Dublin’s Mayor slams Bob Geldof for renouncing Freedom of the City while keeping knighthood from ‘shameful’ British Empire
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Dublin’s Mayor slams Bob Geldof for renouncing Freedom of the City while keeping knighthood from ‘shameful’ British Empire

THE Lord Mayor of Dublin has blasted Bob Geldof for holding a British KBE after the Irishman renounced his Freedom of the City.

Micheal Mac Donncha claimed Mr Geldof’s protest was hypocritical as the musician holds an honorary knighthood despite “the shameful record of British imperialism across the globe”.

The Sinn Féin councillor was responding after Geldof returned his accolade to Dublin City Hall yesterday in protest over the “ethnic-cleansing” Myanmar leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, also holding the prize.

The Boomtown Rats frontman, 66, was made an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Elizabeth II in 1986.

In a statement, Mr Mac Donncha said Sir Bob’s city honour protest was “ironic” given his British title.

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“I find it ironic that he makes this gesture while proudly retaining his title as Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, given the shameful record of British imperialism across the globe,” he said.

Mac Donncha “condemned the persecution of the Rohingya people and their expulsion from their homes by the military in Myanmar and the failure Aung San Suu Kyi to acknowledge, let alone condemn, what the UN has described as ethnic cleansing”.

The Lord Mayor further criticised Geldof for “grossly insulting” those who fought in the 1916 Easter Rising against Britain when he compared them to Islamic State (ISIS) fighters last year, “causing offence to Dubliners and Irish people generally.”

Returning his Freedom of the City of Dublin scroll on Monday, Mr Geldof said Aung San Suu Kyi’s association with the Irish capital “shames us all”.

“Her association with our city shames us all and we should have no truck with it, even by default. We honoured her, now she appals and shames us,” he said.

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“I would be a hypocrite now were I to share honours with one who has become at best an accomplice to murder, complicit in ethnic cleansing and a handmaiden to genocide.”

The Live Aid founder added that he was a “proud Dubliner” but could not continue to hold the honour while Ms Suu Kyi also does.

“The moment she is stripped of her Dublin Freedom perhaps the council would see fit to restore to me that which I take such pride in. If not, so be it.”