'It's the smart thing to do' – U2 speak out after revealing support for 'Yes' vote in Ireland's abortion referendum

'It's the smart thing to do' – U2 speak out after revealing support for 'Yes' vote in Ireland's abortion referendum

U2 have opened up about their newly-revealed support for the Repeal the 8th campaign ahead of Ireland's upcoming abortion referendum.

The Dublin rockers split opinion on social media earlier this week when they shared a picture of the repeal logo with the reminder: "Vote on May 25th".

Guitarist Edge has now defended the band's decision to publicly back the 'Yes' campaign in the long-awaited and contentious vote.

“It is huge and I know there is a huge divergence of opinion on it," he told the Mirror.

"I accept that and it is hard to take a stance without having to acknowledge there is another side to it but I am for it and I support repeal.

"It is the smart thing to do".

U2 opened their new eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE tour to a sold-out crowd at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma last night.

Speaking ahead of the show, Edge admitted that parts of the gig might upset Oklahoma's traditionally conservative audience given the band's liberal values.

“I think it will ruffle a few feathers," he said. "I think a few people may not like every aspect of the show.

"We don’t mention Trump. We are trying to update and move forward. We are not getting into party politics.

"We have a history of issues we are interested in like equality and injustice and I don’t want to talk too much about the show but there is quite a lot of content there".

He continued: “Our take on the President is pretty well-known. It doesn’t necessarily reflect our attitude to the more conservative people of the United States.

“Bono has famously worked successfully with a lot of Republican politicians so it is not really a case of us against them. I think Leo [Varadkar] is doing the right thing as he sees it. You can’t really argue with that.”

Edge, real name Dave Evans, added that the band were nevertheless excited to begin their tour in a Republican state, despite their support for the pro-choice cause.

“We definitely didn’t want to open in New York or LA. We wanted to play somewhere with a little less pressure," he said.

“We hadn’t played Tulsa in living memory so we said, ‘yeah great, let’s do it. Then it dawned on us that it is quite a conservative part of America.

"But we got excited about that aspect of it and the show being seen for the first time in a place that really is not a typical rock and roll centre.

"It's a place where you are bumping into a different facet of American culture and politics and life and that interests us."