29 March 2007
A Knighthood for Bono
In Dublin this morning the British Ambassador, David Reddaway, presented Bono with an honorary knighthood on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen in recognition of his services to the music industry and for his humanitarian work.
'What a great year for an Irishman to receive an award from Great Britain.' said Bono after receiving the award. 'The Peace process has proceeded to a conclusion, debt cancellation - started in Great Britain - has put 20 million African children in school, The Happy Mondays and Shaun Ryder have reformed, England's rugby squad entered Croke Park to thunderous applause, silence for God Save The Queen, then the Irish hammered them. I couldn't be more proud.
'I would like to thank Her Majesty's Ambassador for pinning this award on me in my home town, and the band for not bursting my balloon.'
Family and friends joined Bono for the private ceremony at Glencairn, the Ambassadors residence - Edge and Adam were there along with Guggi, Gavin Friday, Simon Carmody and Louis Le Brocquy.
A letter was read out from the British Prime Minister Tony Blair, describing Bono as an inspiration in the fight against global poverty: "I'll leave it to others far more knowledgeable than me to talk about U2's music - all I'll say is that along with millions of others right across the world, I'm a huge fan".
The Ambassador said that the honorary knighthood recognised 'Bono's extraordinary and inspirational campaigning to fight global poverty and focus international attention on the plight of Africa; the AIDS pandemic; and the third world debt crisis.'
'He has played a key role in persuading governments and international institutions to wipe out many of the old debts owed by the poorest countries. We in the UK particularly appreciated his work during our G8 and EU Presidencies in 2005, which we were determined would produce real benefits for Africa.
'We are delighted that Bono has accepted this honour, and look forward to his continued efforts alongside ours to raise awareness and change policies to improve the lives of the poorest people in the world.'
After the ceremony Bono joked with reporters that "you can call me pretty much anything you want, except sir. You can call me lord of lords or a demi-god."
More news and photos on the way.