantic shoreline to ensure an uninterrupted sea view.