'shrill' | 

Gerry Adams says he doesn’t hate Bono, but U2 man’s comments on Troubles were ‘unhelpful’

“However, you weren’t on your own, you echoed the Irish establishment line – it was the wrong line for decades’

Former Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams

Amy CochraneBelfast Telegraph

Gerry Adams has said that he does not hate Bono, despite quotes from the U2 lead singer claiming that he does.

Mr Adams did, however, say that previous comments made by Bono about the conflict in Northern Ireland were “shrill, ill-informed and unhelpful”.

The former Sinn Féin president was speaking in the latest release of his Léargas podcast.

He was reacting to news reports on Bono’s new book ‘Surrender: 40 songs, one story’ which also claimed that the musician and his wife were targets for the IRA.

Mr Adams said he was “looking forward” to reading his new book but that these claims were “news to me”.

“I understood from press reports that he says he and his wife were targets for the IRA, and that is news to me and I’m sure to anyone else close to republican thinking back in the day,” he said, adding that: “Bono is also quoted in some news reports that I hate him.”

“Nope, Paul, not me. He must be mixing me up with someone else. I don’t hate anyone. It’s a wasted, negative emotion,” said Mr Adams in the podcast.

“I do detest imperialism - a good old-fashioned word - I detest greed, cruelty, unbridled capitalism, war, poverty.

“I believe in freedom and solidarity and equality and community and socialism. I believe in nature and the natural world. I believe in the arts.”

Mr Adams did admit that “Bono is a very fine songwriter” whose focus on the “awfulness inflicted on people in the developing world is commendable”.

David Trimble, Bono and John Hume at the 1998 peace concert at the Waterfront Hall

“But some of your commentary on the conflict here was shrill, ill-informed and unhelpful,” he continued.

“However, you weren’t on your own, 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 a process towards justice, but thankfully that changed.

“It took a long time, despite this some of us got through it - with or without you,” he added.

“Many didn’t - including friends and neighbours and family members of mine - but no hard feelings, Bono, now the conflict is finished - thanks to all who contributed to that.

“There’s a lot still to be done to remove its causes and to heal the heart but we all get that message and we will all get that done also and shape our own future despite the detractors.

“So, all of us have a positive role to play in all of that by working together.”

Mr Adams then concluded by wishing the U2 frontman well with his new book.

In the book, Bono also mentions a discovery in the 1990s that a “famous gangland leader in Dublin had been planning to kidnap [his daughters], that [the gangster’s] people had been casing our houses for several months and developed an elaborate plan”.

He also recalls meeting with powerful figures, writing about Pope John Paul II trying on the singer’s iconic tinted glasses as they discussed debt.

Bono tells how he had to apologise for his anger after “behaving shrilly” as an “overzealous rock star” while with the younger President Bush.

The memoir also explores the band’s rise to power, the impact on Clayton in particular, and Bono’s embarrassment whenever he watches the 1985 Live Aid concert. “There is only one thing that I can see,” he writes. “The mullet.”

Today's Headlines

More Irish Showbiz

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos