POP singer Enya has been given the go ahead to spend pounds 250,000 raising the wall around her Dublin castle hideaway to keep stalkers away.
But the reclusive star has been so shaken by the attentions of a crazed fan that she has also asked for permission to install two-metre tall, state-of-the-art security gates at the pounds 2.5million Ayesha castle.
With its three acres of manicured grounds, the former Clannad singer is concerned the coastal fortress is too open to prying eyes and could attract prowlers.
She made a successful application in June to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council to have the granite boundary walls raised by more than a foot to keep prying eyes at bay.
The singer, who rarely gives interviews and never sings in public, bought the stunning castle because of its secluded position overlooking Killiney Bay. She jealously guards her privacy and is said to be keen to live at Ayesha totally undisturbed after an Italian fan hounded her for more than a year.
The stalker moved to Ireland to be closer to his idol and even stabbed himself after he was thrown out of her parent’s Donegal pub.
He bombarded her with a steady stream of love letters, recorded an album of love songs dedicated to her and walked around Dublin with a signed picture of her hanging round his neck.
He made her a prisoner in the Killiney penthouse where she is staying while building work at Ayesha is carried out.
“The stalker experience really shook her up,” a friend said last night.
“She is really relieved that the council have given her permission to improve security at the castle because she just doesn’t want to have to go through the hell she suffered all over again. It was a very upsetting time in her life.”
Enya’s also has other ideas for changes at the Grade I listed, six-bedroom castle. She wants to rip out about 40 of its windows at a cost of more than pounds 50,000.
Her friend said: “Enya can’t stand the current windows.
“Previous owners replaced the original windows about 20 years ago with really horrible aluminium frames.
“Some of them were painted a disgusting green and there is precious little character or detail to the frames.
“It’ll cost her a lot of money but she loves the castle and wants to get everything right.”
A number of small windows overlooking the stable-yard still retain their original glazing patterns and Enya wants to use them as the basis for her proposal to replace the others.
If her application is successful she will be able to start work in October.
It is not the first time the 37-year-old millionairess has fallen victim to unwanted attention. Her brother Bartley Brennan said: “Last year a German tried to get into Dad’s house. He was convinced Enya was being held there and was fighting with Dad.
“We even get mail for Enya addressed to ‘My future father-in-law’ or ‘My future brother-in-law’. It’s scary how many nutters are out there.”
Enya bought Ayesha Castle last year, outbidding Lord of the Dance star Michael Flatley, who had set his heart on the place.
Sunday Mirror (London, England) | Sep 13, 1998