Lord of the Dance Flatley hosts charity ice cream party in the sunshine

They definitely had the weather for it.

Lord of the Dance Flatley hosts charity ice cream party in the sunshine

The Lord of the Dance, Michael Flatley, opened up his Castlehyde home as part of an ice cream-themed charity drive that is aiming to raise as much as €300,000 for Down Syndrome Ireland.

Members of the Cork branch were among those enjoying the summer sunshine at Flatley’s Castlehyde pile yesterday.

The campaign, supported by HB Hazelbrook Farm, is running through May and June featuring hundreds of “Funday” ice cream parties across the country supported by thousands of volunteers to raise funds for the charity.

Down Syndrome Ireland chief executive Pat Clarke said yesterday of the Flatley-hosted party: “It’s a magnificent property in a stunning location, but above all else we are delighted to have someone as high-profile as Michael on board.

“This was one of the most anticipated events on the ice cream party calendar.

“Michael has been very supportive of us through the years.”

Flatley, who sprang to fame in Riverdance 20 years ago, posed for pictures and signed autographs for guests yesterday as temperatures climbed towards 20 degrees.

Over the past 12 years, the HB Hazelbrook Farm Ice Cream Fundays campaign has raised more than €3.3m for Down Syndrome Ireland and the charity hopes to raise as much as €300,000 this summer.

Tesco Extra stores will host ice cream parties from tomorrow as part of the fundraising drive.

Down Syndrome Ireland will use the money raised to help fund its early childhood and adult literacy programmes, as well as its counselling and advocacy initiatives, educational advice, and research.

The charity is celebrating its 44th anniversary this year and has more than 3,000 member families across 25 branches nationwide.

* For more on the campaign or the Tesco Extra parties, call 1890 373737 or log on to downsyndrome.ie.

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