Wednesday 16 January 2019

'We've got all sorts of exams in our house at the moment' - Ali Hewson will miss some of U2's first leg of Experience + Innocence

Ryan Tubridy and Ali Hewson. Photo: Brian McEvoy
Ryan Tubridy and Ali Hewson. Photo: Brian McEvoy
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

It won't be long before U2 kick off the first leg of their Experience + Innocence tour in May - and Bono's better half Ali Hewson said she imagines they could take a leaf out of the Rolling Stones' book and continue touring well into their 70s.

"I really don't know - I hope so. Why not?," she told the Herald.

Despite being part of one of Ireland's best-known celebrity couples, it seems the mum-of-four's household is subject to the same pressures as any other.

Asked if she would be in Tulsa for their opening gig on May 2, she said: "I will be there at some point but I'm not sure when.

"We've got all sorts of exams in our house at the moment so I'll be there for some of it. I will catch it."

She was one of the guests at the InterContinental Hotel for the annual fundraiser in aid of Adi Roche's Chernobyl Children International (CCI).

Hosted by ex-TD Liz O'Donnell and agent Noel Kelly, the bash is one of the organisation's biggest yearly fundraisers.

Although it's coming up to the 32nd anniversary of the nuclear accident next month, Ali said it was just as important to keep the charity in people's minds.

"Year after year we come across the most awful disasters," she said. "But this is something that the CCI is committed to staying with and are seeing these kids through."

More than 250 guests turned up at the lunch to show their support, including Ali's godchild Anna Gabriel (25), who was rescued from an orphanage in Belarus at the age of four and adopted by a West Cork family. She was born with serious problems, including being completely deaf. Her legs were also deformed and she had an extra finger on both hands.

She said she was "plucked out of misery just in time" and has thrived thanks to the care of her adoptive family.

At the end of her speech, she received a standing ovation from the crowd, which included RTE's Ryan Tubridy, Joe Duffy, Claire Byrne and Dave Fanning.

Tribute was also paid to the late Dolores Riordan, who wrote and recorded a 2002 single Time Is Ticking Out in aid of the charity.

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