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Ronan hits the town as he enjoys a secret solo trip back home

LOVE RAT Ronan Keating hit the tiles during a secret visit to his hometown last weekend -- minus his estranged wife, Yvonne.

The Herald can reveal how the dad-of-three jetted into Ireland on Saturday afternoon for a whirlwind visit of less than 24 hours.

The Boyzone singer, whose wife Yvonne and three kids stayed on in his newly adopted home of Australia, was spotted making the most of his short trip home at the Wright Venue in Swords on Saturday night.


He couldn't stay out too late however, given that he was due on a flight to Britain the following morning in order to perform at the Henley Festival in London.

"Ronan came in with a couple of friends on Saturday night and headed straight for the VIP Penthouse area," said a club source.

"He was determined to stay under the radar and wanted the minimum amount of fuss around his visit.

"He stayed for a couple of hours and had a few drinks, but it was a pretty tame night out," they added.

Also partying at the venue on the night was rapper Tinie Tempah, fresh from his stint at Oxegen the previous night.

Earlier that day Ronan (33) is believed to have paid a visit to the couple's new mansion in the upmarket Abington Estate in Malahide, which is currently under construction.

Insiders explained how the star was keen to ensure that the building work is progressing smoothly, given that neither he nor Yvonne are at home to monitor it.

Before leaving for Australia last month, the estranged couple and their three children; Jack (11), Marie (9) and Ali (4) moved into a luxury apartment inside gated complex The Casino in Malahide in order to allow building work get under way.

Since moving to Oz for Ronan's new gig as a judge on the Australian version of X Factor, he and former model Yvonne have been spotted enjoying a day out to Taronga zoo in Sydney with their two daughters, signalling that they may yet be able to save their troubled marriage.

The couple announced their split in a statement last May, and it later emerged that the singer was alleged to have had a seven-month affair with 26-year-old dancer Francine Cornell.

Since then friends have rallied around the couple to offer their support, with Ronan's former colleague Paul Brady explaining that he has every confidence the star's career will recover fully following the blow.

"It's ironic that Ronan and I worked together on 'The Price of Fame' and then life imitated art in that way," he told the Herald.

"I think he'll be okay though, his career will survive," he added.