Irish rockstar Bono has found himself the target of campaigners who are accusing him of threatening the heritage of his home city. The U2 frontman, usually leading protests to eradicate Third World debt and AIDS, wants to demolish buildings in the city’s historic Temple Bar district in order to expand a hotel he, together with bandmate The Edge and a local property developer, co-owns.
The plans call for the demolition of the riverside facades of the Clarence Hotel and five neighbouring properties and the erection of a £102m, nine storey complex, designed by Sir Norman Foster and topped with a bar with a 360° panoramic view of Dublin. Groups opposing Bono’s plans include Irish conservation group Taisce, who say the new building will itself destroy a historic view of the city.
Bono and The Edge took over the Clarence in the early nineties but it is understood to have lost £10m since it was refurbished a decade ago.