Bob Geldof on the day he handed back his Freedom of the City of Dublin scroll. Rolling News.ie photo.
By Evan Short
Fianna Fáil leader Michéal Martin has insisted that Bob Geldof should have his Freedom of the City of Dublin reinstated.
Dublin City councilors recently voted to rescind their decision to bestow the Freedom of the City to Myanmar leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in 2000 - this because of the repression of the Rohingya minority in the country, which the United Nations has likened to genocide.
More than half a million Rohingya have fled to neighboring Bangladesh to escape the violence.
However, during the same council meeting it was also decided to agree to former Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldolf’s request to remove his name from the roll.
Last month, Geldof handed back his Freedom of City award from 2006 in protest that Ms. Suu Kyi – who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 – was also a holder of the honor but had been silent during the Myanmar military’s attacks on its own people.
Geldof said he was “absolutely disgusted” by the councilors’ decision to remove his name from the Freedom of the City. He claimed the city’s Sinn Féin Lord Mayor, Cllr. Míchéal Mac Donncha had a political vendetta against him.
At the time he gave back his freedom scroll Geldof had indicated that he would accept it back if, as he was demanding, the council rescinded the freedom for the Myanmar leader.
When Geldof handed back his scroll Cllr. Mac Donncha said it was ironic that Geldof was keeping his honorary knighthood considering Britain’s “shameful record” of imperialism.
Fianna Fáil leader Michéal Martin said the decision by Dublin City Council was wrong.
“Bob Geldof was awarded the Freedom of Dublin City for good and noble reasons that still stand,” he tweeted. “Decision not to give it back to him should be reversed.”
Meanwhile, Geldof will this week donate documents relating to Band Aid to the National Library of Ireland.
The collection includes items including photos, lyrics and correspondence between Geldof and musicians who took part in the 1984 charity movement which raised millions of pounds for those suffering due to the famine in Ethiopia.
Geldof and former Ultravox lead singer Midge Ure were the public faces behind the unprecedented charity drive and the song which gets played regularly Christmas