It was [the early 1990s] and by extraordinary coincidence Ben Dunne and his golfing friends were in the Grand Hyatt Cypress in Orlando in Florida as were 30 or 40 U2 crew and the band. They were all in the same hotel and we were rehearsing in the arena nearby for what was the ZooTV tour and I was still in Dublin… And I got a call from Bono and he said ‘tell me something, he says, aren’t the Dunnes in jail?’ (He was referring to a number of well-known Dublin drug dealers, also named Dunne). I said: ‘Yeah, I think they are because I heard that the guards had a big party to celebrate them being locked up’ and he said ‘well I’m not sure about that – I think there’s one of them here’ and I said ‘what do you mean?’ He said, well at four or five o’clock this morning, there was an almighty row in the room next to mine and the cops came and there was a SWAT team and there was this Irish bloke in his underpants and he was threatening to jump [from the building] which was 18 storeys high and there was hookers and cocaine and they thought it was one of us – they thought he was one of our crew. One of our crew was asked: ‘who is this guy?’ and he, I think, succeeded in telling them that we wouldn’t employ anyone like that! So I said, ‘so what happened Bono?’ And Bono replied ‘well they took him away’. And I said ‘oh’ and he added: ‘After a while everything calmed down but I don’t know what happened. Who do you think he was because he was definitely Irish he had a Dublin accent?’ By coincidence I was having a drink in the Shelbourne at the time with two of my friends, one of them Sam Smyth, the investigative reporter, and the other one was PJ Mara… so I told them what Bono had said to me and I said: ‘I wonder who it was?’ and then PJ said ‘mind you, unless it was Benny?’

Paul McGuinness, talking about how U2 witnessed Ben Dunne’s ‘incident’…and how he is mates with PJ Mara.

Author: Bill Linnane

Bylines in the Irish Independent, Irish Examiner, Irish Tatler Man, Evening Echo, and Distilled. Proud owner of the award-defying TripleDistilled.Blog, Ireland's Least Successful Blog™.

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