Shane Hegarty, Irish Times
PRESENT TENSE: You must have heard Bono's words at this week's pre-inauguration concert. "What a thrill for four Irish boys from the northside of Dublin to honour you sir, Barack Obama, to be the next president of the United States."
And what a thrill it must have been. Even if only one of U2 actually lives on the northside now. Or that Bono must have lived as much of his life on the southside. Or that two of the band were born in England, before moving to the north Co. Dublin town of Malahide. Roddy Doyle, you'll have noticed, never sets his novels in Malahide.
Why be so picky? Because even in a moment when he was trying to express the personal pride he and the band were feeling, Bono sounded a false note. In throwing in the reference to the northside, he was grabbing some of the "impossible journey" narrative for himself and the band.