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New & Noteworthy: Rocky Road for Michael & Lisa?

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Eileen Murphy

Don’t know about the rest of you, but we’ve been up nights worrying about Michael Flatley, what with his new low-carb diet and the shocking lack of fine wine in his diet these days. Now comes word that the romance between him and — how do we put this nicely? — top-heavy gal pal Lisa Murphy has hit the skids. Or not. You see, it’s all very confusing.

The Sunday World ran with a front page exclusive this week which announced "Flatley in Big Bust-Up with Irish Beauty." But when we turned, with shaking hands and thumping heart, to page 2, we found that while Michael and Lisa had indeed had "a barney," as one inside put it, they were still together. Or, as the reporter noted, "trying to patch up their relationship after a sensational split."

Though the story offered no details about what caused the fight, we did learn that 26-year-old Lisa flew off to Dublin in a huff (and in tears), leaving behind her clothes and jewelry.

Reportedly, Lisa consulted with a fortune teller/psychic type while back in Dublin, and this gave her some insight into the situation. But really, who could stay mad at Michael (or his £300 million) for too long? After a brief interlude, the two were back together, billing and cooing between Michael’s "Feet of Flames" shows in Zurich.

Actually, the whole relationship seems to have been pre-ordained. Around the time she started dating the "Lord of the Dance" star, Lisa visited a Dublin fortune teller named Grainne, who used tarot cards to give her the scoop on her love life.

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"In her cards I saw an internationally famous man with an unbelievable amount of money," Grainne told the Sunday World.

Hey, if that’s not enough to get the little hairs on the back of your neck to stand up, keep reading.

"The man was a Cancerian, which is Michael Flatley’s star sign," said the fortune teller. "And I could see he also owned property all over the world." Hmmm . . . sounds more like Grainne’s an avid student of the gossip columns, but what do we know?

Ånyway, now that they’re back together, the Michael’s plans include starting a family.

"I’ve always wanted an Irish girl and now I’ve got Lisa Murphy," said Michael. "She is quiet and lovely. I’m just dying to have kids."

Anthony: father of all the Quinns

At the age of 85, Hollywood legend Anthony Quinn has learned that some battles are not even worth a token skirmish. Take, for example, the popular misconception that he is the proud poppa of a certain hunky Irish-American actor.

"When I do interviews, it seems the second question is always if I am proud of my son Aidan Quinn," he told the New York Daily News.

The actor, who is of Irish, Mexican, Spanish and Indian ancestry, is often thought to be Greek, thanks to his career-making role of Zorba.

"I have 13 children," he noted with palpable pride. "But none of them is the actor Aidan Quinn."

Anthony, however, hates to put a damper on things. After all, entertainment reporters are a sensitive bunch.

"I don’t want to disappoint, so I just say vaguely that I am very proud of the Quinn family, but I do not want to single out one special Quinn for praise."

Spoken like an experienced parent. No word on whether Aidan gets quizzed on his family ties during interviews, but we should point out that the title of Aidan’s last film is curiously appropriate here.

Memory failing you? Aidan and his brothers Declan and Paul collaborated on last year’s "This is My Father."

Bogle nights

If someone (not us) offered you $1 million (just to be clear, we’re not) to list the best Irish folk songs of the past quarter century, we’re sure that the top 10 would include "The Green Fields of France" and "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda." The man who wrote these songs, as well as the beautiful "Leaving Nancy" and the heart-wrenching "Now I’m Easy" is Scottish accountant-turned-songwriter Eric Bogle, who will make a rare New York area concert appearance next week.

Bogle will be performing at Paddy Reilly’s Music Bar in NYC on Wednesday, June 28. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. sharp, and tickets are $15. For information, call (212) 686-1210. This one should be a night to remember, especially if, like us, you enjoy hearing a writer’s interpretation of his own work.

By the way, a bit of trivia: the song known alternately as "The Green Fields of France" and "Willie MacBride" was originally titled "No Man’s Land." The Furey Brothers and Liam Clancy, respectively, changed the name for reasons known only to themselves. Not that Bogle minded — he collected the same royalties, no matter what they called it. And those must have been some royalties, since whatever-you-call-it is an Irish radio staple. Wedding bells (but no nudes) for Westlife

So much Westlife news, so little space. Really, it’s getting to the point that we could devote at least a page a week to the activities of Ireland’s favorite boy band, but that wouldn’t be fair to our readers, who no longer worry about getting zits two days before the prom. But, be that as it may, attention must be paid.

Our first item concerns handsome Shane Filan (also known as the dark-haired one). Shane took a break from the band’s American tour to spend a whirlwind weekend in his native Sligo. He was attending the wedding of his big sister, Yvonne.

He told reporters, "Westlife has a crazy itinerary this year because we have set out to make it big in America."

But blood is thicker than, er, record sales.

"There was no way I was going to miss Yvonne’s wedding," he said.

Actually, the record company knew about Shane’s family commitment months in advance.

"I told [them] 10 months ago that I wanted these few days off for the wedding and even though it’s in the middle of a busy U.S. tour, there was no problem."

Shane’s duties as brother of the bride included driving his bliss to the church, and singing a couple of songs at the reception, which was held at the Sligo Park Hotel. But the life of a pop star isn’t all champagne toasts and autographs. After the festivities, Shane had to drive through the night to Dublin, where he caught a flight to Orlando, Fla., to rejoin his bandmates.

In more Westie news, we’re happy to tell you that at least four of the five boys won’t be doing any nude modeling in this lifetime. As for the fifth, well, apparently, he can do what he wants.

You’re probably wondering just what it is we’re on about. Well, we hear that the mothers of Westlife members Shane, Bryan McFadden and Kian Egan have gone on the record to say that their sons are forbidden from posing nude for any sex magazines, "like Playboy or Penthouse."

"Whether it’s one million or two million pounds wouldn’t make a scrap of difference," said Shane’s mom, M’ Filan. "I wouldn’t allow him," she told the Irish Examiner. "Money isn’t everything."

"He just wouldn’t do it," said Mairead McFadden of her son Bryan. And Patricia Egan said she’d kill be pride and joy, Kian, if he even thought about it.

"Kian wouldn’t do it, and I wouldn’t allow him," she said firmly.

The most freewheeling mom in the bunch seems to be Marie Feehily, who said she’d have no objections if her son Mark decided to pose in his birthday suit. Not that she thinks there’ll be much call for it, anyway.

"God, who’d want to see him in the nude anyway?" she laughed. (Talk about boosting someone’s confidence.)

Anyway, this raises a few important questions, not the least of which is, did some magazine ask them to pose, or were the mothers just issuing statements at random (after, maybe, an all-night bingo-and-Guinness session)?

Sinead does the math

It may be a little bit late (or early, depending on how you look at it) for us to make any New Year’s resolutions, but we’re throwing caution to the wind. New vow: No reading anymore interviews with Sinead O’Connor on an empty stomach. It gets too confusing and it makes us a bit queasy.

What prompts this new rule is a recent revelation by the priest/singer. In direct contrast to all her recent blathering about being a lesbian, Sinead now says that she is "neither gay nor straight, and has been more often attracted to men than women."

Apparently, Sinead did the math, and discovered that, of the 30 people she’s been with over the years, only two have been women.

"[I said] I prefer relationships with women — but that isn’t accurate," she told The Star newspaper. Whatever. Somebody, pass us a cruller.

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