Bono to blight Dublin skyline with giant phallic symbol


Just look at this. This monstrosity is going to be looming over the Dublin docklands in just a couple of years’ time, despite being totally out of keeping with the character of the area, commemorating four men’s egos in a way that should cause the late PB Shelley to rise from his grave and rewrite “Ozymandias”.

I refer of course to famed musicians, global messiahs and tax dodgers U2, who are now going into property development in a big way. The group are of course already drawing fire for their planned redevelopment of the Clarence Hotel, owned by Sir Bono and the Edge since 1996. However, the hotel has not been a money-spinner, and so, notwithstanding its being a listed building, Sir Bono has enlisted Lord Norman Foster to swank it up into a futuristic rock palace. In the way of these things, the futuristic rock palace will almost certainly be hilariously out of date long before it’s completed, but piffling considerations like that won’t stop the destruction of the area’s Georgian architecture.

But this is to be dwarfed by the modestly named U2 Tower, the mooted skyscraper down by the docks designed by Lord Norman Foster, which Sir Bono intends to be the tallest building in Ireland. Most of the building will be dedicated to apartments, and even with a projected price tag of a €1-1.5m for a two-bed apartment, there are probably enough mugs in Dublin to fill them. At the top, meanwhile, will be a bubble housing U2’s recording studio, so Sir Bono and the boys can survey their kingdom while working on their sounds.

The more I look at the sketches for the U2 Tower, the more I am convinced that this modern-day Tower of Babel is something the Dublin cityscape would be better off without. There is something about it that reminds me of the possessed skyscraper in Ghostbusters, or perhaps Sauron’s tower in Lord of the Rings. And this is supposed to be spearheading the redevelopment of the docklands? Why not just build a giant replica of Bono’s penis? It could hardly be less of an eyesore.


  1. Gabriel said,

    October 16, 2007 at 10:51 am

    Yes that would really add something to the Dublin Skyline, perhaps he was ‘pricked’ into action by the Millenium needle? By the way I have just linked Splintered Sunrise on the Unrepentant Communist Weblog site, the fact I had’nt done it earlier was an ommission not a decision, so I’ve given it an extra little puff in the descriptor… Cheers….Gabriel

  2. Liam said,

    October 16, 2007 at 11:05 am

    Apt though. Bono is something of a giant phallus.

  3. Andy Newman said,

    October 16, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    has anyone suggested renaming the whole republic as U2land?

    Surely nothing less would really satisfy Bono’s ego.

  4. chris y said,

    October 16, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    Why not just build a giant replica of Bono’s penis?

    There’s already one of those at the bottom of O’Connell Street.

  5. splinteredsunrise said,

    October 16, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    I still think they should have put a statue of Phil Lynott there…

  6. Dr Paul said,

    October 16, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    I can’t take seriously anybody whose name resembles that of a dog biscuit.

  7. October 16, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    […] Indeed posted on Tuesday, October 16th, 2007 at 4:03 pm Post a comment […]

  8. ejh said,

    October 16, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    Funny Crooked Timber should notice this one. When they had a posting lamenting the exit of Michael McDowell from Irish politics I nearly suggested that a statue of McDowell’s ego be erected in Phoenix Park the size of Wellington’s.

  9. Matthew said,

    October 16, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    i’m just a crazy Yank… but, I’d buy one… in a heartbeat…


  10. Renegade Eye said,

    October 16, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    I guess he still hasn’t found, what he was looking for?

  11. Mike White said,

    October 17, 2007 at 12:10 am

    Of course he wants his building to be the tallest in Ireland. Bono can’t stand being number 2 at anything.

  12. feefeef said,

    October 17, 2007 at 12:12 am

    There’s already the Needle dominating the skyline. I think it looks quite smart, personally, I’m just not enturely convinced yet.

    Where precisely is it going to be?

  13. scott47 said,

    October 17, 2007 at 12:20 am

    you are very right. that will be a monstrosity on the dublin skyline. I hope somehow they stop the madness. Check out my blog and learn how to earn money online

  14. October 17, 2007 at 12:45 am

    […] Crooked Timber, a familiarly shaped building planned for the Dublin skyline, courtesy of U2.  I figure Quixote should be all over this like the MSM on an outed Republican […]

  15. gw76248 said,

    October 17, 2007 at 2:03 am

    Humanitarian work aside, it’s maybe true to say that the headline should be that Bono is to be replaced as the biggest prick in Dublin, by a massive erection of his own imagination.

  16. dianej said,

    October 17, 2007 at 3:21 am

    This looks like something that should be in Vegas no Dublin. I happen to enjoy U2’s music and I admire the work Bono does but dang what’s up with this project?

  17. October 17, 2007 at 3:49 am

    phallic you say…
    check this out, a sculpture from a brazilian artist called Brennand

  18. januarys said,

    October 17, 2007 at 4:17 am

    i was going to tell you which line i thougth was funny but then i realized i laughed the whole time i was reading…i’m the only person i know who doesn’t WORSHIP the perpetually sunglassed “global messiah”… this building is ridiculous. i agree, renegade eye – it sounds to me like his ego is stuck in a moment (the moment is now old enough to drive) and can’t get out of it.

  19. januarys said,

    October 17, 2007 at 4:19 am

    p.s. i just stumbled onto this blog… you guys are political, wow… if i were into politics i think bono would tick me off more!

  20. October 17, 2007 at 4:49 am

    iGuess Renegade Eye might be on to something… huge.


  21. Mark said,

    October 17, 2007 at 5:43 am

    I wish I had a penis that magnificent to stick in my country

  22. Abi said,

    October 17, 2007 at 6:02 am

    Bono is coming to my college in a couple weeks.

  23. AliG said,

    October 17, 2007 at 6:04 am

    Some people don’t know on what to spend their millions. Sheesh, the size of this eyesore comprable to Bono’s arrogance.

  24. conortje said,

    October 17, 2007 at 6:19 am

    Well it wasn’t really their choice to be fair – their studios were demolished for development – against their will. They were promised a space in this new building that was to be built. You can’t blame the horse for the stable and all that 🙂

  25. October 17, 2007 at 8:49 am

    lay off bono, as long as it is fair trade cocaine that makes him such an insufferable arsehole then everything is fine

  26. splinteredsunrise said,

    October 17, 2007 at 10:02 am

    feefeef, it’s meant to be down by the quays in Ringsend.

  27. anonymous said,

    October 17, 2007 at 11:51 am

    Bono needs to be told what a swaggering short-arsed self-aggrandising arsepipe he is, and that being in a band for 30 years and wearing leather trousers and stupid sunglasses for a living doesn’t entitle him to see out his rock star days sitting atop his own monstrous erection. Furthermore, ‘The Edge’ is a stupid name for a 46 year old man.

  28. chris said,

    October 17, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    what a bunch of whingers!

  29. October 17, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    […] always shied away from calling Bono a douche – but the “modestly named U2 Tower” is giving me some pause. I’m into weird new architecture, even if it is a bit out of place, […]

  30. Matt Stevens said,

    October 17, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    I like U2 — hey, I grew up during the 80s, it was them or fucking Flock of Seagulls — but calling this monstrosity the U2 Tower is the height of megalomania. Can someone convince Nelson Mandela or whoever to smack Bono in the head and tell him to get a grip?

  31. bedeboop said,

    October 17, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    Not Nelson Mandela but would be willing to give it a try. 🙂 The smack on the head I mean.

  32. justinbenson said,

    October 17, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    Classic tall poppy syndrome. I’m not sure if all the details are accurate given the author’s desire to go after Bono (clearly he knows what his audience likes to read!)

    Bono’s a rock star. He’s got a big ego. Shock! Guess what, he needed that ego to insulate himself from the strong cultural trends amongst the Irish to really not believe that they’re on par with the rest of the western world. Pull everyone down that tries to be different.

    Every other Western city is filled with buildings built by Men with big egos and dreams. Why should Dublin be any different?

  33. splinteredsunrise said,

    October 17, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    Well, Dublin could probably do with having its architecture spruced up. I’m just not sure an Irish version of Ceausescu’s palace is what’s required.

  34. Jef Menguin said,

    October 17, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    I was entertained. thank you!

  35. ejh said,

    October 17, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    Every other Western city is filled with buildings built by Men with big egos and dreams. Why should Dublin be any different?

    There is a certain paradox,shall we say, in lauding Bono for apparently being different from everybody else – and then expressing the desire to make Dublin the same as everywhere else.

    I’m just not sure an Irish version of Ceausescu’s palace is what’s required

    Actually an exact replica might be fun, don’t you think?

  36. Jon H said,

    October 17, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    No doubt the band will have a private elevator, and a private garage, so they don’t have to mingle with the commoners…

  37. October 17, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    […] tell I was looking for content and sent Pax Corey, prophet that he is, along to proclaim the wonder attrocity that is this planned Dublin development.  Of course it’s not so much phallic as cheese-grater-ish, but […]

  38. October 17, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    […] Also, other U2 related notes.  The band is working in studio on their next CD with no release date.  And, the book U2 by U2…the only book written and authorized by the band…was just released this week in paperback…but it still costs $24.95.  Finally…some Dubliners are upset with U2’s new studio tower going up at the Dublin Docks.  See here. […]

  39. justinbenson said,

    October 17, 2007 at 11:48 pm

    I actually think my point is that Bono is similar to other famous men before him who built large buildings as an extension of their ego. Europe’s full of them 🙂

  40. suehawks said,

    October 18, 2007 at 2:07 am

    I thought there was some kind of ordinance stating that none of the buildings can exceed 13 stories in Dublin.

  41. October 18, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    Why don’t U2 and |Sean Dunne buy some island somewhere out in the middle of the sea and fuck off there and build what they want on it, hassle free?

  42. ejh said,

    October 18, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    Craggy Island?

  43. Idris of Dungiven said,

    October 22, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    Isn’t this the same general area where that huge conference center was proposed for? And Bertie put the kibosh on that one personally if memory serves.

    Also, isn’t it illegal to deprive a building of its light?

  44. November 5, 2007 at 5:26 pm

    this symbol refers too?

  45. November 26, 2007 at 3:44 am

    […] espouses. So with that said, I think I’m going to go on record as saying that even I think this is a bad […]

  46. Michael said,

    April 22, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Am I the only one who thinks Dublin’s Skyline is not impressive at all and from someone who has lived in the city centre all my life I can honestly say it’s a breath of fresh air when new development plans are put together and introduced to what is fastly becoming a very dull city. I have the highest respect for the visionaries behind these bold new developments, rather than obstruct change they’re pushing for an enhanced city… Stop Hating !!!

  47. Victoria Townsley said,

    June 5, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    Hey all I know about U2 is they have created great music, are amazing philanthropists! I watched a film last night and in it there was this amazing tall structure which mirrored everything around it. Beautiful! So I finally find it online and read all of this “hate” email about how ugly it is, etc. etc. and I am saddened that the world still views “art” or something that is different as wrong or ugly and not needed. I think it is beautiful and if it were in my city I would be proud and very pleased it was “phallic” when has that ever been viewed at ugly????

  48. July 7, 2008 at 4:31 am

    […] still can’t find my copy of John Prebble’s Glencoe.) But, as one of the most remarkable minds in European intellectual history once nearly observed, I still couldn’t find what I was […]

  49. ejh said,

    July 7, 2008 at 10:06 am

    Hang on, I wrote that days ago, why’s it only just now been picked up?

    Still, well worth it in order to catch Ms Townsley’s superb contribution above…

  50. Galway tent said,

    October 27, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    Bono Elevated To Galway Tent.

    “[Bono’s destruction of listed buildings] undermines … the basis of the city’s attractiveness for tourists”.
    Bord Pleanala Inspector.
    Before His Execution.


    The purple and the pinstripe
    Mutely shake their heads

    A silence shrieking volumes
    A violence worse than they condemn

    Stab you in the back yeah
    Laughing in your face

    Glad to see the place again
    It’s a pity nothing’s changed

    Four Seasons – The Ice Bar – Brickie Section.

    Did you hear the honorable executive board of Bord Pleanala only enters The Clarence using the Revolving Doors? These days Billy Gates can’t get a job ’cause the band ain’t hiring. But as for friends of An Bord Pleanala’a executive board, the Revolving Doors are always open …. ?

    This time the Clarence’s bouncer tore off the head of the Bord Pleanala Inspector before he pissed down his neck. The little schijt had said His Holiness Bono and Monsignor The Edge would destroy Georgian Dublin with their hotel featuring Holiness Bono’s halo up on the roof.

    Holiness Bono is the true saint, not Geldof. Saint Bob with The Boomtown Rats only sang about The Banana Republic, and that was 1978. Bono & Co truly embody the spirit of The Banana Republic and are The Boomtown Rats. Bono’s so 20th century, oh yeah. A modern girl yeah, ga-ga-ga-ga-ga.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: