Posts Tagged ‘Bob Geldof’

Thank God it’s them instead of you: Live Aid and Ireland

13 July 2010

By Kevin O’Sullivan

Think of Africa in the mid-1980s and a distinct set of images comes to mind. Ethiopia. Sudan. Famine. Michael Buerk on the BBC lifting the media veil on Korem refugee camp, “the closest thing to hell on earth”. Band Aid. “Feed the world”. Live Aid. Bob Geldof imploring the watching public to “give us your money NOW”.

In Ireland Live Aid evokes memories of a unique public display of energy and emotion. Pride that on 13 July 1985 one of Ireland’s own was the driving force behind the first global media fund-raising extravaganza of its kind. Pride in the £7.5 million pledged from a country crippled by high taxation, unemployment and emigration – the highest per capita donation in the world. Pride in U2’s performance, as Bono’s famous off-stage foray catapulted the band into even greater realms of stardom. And, above all, pride in the role played by Irish NGOs like Concern, Goal, Trócaire, Self Help, Gorta, the Irish Red Cross, Christian Aid, Oxfam, even the IFA, in assisting the millions affected by famine in Ethiopia and Sudan. Read More

Ireland’s Greatest?

2 April 2010

Contributed by Adrian Grant

RTE’s output of historical documentaries in recent years has been the subject of some discussion. ‘The Killings at Coolacrease’ (2007) and ‘If Lynch Had Invaded’ (2009) both stimulated a lot of discussion among historians and others alike. RTE is now asking ‘who do you think is the greatest Irish person ever?’ and has provided a shortlist of forty for the public to choose from. The five figures who receive the most votes will have hour-long documentaries produced about their lives before the public is asked to make the call on who was, or is, Ireland’s Greatest. We can also look forward to the fact that these five documentaries will be fronted by a ‘well-known personality’ who will interpret and champion their chosen figure. This is a very similar format to the 2002 BBC show “Great Britons” which was highly popular and notable here for its inclusion of two Irishmen, Bono and Bob Geldof. The two lads are included on the RTE list and there is a danger that Bono might disappear up his own arse if he wins. This is unlikely though since most Irish people don’t seem to like him very much. Read more