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13 January 2012: Shane Filan has moved to England as he prepares to kickstart his solo career.
The Westlife star, 32, his wife Gillian, and three children Nicole, Patrick and Shane, moved from Sligo to Surrey during the Christmas holidays.
Although they lived for several months at a time in the Georgian-style house at Cobham, the family has decided to make it a more permanent home while Shane develops his solo career after Westlife break up following Croke Park concerts in June.
Eldest child Nicole, six, is already attending a school near the home Shane bought three years ago.
A close family friend said he and Gillian have no intention of breaking their links with Sligo and will return often and will retain their sprawling home outside the town.
The friend added: “They adore Sligo and will always regard it as their home. But Shane has realised London is the best place to be for his solo career.
"Cobham is in the London commuter-belt. He has spent so much time on the road around the world with Westlife. He wants to spend more time with his family so he and Gillian decided the best thing for now would be to move to their home outside London.
“He can concentrate on his new career and not be away from his family so much.”
Shane and Gillian can take their children to a number of parks near their new home and also to nearby Chessington World of Adventures. He can also indulge his passion for golf at Wentworth, where he has played several times.
Louis Walsh, currently on holiday at his Miami apartment until February, has already announced he will continue to manage Shane and has predicted he will be the most successful solo artist of Westlife after the band splits next summer.
Louis said he could see Shane having a career like big band singer Michael Buble.
He added: “Shane is going to be a big artist. I will only manage someone if I believe in them.”
Source: Mirror - picture: Roger Allen