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Sinead Ryan: Twenty five years ago I wanted to feed the world with Live Aid cash. Mum made me put it in the church plate instead

Bob Geldof has a lot to answer for. Some 25 years ago, he unleashed the phenomenon that became the charity pop concert. Admittedly, it was the original and the best, and we all got swept up in the moment.

Live Aid was truly phenomenal. There was a euphoria watching the whole thing -- commandeering the (only) television in the house to see something that lasted ... oh, forever.

We ate our meals in front of it; we begged Dad not to switch over to the news; we wanted to donate all our pocket money. Mum said we'd go blind watching all that telly.

Most of all, we were proud that an Irishman was at the helm. No, we didn't much like the Boomtown Rats, but hey, there was Bob up there with our real heroes -- Queen! Status Quo! Bowie! And across the water -- imagine -- Duran Duran. My sister and I just loved Simon Le Bon.

You could donate there and then -- all you had to do was ring a phone line (there were just 300 manned by the BBC) and give your credit card number (as if!) or promise you would go to the bank on Monday and do it there or post it in.

"Aah, if you want to give some money, put it in the plate at Mass on Sunday," said our mother as we eye-rolled at her.

There were no mobile phones, no text donations; "online" hadn't been invented.

You had to make a real effort to get the money there. I gave £5 over the counter in the bank.

It was a fortune -- and could have been used to buy makeup, or a record.

I cured hunger instead and it felt good.

The Irish famously gave the most per capita, despite being in the midst of a deep recession.

And yes, it was mortifying when Bob cursed. In an Irish accent. Ooh, the shame. He even used the F word to a BBC presenter. We giggled; my parents tut-tutted.

Poor old Phil Collins ended up with the most to do and we waited with bated breath to see if he would make it across the Atlantic on Concorde in time for the second concert.

The glamour of it!

The music was the best thing though. After a while, constant demands for money got tiring; the films about poor people in Africa boring. We wanted the next band.

And what did it all achieve? Well, Bob got his knighthood; the record industry got a never-endingly annoying song for Christmas and no self-respecting star is without a charity record now.

Oh, did we cure famine? We thought we did. That's what mattered.


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