'God had other plans for my father' - Michael Flatley grieves over death of dad
LORD of the Dance Michael Flatley revealed his dream was to have three generations of his family at his final Irish dance performance this month but "God had other plans for my Dad".
The comments came as the dancer paid an emotional tribute to his father who died after a short illness at the age of 88 on Friday night.
Michael James Flatley, a native of Sligo, emigrated to the US and built a successful business in Chicago.
He died just weeks before his north Cork-based dance superstar son had hoped to have three male generations of the Flatleys in Dublin for the Irish debut of his show, Lord of the Dance - Dangerous Games.
Michael Flatley told the Herald that it was to have been "a dream come true to have three generations of Flatleys in the 3Arena" including his father and his own son, Michael St James.
"I owe everything to my father and my mother. I just cannot believe Dad is gone," he said.
His show, which is on a 200-date world tour, will be staged at the 3Arena on March 27 and 28.
The dancer admitted he was very emotional about the 3Arena shows as they would be his last stage performances in Ireland in the very venue (the old Point Depot) where he enjoyed major breakthroughs with Riverdance and then Lord of the Dance.
He paid a moving tribute to his late father who had a lifelong interest in Irish music and dance.
"My dear father passed away on the opening night of my show," he said. "He was my hero. My heart is broken. Please keep him in your prayers. I love you dad," the dancer said.