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King of Dalkey Bono jokes he was 'very annoyed' when Hollywood's Matt Damon became local Dalkey favourite

'He’s beloved! I mean, there’ll be a statue of him there. I don’t know what it was, and what he did. But I’m not happy at all'


The now famous shot of superstar Matt Damon in Dalkey with his 'bag o' cans.

The now famous shot of superstar Matt Damon in Dalkey with his 'bag o' cans.

The now famous shot of superstar Matt Damon in Dalkey with his 'bag o' cans.

Bono has joked how he was “very annoyed” that his close friend actor Matt Damon stole his thunder when he moved into the U2 singer’s town of Dalkey early last year. 

The world-famous actor became something of an Irish folk hero after he was snapped with a SuperValu bag on the rocks in the seaside village while going for a swim.

As he hunkered down with his family during lockdown, he was adopted by the village’s inhabitants who protected his privacy when an American journalist arrived in April looking for details about his stay.

However, one of the locals objected to his presence.

“I’ve lived in this village, or next to this village, for 30 years,” Bono told GQ Magazine for a prolife of the Bourne star.

“This f**er is there for three months and they make him the king of Dalkey! I mean, it’s unbelievable.

"He’s caught in some kind of local photo shoot with a SuperValu plastic bag, and the rumour that he’s carrying cans, and suddenly he’s got all this credibility that some of us just are incapable of ever achieving.

“He’s beloved! I mean, there’ll be a statue of him there. I don’t know what it was, and what he did. But I’m very annoyed about it. I’m not happy at all.”

Bono’s comments are, of course, tongue-in-cheek, as according to the profile, Damon and Bono are friends, and go back some way.

“In fact, according to Damon, Bono was indirectly responsible for initiating the third great focus of Damon’s adult life aside from his acting career and his family: his work in expanding global access to water, primarily through the organization water.org”, the magazine reports.


Bono (Chris Jackson/PA)

Bono (Chris Jackson/PA)

Bono (Chris Jackson/PA)


As for his time spent in the pretty South Dublin village, Damon says: “We got really lucky. We had about as good a lockdown as we could have ever hoped.”

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According to GQ: “As well as the house waiting for them in the coastal community other nearby properties had been rented by cast and crew who had returned to America. These were all now vacant, so there was plenty of room for Damon’s party to spread out.

“In one house, for instance, Damon installed the teachers they had been traveling with, allowing his children their own in-person private school that they could walk to each day. His assistant and trainer also got their own spaces. Within the two kilometers they were permitted to travel, they could swim in the sea, take long hikes in the Irish countryside. It was like a time out from the world.”

“There was like a quiet,” Damon reflects in the magazine piece. “There weren’t scripts being sent, or work to do, or people who needed answers for anything. It was just: Take the kids to school and then go train, or go for a walk. It was very simple. That part of it was eye-opening, going forward, in terms of how I’d like to spend my days.”

Bono also reveals in the interview he realised his friend has “the thing that the whole world wants”.

“He has freedom. It’s the most intoxicating thing of all. And that, very few very famous people have. He’s free from self-consciousness. For a man who looks in the mirror for a living, he’s not even a little bit self-conscious, I’ve found.

“I mean, I think I’ve got freedom, but I’m self-conscious. When I walk into the newsagent’s, I can see myself walking into the newsagent’s, do you know what I mean? He’s really himself.”

The magazine adds: “After about three months in Dalkey—the SuperValu bag, incidentally, had actually been filled with beach towels for the kids—Damon and family headed back to Los Angeles, though they would return to Ireland for two months later in the year to finish The Last Duel.”

The Hollywood star later said he would definitely return to Ireland and that he made a deal with his children that they would come back and explore once the filming of Thor was finished.

“We made a bargain with the kids that when this all ends we’re going back and we’re gonna do our trip,” he said.

"We all really want to do it, we just felt comfortable there . . . the town is so beautiful and we’re just walking up Killiney Hill, walking over to Mugs [cafe] and getting coffee.

"It was just the best.”

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