12.16.02 - Irish Independent
Bono and the Edge, of rock group U2, have agreed to build a new three-storey facility for less than 5m Euros for the City of Dublin Working Men's Club in exchange for the club's existing building near the Clarence Hotel, the Irish Independent has learned.
Millionaire rockers Bono and the Edge have visited the club just two doors down from the Clarence on Wellington Quay several times to discuss the deal over a period of 18 months. The Clarence Hotel is understood to intend to expand into the Working Men's Club but no spokesperson for the Clarence or U2 was available to comment on the deal.
The Working Men's Club confirmed the deal had been agreed with Brushfield Ltd, a trading name for the Clarence Hotel, which lists Bono, the Edge and businessman Harry Crosbie as directors.
Property and transport magnate Mr. Crosbie refused to comment on the Working Men's Club or any future plans of the Clarence Hotel.
The club itself has 250 members who pay a fee of 30 Euros per annum and is four storeys high with a basement, bar area and concert hall.
Membership, according to the club, is open to anyone recommended by a member and who attends the club regularly. A site on Little Strand Street has already been secured and planning permission granted for the building of a new Working Men's Club. Little Strand Street runs parallel to Ormonde Quay Upper on the North side of Dublin.
Bono and the Edge offered to build the new club to members' specifications, according to club secretary Tony Watters. The purpose-build club will be three storeys high with a bar area, invalid toilets, snooker tables and a concert hall, Mr. Watters said.
Mr. Watters said the club had a number of preservation orders which will have to be incorporated into any U2 architectural design. He said the front facade, old bar, ornate ceilings and other architectural features will have to be retained.
An Taisce's heritage officer, Ian Lumley, said the group would be pushing for the "facade and internal areas to be maintained and properly restored" if there is to be any redevelopment of the club.
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