MICHAEL JACKSON may have been a global superstar but he had a particularly close relationship with Ireland, citing the country as the main inspiration behind a new album he was recording.
It wasn't long after he was acquitted of child molestation charges that Jackson and his entourage arrived on Irish shores in 2006, and it was rumoured he was interested in setting up a Disney-land theme park called Leprechaun Land.
While the inventor of the Moonwalk stayed at a number of locations dotted around the country, including Cork and Westmeath properties, his visit and stay in County Wicklow ended up with hordes of Jackson fans laying siege to Roundwood.
It was reported that his stay at Luggala Castle lasted for three months, costing rent of €30,000 per week. The sevenbedroom retreat came complete with private chefs, butlers and cleaners and is set in a luxury 1,500 acre county estate. Jackson wasn't the first superstar to grace Luggala, with previous guests including Mel Gibson and Orlando Bloom. There was further speculation that he was even house-hunting in the area.
During an American interview conducted at the time Jackson was quick to praise the Emerald Isle, stating 'Ireland has inspired me to make a great album. I have never given up on music.'
Jackson's stay at Luggala drew plenty of attention and there were a number of sightings of the King of Pop in and around different locations in County Wicklow. Apparently he was drawn to the area after he was advised that in general people would leave him alone.
He was also seeking investors from the US for his theme-park but was unable to raise the necessary funds and ended up returning back to the US.