U2 stars busk for the homeless at festive charity gig in Dublin

The Edge and Bono of U2 take part in the annual Christmas Eve busk in Dublin.
The Edge and Bono of U2 take part in the annual Christmas Eve busk in Dublin. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/PA

Bono has joined The Edge at the annual Christmas Eve charity busking session outside the Gaiety theatre in Dublin, performing along with a host of other famous Irish musicians in aid of the city’s homeless.

The event took place in support of the Simon Community, a homelessness charity that helps people who are homeless or at risk of becoming so. It was Bono’s first appearance at the charity gig in three years, and his seventh overall.

The U2 members serenaded onlookers with a song from their latest album, as well as two Christmas carols – O Holy Night and O Night Divine – before they were joined by an ensemble to sing Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), a rock song originally sung by Darlene Love in 1963. Bono told the crowd: “As the buckets go around, fill them with silver, fill them with hope – [it’s] the season of hope.”

Crowds had gathered around a makeshift stage on Grafton Street from 4pm on Monday. Other performers included organiser Glen Hansard, Damien Rice, Danny O’Reilly, Imelda May, Luke Clerkin, Mundy and Róisín O.

Rice played a slowed-down cover of Creep, the Radiohead song from their first album, while Hansard played guitar for a rousing rendition of George Michael’s Faith, sung by a man named Philip who is currently in a Dublin hostel and is assisted by the Simon Community.

There are almost 10,000 homeless people across Ireland, including nearly 4,000 children. Inner City Helping Homeless, a Dublin charity, said more than 100 people were found sleeping rough on Dublin’s streets on Sunday night. Affordable new houses are not being built quickly enough and rent rates have risen significantly, campaigners have claimed.