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Toe-curling, cocky, life-saving Bono

Colin Murphy


The U2 frontman’s revolutionary mission was rock music, not politics, but he chose to leverage his status

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The celebrity activism of Bono, Bob Geldof and others is often derided as something whose effect is more to salve western consciences than serve poor countries’ real needs. Pictured: Bob Geldof, Bertie Ahern, Bono and Tony Blair in 2008

The celebrity activism of Bono, Bob Geldof and others is often derided as something whose effect is more to salve western consciences than serve poor countries’ real needs. Pictured: Bob Geldof, Bertie Ahern, Bono and Tony Blair in 2008

The singer lobbied former British prime minister Tony Blair, left, for African debt relief in 1999

The singer lobbied former British prime minister Tony Blair, left, for African debt relief in 1999

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The celebrity activism of Bono, Bob Geldof and others is often derided as something whose effect is more to salve western consciences than serve poor countries’ real needs. Pictured: Bob Geldof, Bertie Ahern, Bono and Tony Blair in 2008

Forty years ago this weekend, locals in Dublin’s north inner city launched a month-long festival to galvanise the community’s fight back against official neglect.

The newly elected independent TD, Tony Gregory, had secured an unprecedented deal with then taoiseach Charles Haughey for  investment in his north inner city constituency, and his comrades in the community-development movement saw an arts festival as a way to spread their activist message.


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