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The Irish Government has asked U2 to help dispel the idea that foot and mouth ('hoof and mouth' in the US) has put Ireland out of bounds for US holiday makers this summer.



'We are a little surprised that the government has asked us to get involved in this, "said Bono, ahead of tonight's Los Angeles show, 'But we're happy to dispel the rumours that Foot and Mouth disease has made Ireland unsafe for tourists."



"This is a ridiculous misunderstanding," he continued. "We would like to tell everyone that Ireland is a perfectly safe place for a vacation. All of us in the band live and work there. It's a great place for a vacation and we hope everyone will continue to visit."



Dr James McDaid, the Irish Minister for Tourism, welcomed the support of U2.



"Without doubt the endorsement that Ireland is an open and welcome tourism destination from the world's leading rock band will be of immense value in getting the message across in the US," he said. "The good word from Bono will reach not only U2's millions of fans but their families and friends as well."



One in five US consumers are under the mistaken impression that the foot-and-mouth outbreak in Europe - which is harmless to humans - is the same thing as mad cow disease.



For the latest information on visiting Ireland this year check



www.ireland.travel.ie

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