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Dublin: 17 °C Friday 20 September, 2019

Bob Geldof 'disgusted' as Dublin City Council accepts Freedom award he handed back

Geldof handed back his award in an effort to have the honour stripped from Aung San Suu Kyi.

Bob Geldof on his way into Dublin City Hall before handing back his Freedom of the City of Dublin.
Bob Geldof on his way into Dublin City Hall before handing back his Freedom of the City of Dublin.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/

BOB GELDOF HAS  said he is “absolutely disgusted” that Dublin City Council voted to expunge his name from the Roll of Honorary Freemen of the city after he publicly handed back the award last month.

Geldof drew media attention across Ireland and the UK when he visited City Hall in November to hand back his award as part of a “PR stunt” to have the honour stripped from Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi over the treatment of the Rohingya muslims in Myanmar.

“I’m here to hand back the Freedom of the City of Dublin, which I don’t want to do because it means a lot me. I don’t want to be grandstanding either but it’s a small personal gesture,” the Boomtown Rats frontman said to the assembled media at the time.

Last night, following a lengthy debate, the council voted to strip Suu Kyi of her award and also to accept Geldof’s back. It was only the second and third time a name has been removed from the roll.

In a message to RTÉ’s Liveline today the musician said he is “absolutely disgusted with what happened last night”.

He claimed he made it clear that if Suu Kyi was removed from the list he would be “more than honoured to stay a Freeman of Dublin”.

The message, which was relayed by presenter Joe Duffy, added that the move was a “Sinn Féin stitch up” because of things Geldof said about the 1916 Rising.

Speaking on the same programme, Lord Mayor Mícheál Mac Donncha said Geldof had not contacted the council since returning the scroll and handed back the honour “in a very public way and that was his choice”.

Independent councillor Mannix Flynn, who seconded the motion to remove Geldof’s name, said he would be putting in a motion that the council reinstate the musician.

READ: Councillors vote to strip Aung San Suu Kyi of the Freedom of Dublin>

READ: Sir Bob Geldof among 8,000 who slept out in freezing Edinburgh to raise money for homelessness>

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Ceimin Burke

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