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U2 Various Dates

Various Dates: 1990-1999

: Waterfront Hall - Belfast, Northern Ireland

View all performances at Waterfront Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

U2 set to rock the vote

(published on 1998-05-18)

Source: BBC.co.uk

Irish rock stars U2 are to appear live at a special concert in Belfast on Tuesday night to appeal for a Yes vote in the referendum on the Good Friday agreement.

The band will share the stage with the Ulster Unionist leader, David Trimble, and the SDLP leader, John Hume, as well as the Northern Ireland band Ash, who are fronting the concert.

Members of Ash, who come from Downpatrick, said they were all born during the troubles and wanted to see Northern Ireland move towards a better future.

The concert, at Belfast's Waterfront Hall, is free and is expected to be attended by 2000 Protestant and Catholics from across Northern Ireland.

This will be the first joint appeal from two leading Yes campaigners from opposite sides of the community - Mr Trimble and Mr Hume. While campaigning on Monday, Mr Trimble said: " I'm delighted that groups of such eminence as U2 and Ash are coming to Belfast to have a concert in support of the Yes campaign. John Hume and myself are very much looking forward to being there."

Bono, the lead singer of U2, is a personal friend of Mr Hume and has told the SDLP leader he is particularly anxious to do all he can to help the Yes campaign.

The concert comes just as an opinion poll, published on Monday by the Irish News and the Belfast Telegraph, suggests that the majority of Northern Ireland's young Protestants are sceptical about the proposed deal.

The survey, indicates that only a quarter of 18-30 year old Protestants would vote in favour of the deal, with 40% against and 31% undecided.

There are fears that if the majority of Protestants do not support the deal, the peace process could be paralysed by unionist extremists.

According to the poll, support among young Catholics was 75% and overall 66% were likely to vote for the agreement.

However, the survey also indicated that less than half of the Protestants polled (45%) would find a united Ireland "totally unacceptable", with 31% saying they would accept it reluctantly.

The poll of 601 young people was carried out on Wednesday and Thursday last week. The 18-30 age group makes up 36.8% of the province's 1.2m electorate.


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