The Mirror : Welcome to Paddywood - U2 France

The Mirror : Welcome to Paddywood

mercredi 19 mars 1997

Source : The Mirror

From The Mirror :

Welcome to PaddywoodIRELAND’S OWN MAGNET FOR THE RICH AND FAMOUS...THE MAGICALWICKLOW HILLS

WICKLOW HILLS BECOMES HOME FOR THE FAMOUS

By Richie Taylor, Showbiz Editor

Forget Bel Air and Century City - Hollywood has moved to the Wicklow hills.

The ruggedly picturesque county has been rechristened PADDYWOOD as moviestars and pop idols hurry to snap up property.

The so-called "Rockbroker" belt in Killiney - home to U2 star Bono, racing driverDamon Hill, singer Lisa Stansfield and the reclusive Enya - has suddenly lost itsappeal.

Stars are moving further from the city for privacy from prying eyes. And Wicklowhas become the new place for millionaire celebrities to set up home.

The tiny village of Annamoe, which doesn’t even have its own pub or supermarket,has now become the "in" spot for stars of stage and screen.

If you drive over the bridge into the village and blink, you’ll miss it.

A small newsagent’s and an antiques shop, along with a few houses, is all itconsists of.

But top movie maker John Boorman, whose hit films include the blockbustersExcalibur and Deliverance, has lived there for years.

His annual mid-summer night party has become legendary, with stars like JackNicholson, Michael Douglas, Angelica Houston and Mick Jagger and Jerry Hallall dropping in.

But when Boorman brings his Hollywood crowd to Annamoe, the locals get angry.

Hired muscle men have been spotted stopping cars on the main public road near the house in a bid to keep gatecrashers away.

Some have complained to police - but as there is no garda station in the village it’s a bit of a losing battle.

A QUARTER of a mile up the road, Chieftains leader Paddy Moloney keeps amodest bungalow.

He is currently renovating it to make more room for visits from his new grandson.

Singer Van Morrison and actress Angelica Houston have visited Paddy and hiswife Rita in their hideaway home several times.

And they have often surprised locals by dropping into the nearby Roundwood Innfor a pint.

"I have a house in Dublin as well, but there’s something about Wicklow that I really adore. It’s magical, especially when we all get snowed in at Christmas time," admits Paddy.

Last year the residents of Annamoe - where singer Chris de Burgh’s brother-in-law Paulo Tullio also lives - acquired two new neighbours in the shape of Hollywoodsuperstar Daniel Day-Lewis and U2 manager Paul McGuinness.

Day Lewis and his new wife Rebecca Miller - daughter of American playwrightArthur Miller - are living on the lavish Castle Kevin Estate, which the star boughtearly last year.

Locals say the celebrity couple have kept a low profile since they moved in.

But Daniel, 39, has been spotted jogging along the country lanes as he preparesfor his role as a boxer in the new Jim Sheridan movie The Fighter. One local woman said : "I’ve seen him jogging by with his hood up and his dark sun glasses on.

"He never stops to say hello or anything. But we all know who he is."

DANIEL recently shelled out about pounds 200,000 to buy up forest and woodlandaround his already extensive property.

The area is desolate and rugged in winter, but in spring and summer it is transformed into a totally magical part of the country. It is not for nothing that Wicklow has acquired the reputation of being "the garden of Ireland".

Daniel’s nearest neighbour is U2’s manager McGuinness, who moved into apounds 1 million mansion last year.

McGuinness, often described as the fifth member of U2 and Ireland’s answer to thelate Beatles manager Brian Epstein, has installed hi-tech security equipment, including electronic gates, around his huge estate to ward off intruders.

Bono, Sixties singer Marianne Faithfull and other showbiz pals all attended a lavish bash he threw in the home he shares with wife Kathy and their three children lastChristmas.

It was there too that McGuinness received severe burns to his face and hands when afirework he was carrying exploded last Halloween.

The burly manager with the Midas touch spent two weeks in hospital recovering from hisinjuries.

Like the Day-Lewis home, the top businessman’s mansion is surrounded by dense forest and is not visible from the road.

A further two miles down the road, near the tiny village of Laragh, is the tin -roofedwhite-washed cottage recently acquired by Hollywood star Mia Farrow.

She fell in love with Ireland while making a movie here last year, but had long beeninterested in acquiring a hideaway home for herself and her children.

BUT she has yet to set foot in her new cottage, which she bought for pounds 125,000 after spotting it in an auctioneer’s brochure.

She decided on the spot it was just what she was looking for.

The cottage, which includes 19 acres of secluded land, is in need of extensive renovation.

Other residents in Wicklow include 1970s pop singer Hazel O’Connor, who has a two-bedroomed cottage not far from Roundwood.

O’Connor and her Hari Krishna husband Kurt Bipper are still doing up the property, which has spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

"I time my tours so I am not away when the flowers are blooming in my garden," she says.April and May are so beautiful here.

"From my living room window I have a great view of the bracken-covered Wicklow hills andon a clear day you can see the sea. It’s amazing."

Another pop star who is moving to Wicklow is Chris de Burgh, who has acquired thepounds 1.5 million Bushy Park estate in Enniskerry.

Pals say the pint-sized pop star bought Bushy Park in a bid to start afresh with his wifeDiane - immortalised in his hit song Lady In Red.

The move came after Diane’s public humiliation over his affair with family nanny MerissaMorgan.

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