Michael Flatley’s Cork home back on market with 37% price drop
In 2017, the Palladian mansion on 150 acres then priced at €20m was quietly ‘disappeared’ from open market property listings
Irish-American dancer and painter, Michael Flatley, has placed his lavish Cork home back on the open market with a 37 per cent price cut to €12.5million. The Castle Hyde estate on the banks of the Blackwater River was placed for sale in 2015 seeking €20 million, a heady price at the time even taking into account tens of millions invested by Flatley in the north Cork home.
In late 2017 the Palladian mansion on 150 acres was quietly “disappeared” from open market property listings by joint agents Knight Frank and Goffs, who at the time ascribed the change in marketing tack to a more “bespoke” approach, ie only wealthy buyers or investors would be privately briefed about the property.
Now it’s back on the market, this time with selling agent Sotheby’s International Realty, a move presumably designed to seriously push the property in the US where it might catch the eye of wealthy ex-pats or tycoons on the lookout for a sporting estate in Europe.
The discount of €7.5million is hefty but Flatley was sanguine this week when he told the Wall Street Journal: “I don’t mind taking the cut because I spent 20 of the best years of my life in that house.” The dancer also told the Irish Times after it first went on the market in 2015 that he had spent an estimated €30 million on Castlehyde, between its purchase for €4 million after he spotted it from a helicopter in 1999 and the serious refurbishment project that followed.
The revised €12.5million figure is certainly a more realistic price tag for Castle Hyde which dates from 1760, and was once the ancestral home of Ireland’s first president, Douglas Hyde. The €20 million asking price in 2015, though bullish by any standards was likely to have been bolstered by the inclusion of house contents. Sotheby’s selling agent David Ashmore says this time around “the concentration will be on the asset sale, with the majority of contents available to purchase through separate negotiation”. These would include elaborate bespoke chandeliers, antique furnishings, wine collections and artwork hanging in the house.
The property comes with about 35,000 sq ft of living accommodation, including seven reception rooms, 12 bedroom suites, a 3,000-sq ft main suite and an indoor recreation complex with a swimming pool.
It also has a billiards room decorated in an African safari theme, a cinema room with seating for 20, a whiskey room and two wine cellars. The grounds include tennis courts, a driving range, a putting green, the ruins of a 12th-century Norman castle and extensive gardens and walking trails.
Flatley, who rose to global prominence in the 1990s as the lead dancer with River Dance, and followed it with own production Lord of the Dance, lives at Castle Hyde with his wife Niamh and son Michael for about two weeks annually, and according to Ashmore: “They are reluctantly selling as business interests are not allowing them to enjoy Castle Hyde as often as they feel such a remarkable house should be enjoyed.”