A convicted IRA terrorist was part of the band's security team...
A convicted IRA terrorist acted as a bodyguard for U2 last week (September 27) during the filming of a TV special on the roof of the Clarence Hotel in Dublin.
John Noonan, who served five years for firearms offences in the recently closed Maze prison during the 1970s, was the head of security during the afternoon filming of U2 performing new single ‘Beautiful Day’ for future broadcast on UK music show ‘Top Of The Pops’.
Noonan was pictured ushering frontman Bono through the doors of the Clarence prior to the performance, and later again standing alongside the star.
According to The Sunday Times newspaper, Noonan defended his high profile involvement with the band, saying: “As a leading Republican who has worked strongly on behalf of the peace process, I am now entitled to earn a living.”
Noonan, who, according to The Sunday Times, served as an officer in the Provisional IRA’s Dublin brigade during the 1980s, has carved out a lucrative career providing security for the entertainment industry since turning his back on terrorism.
He worked for film director Jim Sheridan on ‘In The Name Of The Father’ – the film based on the Guildford Four‘s story – and more recently, his company also provided security around the set of ‘When The Sky Falls’, a film about the murder of Dublin journalist Veronica Guerin.
Noonan was not hired directly by U2 but by Dreamchaser, an independent production firm, to provide security for its outside broadcasting equipment parked outside the Clarence.
Ned O’Hanlon, a Dreamchaser executive, expressed surprise that Noonan had got so close to the band. “He should have been minding the trucks out the back,” said O’Hanlon. “He was hired by us to look after location vehicles. But that’s as close as his affiliation is to the band, or to Bono.