Bob Geldof officially handed back his Freedom of the City of Dublin award earlier today. The singer and campaigner says it's in protest against Aung San Suu Kyi holding the same honour. Myanmar's leader has been widely condemned for failing to tackle the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya muslims.
Reacting to the news on the Hard Shoulder with Ivan Yates, distinguished legendary film director, John Boorman told Ivan, 'Bob is an impulsive fella, I must say I seem to be the only one defending Aung San Suu Kyi, because when you think all the sacrifices she made over the years of incarceration and standing up to those brutal generals, why would she suddenly be this dreadful person. I think people should ask themselves that question, why would she change from a saint to a sinner.'
You can listen back to the full interview here:
STATEMENT FROM BOB GELDOF:
‘It is with deep sadness and great regret that I feel obliged to return to Dublin City Council the great honour bestowed upon me of the Freedom of the City of Dublin. I am a very proud Dubliner but cannot in all conscience continue to be one of the honoured few to have received this great tribute whilst Aung San Suu Kyi remains amongst that number.
In short, I do not wish to be associated in any way with an individual currently engaged in the mass ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people of North West Burma.
I am a founding patron of The Aegis Trust who are concerned with genocide prevention and studies. Its founders built and maintain the National Holocaust Museum of the UK. I spoke at the inaugural National Holocaust Memorial Day at Westminster and in my time, I have walked amongst peoples who were sectionally targeted with ethnic cleansing. 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.
I am aware of this woman’s apologists and their considerations of political niceties but I have no patience with sophistry in the face of brute oppression.
Her association with our city shames us all and we should have no truck with it, even by default. We honoured her, now she appalls and shames us.
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.
Please accept this small gesture and the sadness that accompanies it.’
The Lord Mayor of Dublin has suggested it's hypocritical of Bob Geldof to hand back his Freedom of the City. The campaigner says it's in protest against Aung San Suu Kyi holding the same honour. Myanmar's leader has been widely condemned for failing to tackle the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya muslims.
Lord Mayor Micheál MacDonncha believes she should be stripped of the Freedom of Dublin, but isn't impressed with Bob Geldof, and earlier he also spoke to Ivan about Geldof's decision to hand back his Freedom of the City award, you can hear both interviews here: