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Bono reveals pride in FitzGerald

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Bono

Bono

U2 frontman Bono has paid his own inimitable tribute to former taoiseach Garret FitzGerald who he struck a friendship with in the early days of the band.

The Dubliner, who is in the US preparing for the next leg of the band's latest tour, said he felt pride when Mr FitzGerald led the country.

Bono said he was a gentleman who followed the rules while others did not. He said: "He rebranded Ireland with his grace and intellect. I remember feeling very proud that he was our leader."

He met Mr Fitzgerald 30 years ago when they shared a flight from London to Dublin and stayed in touch in the following years.

Bono, who backed some of Mr FitzGerald's liberal agenda, also invited the then politician to a photo session in the early 1980s and the future taoiseach sat at the mixing desk of a 24-track modern recording studio.

The star added: "(He was) a class act, cut crystal, diamond mine of information, statistics, the detail of people's lives, that he so cared about."

Members of the public will pay their final respects to Mr FitzGerald on Saturday as he lies in state ahead of Sunday's funeral.

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The former Fine Gael leader, 85, died on Thursday after a short illness. His remains will be in Dublin's imposing Mansion House and members of the public will be able to file past the coffin and sign a book of condolence.

Mr FitzGerald, who helped negotiate the Anglo-Irish Agreement, died just hours after the Queen delivered an historic reconciliation speech in Dublin Castle, made possible by the 1985 accord. President Mary McAleese and the Queen led tributes that poured in from international leaders.

The full state funeral will take place on Sunday afternoon for the politician, journalist and economist, who led two governments in the 1980s.


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