- 26 Aug 01
Carnival time at Croke Park with U2
It was the opening night of the Dublin Street Carnival - an occasion for the people of Dublin to feel a sense of pride and unity, so often denied them in a sprawling city of architectural devastation and rampant unemployment.
That was the buoyant feeling of good-will which characterised the gathering in the Grapevine Arts Centre. And at the centre of it were U2, sponsors of the Unforgettable Fire exhibition which was opening there, the night before the band's Croke Park megabash. On the wall, images of man's terrible capacity for destruction offered a chilling reminder of the darker forces occasions like this are made to exorcise. Bodies burnt, broken, bruised and rotting: first-hand accounts of the scenes of appalling devastation visited on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the final throes of the Second World War.
Downstairs, Martin Luther King's magnificently courageous career as a Civil Rights activist was celebrated, down to the final spread from Life magazine. Malcolm X swam in a pool of red - his own blood. The message of U2's music - that we must wrestle with the demons of violence and hatred and aggression and that we must win. Peacefully.