After Michael's aquittal in the child abuse case of 2005, he sought solace in Cork, travelling there in 2006 and staying in Blackwater Castle.He returned there with his family in the Summer of 2007 where they spent time at Ballinacurra House near Kinsale. It is said that he was planning to buy an estate in Cork as a getaway for his family. Michael and his family spent five months in Westmeath in 2007, recording music and enjoying the privacy of the countryside location. Grouse Lodge is equipt with a recording studio, while Coolatore House across the road was the lodgings for Michael and his children. Features icluded a bar, karoke room and table tennis room in the basement. At both Grouse Lodge and Ballinacurra House Michael’s children Prince, Paris and Blanket played with the children of the owners of both residences. During his stay in Ireland, Michael and his family went bowling in Cosmic Bowl at Tullamore Adventure Centre. Obviously nobody else’s feet were allowed to be placed inside Michael’s shoes after he wore them. Instead, they had them framed. As surprising as this may seem to some people Michael and his children spent some time living in a converted cowshed in rural Ireland shortly before he died. But in the summer of 2006, after his acquittal in the previous year’s court case, having left Neverland and spent some time in Bahrain, Michael secretly arrived in County Westmeath with his children. Relieved he had found a sanctuary away from the paparazzi and enchanted by an area so rich in history, myth and folklore, Michael ended up staying for the rest of the year. Michael fell in love with County Westmeath and, after a month in the converted cowshed, moved to the equally secluded neighbouring estate of Coolatore, also owned by the Dunnings. Because Michael didn’t have his own driver in Ireland, Paddy enlisted local taxi driver Ray O’Hara to drive Michael and the kids around in a borrowed people carrier with blacked-out windows. The Dunnings have a wealth of stories from the time they spent with Jackson. “One night we ended up in the studio,” Paddy recalls. “Michael was on the drums, I was playing guitar and [American producer] Nephew was on the keyboards and we just started getting a rhythm together, and slowly but surely Nephew just creeped the song in to ‘Billie Jean’. It was just mad playing ‘Billie Jean’ with Michael Jackson – I never thought I’d do that.” Paddy is a natural raconteur. He tells how, when he bought theWax Museum Plus – Dublin’s answer to Madame Tussauds – the resident Elvis was looking a little tired, so Paddy retired him, placing him in the woods by Coolatore. He had forgotten about him until Michael Jackson came in from a walk one day looking shaken. “Paddy,” he said, “I just met my father-in-law in the woods!” The bedroom at Coolatore House where Michael Jackson slept.



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