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Speculation Michael Flatley's Castlehyde estate has been sold to hotel company

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Castlehyde House

Castlehyde House

Michael Flatley

Michael Flatley

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Castlehyde House

Mystery surrounds the future of Michael Flatley's palatial Castlehyde pad near Fermoy amid speculation that the Lord of the Dance star has finally been able to offload the estate

It is believed the estate, the ancestral home of Ireland's first president Douglas Hyde, has been sold privately to a hotel company.

The Corkman contacted Flatley's management company in London to find out if there was any basis to the speculation but was met with a terse 'no comment'.

Michael Flatley purchased Castlehyde in 2001 for €3million and embarked on a no-expense-spared renovation programme aimed at restoring the house, built in 1760, to its former glory.

While he was advised that it would be cheaper to simply knock the 100,000 square foot house and rebuild it, Flatley insisted it was worth saving despite the fact that its walls were crumbling, only two of the floors were inhabitable and there was more than a metre of water from the River Blackwater in the basement.

Over the following three years he spent an estimated €27 million restoring the house and gardens and a further €20 million fitting it out with antiques, art and rare books for his three-story high library.

Flatley insisted that the project, hailed by experts as one of the greatest Irish restoration programmes of the past 30-years was "worth every cent".

Castlehyde now boasts eight themed bedrooms, a 20-seat cinema, whiskey room, music room, red and white wine cellars, a reinforced garage for Flatley's prized collection of sports cars and fishing rights along the River Blackwater.

In 2015 the Flatley made what he described as one of the most "heart wrenching" decisions he had ever made when he put his beloved 18th century palatial pad up for sale with a €20 million price tag.

"It simply wasn't an option going forward to have this beautiful house and yet be only able to spend a couple of weeks there every year. It wasn't right and it wasn't feasible," he said.

"I've had almost 20 years at Castlehyde and it has been a wonderful experience - some of the best times of my life have been spent there. "That is what made this such a tough decision. There are so many happy memories."

However, it was subsequently withdrawn from also after failing to meet the asking price. Last year the house and the 150-acre estate, which includes a 12th century Norman castle, went back on the market with Sotheby's International Realty with a substantially reduced €12.5 million price tag.

It is understood that the estate was subsequently taken off the open market when it failed to sell.

Corkman