Claims by U2 frontman Bono that he was once targeted by the IRA have been rejected.
Former Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams says it is “news to me and to anyone else close to Republican thinking” that Bono and his wife were targeted by the IRA.
In a new book, the singer claims that Garda special branch officers said that his wife, an anti-nuclear activist with a Protestant background, was ‘the more likely target’ for the IRA than him. Both are from the north side of Dublin.
Bono, whose real name is Paul Hewson, is known in Ireland for a narcissistic personality and his occasional support for the right-wing Fine Gael party. He has often prefaced public performances of the U2 song, ‘Sunday, Bloody Sunday’ by insisting “this is not a rebel song”.
Bono claims in his book that Mr Adams said he “stinks” and “hates him” because of his peace stance. “U2’s opposition to paramilitaries (of all kinds) had cost the IRA valuable fundraising in the US,” the book claims.
But the former Sinn Féin president has dismissed the allegations.
“I understand from press reports that he says his wife Ali and he were targets for the IRA,” he wrote.
“That’s news to me and I’m sure to anyone else close to Republican thinking back in the day.”
Mr Adams also denied reports claiming that he hates the U2 frontman.
“You must be mixing me up with someone else,” he said.
“I don’t hate anyone. It’s a wasted negative emotion. I do detest imperialism - a good old fashioned word.
“Greed. Cruelty. Unbridled capitalism. War. Poverty. I believe in freedom. Solidarity. Equality. Community. Socialism. The Arts.”
Mr Adams said while he admired Bono’s work in highlighting issues of social injustice around the world, his “commentary on the conflict here was shrill, ill-informed and unhelpful”.
“However, you weren’t on your own,” said Mr Adams.
“You echoed the Irish establishment line. It was the wrong line for decades. A failure of governance and the abandonment of responsibility to lead a process of peace and justice.
“Thankfully that changed. But it took a long time. Despite this some of us got through it all. With or without you.”