On the waterside at Hanover Quay in Dublin, surrounded by the mountains of glass and steel of the area informally known as Silicon Docks, U2’s dilapidated old recording studio remains an iconic pilgrimage site for the band’s fans.
They still come from everywhere to scrawl messages to the group on its crumbling walls. “U2, your music is like a light in the dark. You inspire me,” writes Emma from Australia. Nearby, an anonymous Italian wit has added: “Bono, sono il tuo papá!!” (Bono, I am your dad!!)
The band and property developer Paddy McKillen have planning permission for a visitor centre on the site, which it is hoped will attract 390,000 visitors annually. What local businesses would not give for a fraction of those visitors now; the area lies eerily quiet at 5.30pm on a Tuesday evening.
An illustration of the plans from 2018 for the U2 visitor centre
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