Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Wednesday 29 November 2023 Dublin: 2°C
sons and fathers

Famous Irish sons pay tribute to their amazing dads

It’s being put in a book in aid of the Irish Hospice Foundation.


BONO, CILLIAN MURPHY, Bill Clinton and Colin Farrell are among the men who have paid tribute to their fathers for the Irish Hospice Foundation.

They have all contributed a photo of themselves with their dads, and a piece of writing about their relationship, for the Irish Hospice Foundation book, Sons and Fathers.

They join Gabriel Byrne, Neil Jordan, Paul McCartney, Robert Fisk and a host of other men in exploring the relationships between boys and their dads.

Cillian Murphy Cillian Murphy with his dad Brendan on his first trip to the Blasket Islands in 1979.

John Banville writes about how on the death of his father he realised he was now ‘an orphan’:

I felt impossibly young, as young as I was when I lived with my parents, yet also immensely older. It was unsettling to realise that from now on, when reference was made to ‘Mr Banville’, it would be me that was meant. The older generation had departed, leaving me in charge.

Bill Clinton writes about his own fatherhood, and how his dad died before he was born:

When I became a father myself, I tried to remember that it was my most important job, one I wanted to do well for the daughter I adore and a lost father who was denied life’s greatest gift.

The book is supported by the Park Hyatt hotel, and Irish Hospice Foundation CEO Sharon Foley said that it was Bono himself who planted the seed for the book after donating the drawing he made of his dad when he was dying.

Colin Farrell (and father) Colin Farrell with his dad, Eamon

Bono wanted his drawing to raise money for the foundation, but a book was decided on, and more famous names were drafted in.

Here’s some of Bono’s writings on his father:

BONO_2 Irish Hospice Foundation Irish Hospice Foundation

I doubt if Heaven will be as tidy as he battled for 10 Cedarwood Road to be, but this time round, that won’t be my argument … God, how we loved to argue in our family. And he was the best at it. Christmas morning was always the argument of the year. Religion. I didn’t realise then that he was teaching me a great lesson: question everything. While he didn’t like me to question his authority, he encouraged us to question every other authority.
Here in the 1960s was a Catholic, who drove his Protestant wife and two kids to a little Church of Ireland chapel in Finglas every Sunday, attended mass in the Catholic church, then returned to pick them up. He understood that God and religion were two separate concepts, and that one could keep you away from the other. Wise is another word for his no-nonsense-Dub view of the world.

The proceeds will go towards The Irish Hospice Foundation’s Nurses for Night Care Programme, and also towards Hospice Africa Uganda, founded by the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr Anne Merriman, who did her medical training in Dublin.

The book is published by Penguin Random House and Hospice Press, and is available in all good book stores from this weekend, or online.

Read: After six years (and help from Daniel Day Lewis), Wicklow hospice finally gets the go-ahead>

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.