U2 and Croke Park – Another Embarrassment

U2 What an embarrassment. A nation of whingers and moaners is how the Irish have often described themselves   and it’s a description none the more apt than for the residents of Dublin’s Clonliffe Road and surrounding areas.

Following a weekend of shows from a band that makes you proud to be Irish, the country may become something of a laughing stock because of a handful of Drumcondra residents.

The next date on U2’s awe-inspiring world tour may not go ahead after protestors at Croke Park delayed the removal of the band’s stage this morning. It means fans in Gothenburg may be denied the stunning spectacle enjoyed by nearly a quarter of a million people in the band’s homeland last weekend.

You can see the headlines – worldwide headlines – of Irish protests forcing their own to cancel a show. It leaves the impression that Bono and Co left on a sour note; that their own people weren’t proud of the huge, ambitious and envelope-pushing stage show that will entertain millions around the world.

Time and again we hear their cries of Clonliffe road residents during the run-up to a big concert (usually U2) or All-Ireland Final day of how the nation shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy world-class entertainment in a world-class venue because they happen to live next door.

Yes, we sympathize with the disruption caused, but this comes with the territory. This comes with being housed next-door to Ireland’s largest venue and no doubt the GAA and concert promoters MCD have gone out of their way to insure any disruption is minimal.

Residents should also be aware that this isn’t any other production – a fact any of which attended one of the three shows will be aware of – and that this also isn’t any other band.

U2, for all their flaws, are fantastic ambassadors for this nation and the Irish race. As an excellent editorial in Saturday’s Irish Times pointed out, they were an emblem of success, ambition and pride during the troubled economic times of the 1980s and now, once again, they fill a similar role.

We all should be proud of U2 and proud of Croke Park. Proud of how they symbolize Ireland and not begrudge them their ambitions for the sake of a few hours sleep.

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