Dublin Orangemen ‘put record straight’ on U2 Bono’s neighbourhood after Jon Bon Jovi gaffe

A Dublin Orangeman says he found claims that Bono was beaten up by Dublin Orangemen in his childhood as “funny” because they are so far removed from the truth.

Friday, 9th October 2020, 10:27 am
Updated Monday, 12th October 2020, 10:38 am

He was speaking after US rock star Jon Bon Jovi said in a recent interview that he had enjoyed a comfortable childhood and had not had to endure what he falsely believed was the sectarian threat in the U2 singer’s childhood.

“His upbringing was obviously very different than mine,” Bon Jovi said. “I never had the Orangemen walking through my neighbourhood saying, you know, get the Catholic kid and beat him up.”

His comments caused no little mirth on social media because people across the island thought them so fanciful.

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 Bono – or Paul Hewson – had a Catholic father and Protestant mother, attended the multi-denominational Mount Temple Secondary School and reportedly attended Church of Ireland services growing up.

Speaking to the News Letter yesterday, Chris Thackerberry of Dublin and Wicklow LOL 1313 said the misconceptions in Bon Jovi’s comments were even deeper than most people realised.

Far from being a Catholic child enduring sectarian violence from Protestants in his neighbourhood, he said, Bono’s family would have been very much integrated into the Protestant community.

“I just found it funny because I knew of Orange brethren living in that area where Bono grew up.” His mother was Church of Ireland and, as such, the mixed couple qualified for housing in Finlas Park.

Chris Thackaberry of Dublin and Wicklow Loyal Orange Lodge 1313. https://www.dublin1313.com/site/
Chris Thackaberry of Dublin and Wicklow Loyal Orange Lodge 1313. https://www.dublin1313.com/site/

“To get one of those houses you had to be a Protestant or you had to be part of a parish life.”

He said the houses in that area were built by the Church of Ireland as social housing for the Protestant working class. “But there were a number of Orangemen lived in there.”

It was quite likely that his family would have known the Orangemen in the tiny estate personally, he said.

But far from Orangemen inflicting sectarian violence on others in Dublin, the reality was almost exactly the opposite, he said; The last Orange parade in 1932 was attacked by stone throwing mobs.

U2 frontman, Bono

He also noted that Mount Temple Secondary School which Bono attended would be seen as co-educational “but it is a Church of Ireland ethos school”.

His lodge has about 40 members.

“The majority of Dublin people are more curious about Orangeism than aggressive. However if we were to organise a formal parade then the mob would be out with threats towards us.”

Bon Jovi performing at the O2 Arena in Greenwich, central London in 2007. PA Wire

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