Apr 10 2010

Where There is Love, I’ll Be There: Michael Jackson in Ireland, Part III

Category: Children,Family,Friends,Photos,Quotes About MJSeven @ 1:35 am

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Since I wrote “Porridge, Picking Apples and Peace: Michael Jackson in Ireland“, Parts I and II, more charming and heartwarming stories about Michael’s time in the Emerald Isle have surfaced, so I’d like to share them with you. I didn’t expect to add any more to this series, but these stories are simply too wonderful to keep to myself, so I’m adding a third part here, and will add more if necessary!

Once again, Eugene Lambert of Lambert Puppet Theatre and Paddy Dunning of Grouse Lodge reveal a bit more backstory about Michael’s time spent with them.

It all sounds as if it was absolutely Heavenly for Michael – at least until one self-interested, ignorant and cocky American reporter announced to everyone around that Michael was there. We all know how self-serving, inconsiderate, and barbarian the U.S. media is, so I guess it was inevitable eventually. Poor Michael. He’d finally found his peace and there was the U.S. media once again in short order to take it from him. Nonetheless, Michael did find at least some peace in the World before he left it and I am happy for that.

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Jackson was a ‘down to earth doting father’ recalls Sligo puppeteer

Michael arrived in a banger of a car, with his three children. There was no big entourage, just one security man and an au-pair. They spent over two hours with us, enjoying a show we put on for them and then sitting around having tea and scones. When we discovered it was Michael’s birthday, Judge sang him the happy birthday song and Michael happily sang along. It was a great day, a lovely memory.

. . .

We have a small sweet shop in the theatre, and as we were about to start a show for Michael and his children, one of the kids asked if they could have sweets. I told the lad to help himself, and the next thing Michael was in the shop filling his pockets. He was quite literally the child let loose in the sweet shop, and he loved it.

. . .

He clearly loved his children, and they equally loved him. They had a lovely, normal relationship. He struck me as a very kind, gentle person. The children were perfectly behaved, they had impeccable manners and they wouldn’t touch anything without permission.

It was very much a normal family scene, and I really couldn’t relate the person I met to the man portrayed in the media. To me, he was an ordinary, lovely man, and we got on really well together. I was quite fond of him.

-Eugene Lambert, Lambert Puppet Theatre

The Return of Waxo Jacko
(of course I KNOW Michael despised the moniker “Whacko Jacko” and I do as well, however, this is in loving fun, as you’ll see)

I NEVER ASKED him to moondance, and I never asked him for a picture. Michael said that when he was leaving. He said, “Paddy, you’re the only person who I’ve met in my whole entire life who’s never asked me for a picture.”

-Paddy Dunning, Grouse Lodge

Paddy Dunning and Waxy Michael

The photograph that accompanies this article, and in which the two do finally appear together, is of a live Dunning and a brand-new waxwork of Jackson, which went on show yesterday at the National Wax Museum Plus; another of Dunning’s businesses.

After the 2005 trial in California, when Jackson was acquitted of charges of child sexual abuse allegations, he spent very little time in the US. Five months of 2006 were spent in rural Westmeath at Grouse Lodge.

. . .

Across the road from Grouse Lodge is Coolatore House, a beautiful late Victorian mansion, which can also be rented by artists or the public. Jackson lived in the Grouse Lodge complex for a month, and at Coolatore for four.

. . .

Once the family arrived, the gates were closed and the Jackson children settled down to a routine of lessons in a small room off one of the studios, playing with Dunning’s two children in the afternoons. Jackson made his own porridge in the mornings, favoured grilled chicken, fish and rice for dinner, went for walks, and read The Irish Times daily.

He was very interested in how this country worked, and the boom that was on here at the time. He was an avid reader of The Irish Times ; he read it every day from start to finish.

-Paddy Dunning

At the time of his death last summer, Jackson was reported to be taking an extensive range of drugs on a regular basis. However, Dunning says he saw no evidence of this.

Not that I saw and he was here, or around, all the time. We’d go for walks, and he was fit. Michael could move really quickly; I’ve never seen anyone move so quickly. He was like a ballet dancer. -Paddy Dunning

The staff working at Grouse Lodge did not even tell their partners who the studio’s current resident was, although Dunning himself cracked. “I eventually told my mam,” he confesses.

And then my mam was saying prayers for Michael. And then Michael rang his mother and told her that my mother was saying prayers for him, and then she was saying prayers for my mother, so I went back to my mother and told her ‘Michael Jackson’s mother is saying prayers for you, Mam’. My mother is a small little lady up in Walkinstown and it’s just mad to think that Michael Jackson’s mother was saying prayers for her. -Paddy Dunning

Jackson, one of the world’s most recognisable faces, sometimes left the estate to explore other parts of Ireland, usually accompanied by Dunning. How was it that nobody in Ireland appeared to notice him?

Sometimes they did,” Dunning replies simply.

Sometimes I’d drive him to Dublin and we’d pull up a red light and Michael would look out the window, because he’d be sitting up front with me, and a person would not believe their eyes. They would go into semi-shock at the sight, not knowing what to believe – is this Michael Jackson that’s pulled up alongside me on Dame Street or wherever? -Paddy Dunning

The pair of them sang in the car as they drove around the country.

Although I’m a crap musician, I can say I’ve played with Michael Jackson. I played drums with him. And I sang with Michael. We’d be singing in the car. We sang that song, The Girl Is Mine, that Michael recorded with Paul McCartney. He did Paul McCartney’s part, and I did Michael Jackson. -Paddy Dunning

One of the places that Dunning took Jackson was to the nearby Hill of Úisneach, a historic site associated with the High Kings of Ireland.
He loved history and mythology,” says Dunning, who is developing a Mayday festival around Úisneach – the Festival of the Fires – which will, he hopes, eventually radiate out across Ireland.

. . .

Although staff, neighbours, the shopkeepers at Rosemount – and Dunning’s small children – kept quiet about the fact Michael Jackson was in residence, in the end, a US reporter eventually revealed his whereabouts. One Billy Bush, nephew of George Bush senior, first cousin of George Bush junior and presenter of Access Hollywood , a syndicated cable entertainment-news show, arrived to interview Jackson in Westmeath. He went into nearby Moate straight after filming and told the men, women, children and dogs in the street where Jackson was. “Stupid man,” Dunning says mournfully, but really, could any other result have been reasonably expected?

Jackson departed the midlands soon afterwards, to attend the funeral of soul icon, James Brown. He left the Dunnings his television; toys that had been bought for Prince Michael Junior, Paris and Blanket; various hats; a signed piece of wood (all visitors sign a slice of tree trunk); and a page of scrawled signature in the Visitors’ Book. “He was a very generous man,” says Dunning.

Jackson had agreed, in theory, to open Dunning’s Wax Museum last summer.

We’d told him about the museum. He was always interested in wax museums. He said, ‘If I’m around, I’ll launch it for you’. He was due to be in England at the time to do the shows at O2, and we were going to be going over to the shows and all of that. It was a massive shock when we heard he was dead. -Paddy Dunning

A note Michael left to Paddy Dunning thanking him for the hospitality at Grouse Lodge & Coolatore house

A note Michael left to Paddy Dunning thanking him for the hospitality at Grouse Lodge & Coolatore house

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{ Thanks to my friends Saskia and Blanaid for finding these additional heartwarming stories about Michael in Ireland! -Seven }

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17 Responses to “Where There is Love, I’ll Be There: Michael Jackson in Ireland, Part III”

  1. Justice4MJJ says:

    AMAZING stories, I smiled so much throughout! It sounds like a lovely peaceful paradise, & I too am so relieved that he had some of this before the hell of his life started up again! Thank you SO much for these stories, it makes me feel like I was there watching them :} “I particularly like the mam part, & Michael driving about Ireland singing songs, heartwarming to say the least!

    On a side note, thank you again for all your help with the #MJFansBoycottSony site, & for advertising it, we need more fans to participate, that way we can at least hurt Branca & co. FINANCIALLY, where it REALLY gets them, since we have no control over them being executors! http://mjfansboycottsony.weebly.com/

  2. Micheline says:

    Thank you, Seven, for sharing this wonderfully warm account of Michael’s time in Ireland. At least there were some places on this large planet that saw fit to welcome Michael with open arms. This must have been a lovely memory for him and his children. I cherish any experience that brought some happiness into Michael’s short life, and carry him in my heart every minute of every day. Keep up the great work you do on this site, Seven. Love You More! <3

    Micheline

  3. matilde says:

    Thanks Seven, I read it and imagine it, happy.
    With michael now,Eugene Lambert Passed away on February 23

  4. Seven says:

    Micheline,

    I am also comforted that Michael found some solace somewhere on this earth before leaving it. Bless his sweet heart and those in Ireland who respected him and his privacy.

    Matilde,

    I am so sorry to know that Eugene Lambert has passed. He seemed such a sweet man and he clearly respected and adored Michael. I hope they are having a good blether together and eating lots of sweets in Heaven! Bless them BOTH. <3

  5. Saskia says:

    Love the article that Blanaid found as well. Can’t help it, but reading what a doting father he was and how loving and caring to everyone, doesn’t seem to get easier. Brings tears to my eyes everytime I read something like this.

    I’m very sorry to hear that Eugene Lambert has passed away. I hope he and Michael are having some great conversations.

    Thanks for sharing such a great story again Seven.

  6. Karin says:

    Seven, thank you for these delightful tales of Michael and his children enjoying their time in Ireland. What a shame the media intruded on this happy life of theirs.

  7. Susan says:

    Thanks so much Seven for these wonderful articles on Michael and his children. Can’t you just picture him singing Paul McCartney’s part in “The Girl is Mine”. Ha Ha! What a lovely, lovely gentleman Michael was(is).

  8. Inga says:

    Thank you Seven so very much for this wonderful dedicated homepage to Michael. I am very happy that our man had lucky times too in Ireland with his loved children.
    Every day I think of him and what he had to go through. It is a shame, what the media and some
    very devil and stupid people did to him.
    He was the most beautiful man I can ever imagine and my true love.
    Sorry for my english!
    L.O.V.E

  9. Seven says:

    Inga – your English is great! Not a thing wrong with it. Thank you so much for visiting!

    L.O.V.E.

  10. Bonnie Cox says:

    I never liked the Bush’s. Any of them. I wish Michael could have stayed in Ireland. Thank you Seven for posting these stories. Makes me miss him even more.

  11. Miranda says:

    Thanks so much for posting these stories! Its so good to read such nice and positive things about the man I so admire. Even now, 11 months after his death, there are still so many negative and wrong stories that come out everyday and it just really helps to read something uplifting and positive so thank you. I laughed and smiled all throughout the ireland stories, he was so wonderful…if only people would take the time to research who he really is, i think they would be amazed.

  12. Katharina says:

    Dear Seven, thanks again for posting this video and for the part III of “Michael in Ireland”;
    may I ask you something?! I´m always “behind” since I discovered your homepage only a few weeks ago. Now I read the comments referring to your “introduction” to this site and somebody mentioned she did´nt expect anything else since she had read almost all your post on TST… What is this TST?
    some rare sunshine from Germany 🙂

  13. Karin says:

    Miranda, I couldn’t agree with you more about people not knowing who Michael is. I used to despise the haters but now I have come to realise that most of them are stuck in their ignorance and don’t want to open their eyes or ears or even think about investigating the truth for themselves.

    Now I can ignore them knowing that they choose to miss out of the wonderful experience of knowing the real Michael. He was such a fascinating man with a beautiful heart, brilliant mind and talent and the best sense of humour. Michael has enriched my life immensely and I miss him every day.

  14. Seven says:

    HI Katharina,

    ‘TST’ is a website and Facebook page dedicated to “The Silenced Truth” about Michael Jackson. It concentrates on his extensive humanitarian work around the world.

    Here’s the link to the Facebook page:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Silenced-Truth-about-Michael-Jackson/82324869092?ref=ts

    And here is the link to the website:

    http://www.thesilencedtruth.com

    I used to post there quite a bit and still do from time to time. They are wonderful people bringing the truth about Michael to people who otherwise would not know how much this man did for the World – all while suffering brutal abuse from it.

  15. Katharina says:

    you are so fast answering questions… thank you 🙂
    I really have to stop asking because every time I get information from you I spent the next hours reading….and don´t get my work done anymore.. have a nice day (or night?? don´t really know where you are)

  16. norah says:

    thank u so much for this. I knew some of this but not all.My hearts smiles and breaks all at once. There never will be another with a beautiful heart ,mind and soul as Michael Jackson. It is the way we should raise our children-what a godsend Michael Jackson was. God bless you Sir, with peace and happiness in God s arms of Love.

  17. norah says:

    I hated B Bush for his comment saying Justin Timberlake is the closest thing to Michael Jackson-what an insane statement to make! there s only one Michael jackson and no one comes close! I wished that ass had not been the town cryer and exposed where MJ was. He seemed so happy to be in Ireland and I feel he would have been so well there, amidst the beauty of that place.He had a ton of fun too with normal country folk. Such a gem and so lovely at heart….is Michael Jackson

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