It is now being offered directly, and more discretely, “to a network of high net worth individuals, financiers and investors around the globe”.
The planned sale of the 18th century North Cork Georgian mansion, which had been the private home of Ireland’s first president Douglas Hyde, filled acres of international newsprint and glossy magazines after being put up for sale in October 2015, and even notched up more than 33,000 hits on daft.ie alone.
However, at the lofty price tag of €20m, or $23.5m, it’s safe to presume that most who viewed Castlehyde online rather than along the River Blackwater, admiring its Georgian grace and its chandeliers, 24ct gold gilded ceilings, whiskey room, gym, 20-seat-cinema, and pool were not actually in a position to buy the 35,000 sq ft, 12-bed home on 150 acres.
Cork’s Castlehyde was bought by Flatley in 1999 for a reported €3.8m, in very poor condition and after flooding: he boasted that he had invested up to €30m in its renovation, conservation and luxurious upgrades.
The largest country estate sale of 2017 was Co Meath’s Ballymacoll Stud, making €8.15m at auction on 300 acres, after a lengthy period on the market. And, the sale of the 600-acre Lyons Demesne only happened after seven years on the market: it had a price drop from €65m, to sell for c€30m, after previous owner Tony Ryan had invested up to €80m in it.
Castlehyde has been marketed internationally by joint agents based in Ireland, Goffs, and Knight Frank.
Sources told the Irish Examiner: “Castlehyde is still very much available targeting an international audience specifically via a direct marketing campaign to include listing in Knight Frank’s Private View publication which was issued globally in Sept/Oct. This publication promotes Knight Frank’s most luxurious properties and is circulated to a network of high net worth individuals, financiers and investors around the globe.”
Among the guests to visit Castlehyde have been Cliff Richard, the late Maureen O’Hara, and the Chieftains, while Michael Jackson once reportedly expressed an interest in acquiring the Munster mansion, asking Flatley to “name his price”.
Michael and Niamh Flatley held their wedding here in 2006, and their 10-year-old son, Michael Jr, is being educated in Britain. The Times last year estimated Michael Flatley’s wealth at about £200m, with shows still touring the world. Lord of the Dance performed at Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration in January.
The Flatleys bought a Belgravia London home three years ago for a reported €28m, making a move from Knightsbridge, and also have homes in Barbados and Monaco, and have been reported to own one or two other, lower-profile Irish properties than the all-singing, all-dancing, but not-yet selling Castlehyde.