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Birthday boy Bono unfazed by Burton's tax blast





Bono showed little sign that he was taking an attack by Social Protection Minister Joan Burton to heart this weekend as he headed out with friends to celebrate his birthday.

The world's biggest rockstar turned 53 in recent days and had a quiet meal in Dublin's Coppinger Row with his wife Ali and friends to celebrate.

He was taking time out from recording the band's 13th album, which is due out before the end of the year.

In the coming months he will share his philosophy on life in a new series of broadcasting veteran Gay Byrne's The Meaning of Life.

His wife Ali looked effortlessly beautiful in a black wrap dress, matching lace top and silver-grey handbag.

Her long dark locks were in soft waves and she was clutching a handful of presents.

The couple were smiling and seemed in good spirits as they were directed to their waiting car by a bodyguard.

The singer was joined by bandmates Larry Mullen and The Edge, and close friend Gavin Friday.

Wearing his trademark sunglasses, a weathered brown leather jacket and sporting an ear piercing, he proved to be aging well.

The group caught up over Mediterranean food, and didn't leave until 5am yesterday.

In recent days Ms Burton put the spotlight on U2's decision to move its publishing arm to the Netherlands – as part of an attack on what she called the "scandal" of tax avoidance.

Bono and his fellow band members have frequently come under fire from tax justice campaigners since they made the move to go Dutch in 2006 in order to to pay less tax.

But Ms Burton is the first cabinet minister to highlight U2's actions. She also criticised global companies that reduced their tax liabilities through legal loopholes.

The minister made her comments at the annual conference of Chartered Accountants Ireland in Dublin during a debate on the "two-tier" tax system.

U2 manager Paul McGuinness has previously defended the band's decision to move its publishing arm from Ireland to the Netherlands, insisting the band is a global business and pays taxes globally.

Irish Independent