INFLUENTIAL rock star Bono believes that the people of Ireland -- not Taoiseach Enda Kenny -- should have featured on the cover of Time magazine.
"They are the ones who have taken all the pain," he told the Sunday Independent last week.
The international weekly news magazine featured Mr Kenny on the cover of the European edition above the headline 'The Celtic Comeback'.
"I heard the Taoiseach said -- and I think it's right -- that the real people who should have been on the front cover were the Irish people. If it's true he said that, then that says a lot about the man. Because it's the people who have taken all the pain."
The author of the article, Time Europe editor Catherine Mayer, is also a friend of Bono's.
They met over 15 years ago through her husband, guitarist Andy Gill of post-punk band Gang of Four.
In a piece for the Telegraph newspaper for the 10th anniversary of the INXS star's death, Mr Gill recalls how his then girlfriend Catherine and he used to fly to the South of France and spend time partying with Bono, Michael Hutchence and Paula Yates.
As Gill recalled: "The first time I took Catherine to Bono's house, she and Michael and Bono took a naked midnight swim.
"While they were treading water, Bono asked her what she did for a living. When she told him she was a journalist, he ducked under the surface, came up spluttering and said: "Well, please write that mine is bigger than Michael's."
Mr Kenny gave the interview in Government Buildings to the international weekly, which said he was "leading Ireland's fight to recover from the bust".
Bono met Enda at Christmas time last year to discuss affairs of state.
The duo had a two-hour meeting in the Taoiseach's office, during which the U2 singer's offer to act as an ambassador for Ireland was discussed, the Sunday Independent revealed.
Meanwhile, Bono has also told the Sunday Independent that he is humbled that the Irish people are still intent on giving to the Third World, despite their own financial turmoil.
"The Irish people are amazing. What's so incredible about the Irish people is that if you poll them -- I think it's over 62 per cent -- even though they are hurting and there's a lot of pain in the country, they don't want to cut the aid budget. That just humbles me," he said.