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Thursday, 24 May, 2001, 12:54 GMT 13:54 UK
Irons's peachy Irish castle
Jeremy Irons
The castle looks a terracotta colour from close up
Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons has provoked a surprised reaction from his neighbours by painting his clifftop Irish castle a peach colour.

Irons has planning permission from Cork County Council to carry out extensive renovation work on Kilcoe Castle, near Ballydehob, which he shares with his actress wife Sinead Cusack.

He announced three years ago plans to spend IR£1m (£770,465) restoring the castle to its original glory.

But the colour it has been painted, chosen by a Scottish expert, has caused some concern.

"It is quite alarming. When I first saw it I was horrified," said Mary Mackey, editor of the Mizen Historical Journal.

Jeremy Irons
Irons won an Oscar for Reversal of Fortune
"It was not what we had been expecting and when we discussed the castle with Mr Irons he made no mention of painting it."

The peach effect comes from a mixture of limewash and sulphur for the exterior finish of the seven-story, 100 ft high tower which overlooks Roaringwater Bay, West Cork.

Not responsible

The castle looks a more attractive terracotta colour from close up.

Dúchas, the Irish government's heritage department, has said it is not opposed to the colour, which is expected to fade in time as it oxidises in the air.

The Irish Examiner reported that Irons was not responsible for the colour, since he was away in Los Angeles filming when it was chosen, but that "he likes it".

Lime green castle
At least he didn't paint it lime green
The castle is the former seat of the McCarthy clan and was the last castle in rebel Carbery to hold out against the English.

It was the scene of a battle in 1603 when local clans made their last unsuccessful stand against the English.

Mr Irons also owns a shoreline retreat in nearby Skibbereen, he acquired the uninhabited castle as a ruin from a London friend some years ago.

Irons won an Oscar in 1991 for his role as murder suspect Claus von Bulow in Reversal of Fortune and hit controversy for his role as Humbert Humbert in Lolita, which critics accused of glamorising paedophilia.

He also starred in the multi-Bafta winning Channel 4 drama Longitude.

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See also:

05 Dec 98 | Entertainment
European 'Oscars' honour Irons
22 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
Longitude wins Bafta hat-trick
24 Feb 99 | Entertainment
Valentino's day for Irons
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