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Mullen in pledge of $100,000 to US tribes' Covid plea



U2 star Larry Mullen Jnr. Picture: Gerry Mooney

U2 star Larry Mullen Jnr. Picture: Gerry Mooney

U2 star Larry Mullen Jnr. Picture: Gerry Mooney

Two American Indian tribes say they are "overwhelmed" by donations to their Covid-19 pandemic appeal from Ireland - including a $100,000 (€90,000) pledge from U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jnr.

The Navajo and Hopi tribes - in Utah, Arizona and New Mexico in the US south-west - launched the appeal three months ago after the virus cut a swathe through their communities. Both tribes lost multiple elders to the pandemic.

Over recent weeks, the appeal has been flooded with donations from Ireland in memory of how another American Indian tribe, the Choctaw, donated a total of $170 (the equivalent of around €4,500 today) to Ireland in 1847 at the height of the Great Famine.

Now, the Navajo-Hopi appeal organisers said they were astounded to receive the pledge from Larry Mullen Jnr.

It will fund their work for more than 1,000 vulnerable families for almost a fortnight.

It is understood the donation was sparked by the fact the Irish band spent a lot of time in the American south-west in the build-up to their smash hit album 'The Joshua Tree' 30 years ago.

U2 are also renowned for their charity work - with Bono helping to spearhead a campaign to secure personal protective equipment for healthcare workers two months ago.

The Hopi-Navajo appeal was organised by the Utah Rural Education team of Ethel Branch, Vanessa Tulley, Delores Greyeyes, Zach Chupa and Klee Benally.

"The favour is returned through generous donations from the Irish people to the Navajo Nation during our time of crisis," Ms Tulley said.

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