Late Late Show

'A lot of fighting' among U2 band members about making PPE donation public

The group donated €10 million for the sourcing and purchase of personal protective equipment for frontline workers in April.

The Late Late Show / YouTube

THERE WAS A lot of fighting among U2 band members about whether to go public with their donation of €10 million to source and buy personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline staff earlier this year, according to Bono.

The donation was part of an initiative involving Irish aircraft leasing company Avolon, which was working with public and private companies to raise funds to buy tonnes of PPE equipment from China.

Bono and The Edge appeared on last night’s Late Late show busking special in aid of the Simon Community when they were asked about the donation they made back in April.  

“Any public advertisement of giving away money is PR,” Bono said. “So, I just want to be clear about that.”

 ”Sometimes with RED you have to declare yourself. Or Music Generation, we had to declare yourself because we’re trying to get match money.

“But on this, it was very hard. There was a lot of fighting in the band about this. But we felt we had to come out and say, ‘Look, show solidarity on this… If we can’t be really useful, let’s find the people who are and try and get them protective wear.”

The Edge added that they eventually decided to go public as “the people risking their lives to help others – they really needed support and deserved support”.

“Of course, you know, we’re so fortunate and so many people were far more impacted than we were.”

Last night’s show raised over €1.2 million for the homeless charity with the help of guests Glen Hansard, Danny O’Reilly, Róisín O, Imelda May, and Hozier.  Donations can still be made here on the SimonBusk website. 

The Late Late Show / YouTube

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