Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Ronan Keating and dancer stay silent over affair claim

Ronan and Yvonne Keating

Ronan Keating last night remained silent amid mounting speculation linking a blonde dancer to his marital split with wife Yvonne.

Trained ballerina Francine Cornell went to ground yesterday while Keating's estranged wife appeared for the first time in public without her wedding ring.

Keating declined to comment as reports linked him with 26-year-old Cornell from Leeds, who danced on the Boyzone tour last year.

A statement announcing the couple's split on Thursday made no reference to third-party involvement in the break-up.

Yvonne (36) looked tense yesterday as she emerged from the couple's plush home on Abington, Malahide's millionaires' row.

She wore dark shades and a key pendant around her neck, but the wedding ring that Keating slipped on her finger 12 years ago during a secret ceremony in Barbados was conspicuous in its absence.

She stood in the rubble near the half-built home the couple were planning together nearby and briefly chatted to builders.

Earlier, a friend had delivered coffees, and a lorry hauling a large skip left the Abington mansion. But there have been few other comings and goings since Keating packed a suitcase and left in a Range Rover late on Thursday night.

Meanwhile, Ms Cornell was nowhere to be seen at her detached family home in a Leeds suburb, while her Facebook page had been taken down.

Neither was there any sign of life at the popular dance school run by her sister Emily.

Cornell, a veteran of pop tours and pantomimes, is seven years younger than Keating and 10 years younger than his wife.

She has enjoyed touring the UK with high-profile shows such as 'Strictly Come Dancing' and several bands including Boyzone.

But Keating's London-based PR company declined to comment on speculation linking the pair.

Sophie Green of Dawbell Ltd, who are acting for the singer, said: “We are not making any further comment from the stories today.

“A statement was issued regarding Ronan and Yvonne splitting, and we won't be making any further comment at the moment.”

Despite the statement confirming the couple's separation, Boyzone manager Louis Walsh yesterday described events as “a storm in a teacup”.

“I reckon Ronan and Yvonne will get back together. I think this has been blown out of all proportion,” said Walsh.

The pop manager, who remains close to the members of the boy band, said he did not know Cornell.

The Keatings were once regarded as having one of the most secure and stable relationships in showbusiness.

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