HE MAY be Lord of the Castle but it’s definitely cash that is king during the credit crunch.

Sir Jack Leslie is part of the fixtures and fittings at splendid Castle Leslie in Glaslough, Co Monaghan.

But not even the riches of Sir Jack could refuse a cash offer from Japanese TV to uproot himself from his own bedroom for a few days.
The eccentric Sir Jack, 92, who still visits local nightclubs at weekends, usually resides on the second floor of the plush pile.

But the riches of a Japanese TV company coaxed him to move house temporarily so that none-other-than the Queen of Manderley Castle herself, Enya, could move in.

The Donegal singer, worth an estimated EUR100 million, stayed at the mansion while shooting scenes for Japan’s biggest New Year’s Eve spectacular, Kohaku Uta Gassen.

Enya is a huge star in Japan where she sells millions of albums.

In a market that is traditionally off limits to singers from the west, Enya’s latest album And Winter Came, reached number three in the charts there.

The Orinoco Flow singer is only one of a handful of performers from outside Japan who have been asked to perform on the show in its 60 year history.

A source at the Castle revealed dozens of Japanese TV crew took over the entire castle for a number of days forcing Sir Jack to “slum it” at the nearby Hunting Lodge.

The source said: “Sir Jack didn’t mind at all and thought it was all a bit of fun. And besides he was well compensated for the inconvenience of having to move out for a few days.”

It’s no secret that, like many hotels and castles around the country, Castle Leslie is also feeling the bite of the credit crunch.

Only last year the Castle Leslie estate spent millions developing the Old Hunting Lodge into modern accommodation which also included an equestrian centre.

Management at the estate where Paul McCartney and Heather Mills tied the knot had also turned the castle into a private members club.

For a substantial membership fee, guests could enjoy all the delights the castle had to offer.

But now they have done a u-turn on the plan and will open again to the general public from April onwards.

The source revealed there were simply not enough people applying to be members to make the plan work financially: “It was a good idea but it just didn’t make enough money because not enough people wanted to be members.

“They still opened the castle for weddings but people couldn’t book and stay when they wanted to.

“Now they are going back to how it was and hoping to bring in the money again.”

Sunday Mirror (London, England) | Jan 11, 2009