IRISH rock band U2 should be awarded the Freedom of Limerick City.
That’s according to Fianna Fáil councillor Sean Lynch, who feels Limerick City and County Council should do more to promote the Treaty City’s connections with the world’s biggest music group.
The City West representative has also suggested that the local authority should run shuttle bus tours to Clarina and Ballybrown to allow tourists visit Carrigogunnell Castle, where Bono and his bandmates did a photo-shoot for the back cover of their 1984 album ‘The Unforgettable Fire’.
The former Garda Detective takes the view that tourists who still haven’t found what they are looking for, should look no further than County Limerick.
“U2 have a strong connection with Limerick. They became U2 here at a band competition in the Stella Ballroom in 1978. They changed their name from The Hype that night and that’s where their story begins.
“They should be invited to Limerick to tell their story and I do believe they should be given the Freedom of the City,” Cllr Lynch told the Limerick Post.
“U2 also did a photo-shoot for The Unforgettable Fire out at Carrigogunnell Castle in Ballybrown. We should be promoting this fact. Rather than tourists staying in Limerick for one night and then heading off to Killarney or Galway we should be looking at keeping them here for two and three nights.
“We need to let them know that we have these wonderful attractions on our doorstep. The Council should be doing more to promote places like Ballybrown/ Clarina where people could spend a day walking and visiting its many wonderful sites. Shuttle bus tours need to be organised to keep people in the region.”
He believes that U2’s Limerick connection is an untapped tourism resource, which could draw visitors from across the world to visit Carrigogunnell Castle, just off the N69.
He also pointed out that ‘Angela’s Ashes’ author Frank McCourt’s ashes were spread at the ruins of the 12th Century fortress.
“We have so many hidden gems around the county. We need to be doing more to be exposing these sites and the Council need to get their communications team on it to promote them. Let’s start by getting U2 down here to tell their story and award them the Freedom of Limerick,” he said.