"It's an extraordinary thing, I will admit, to have [U.S. Sen.] Jesse Helms to throw a lunch for you. You know it's bad for both of our images."
U2 in Song Tribute to Omagh Victims
October 27, 2000
A man whose wife was killed in the Omagh bombing last night said he felt "honoured" to have her name mentioned in a track on U2's new album.
Stanley McCombe, who lost his wife Ann, said U2 lead singer Bono sent him a copy of the CD and a letter earlier this week.
Written immediately after the Real IRA atrocity of August 15 1998, "Peace on Earth" is a moving tribute to the victims of the bombing. It features as the eighth track on the album All That You Can't Leave Behind, which is released on Monday.
Mr McCombe said: "Bono said he used Ann's name in the song and he hoped I didn't mind. I was very honoured and I know Ann would have been too.
"He said he wrote the song in the aftermath of Omagh when he was thinking of all the people suffering."
In "Peace on Earth" Bono lists some of the victims of the bombing: "Sean and Julia/Gareth, Ann and Breda/Their lives are bigger than/Any big idea."
The song carries a powerful message about violence: "I'm sick of the sorrow/I'm sick of the pain/I'm sick of hearing again and again/That there's gonna be peace on earth."
Mr. McCombe said millions of people across the world would listen to the song and understand its message.
"It's good to know that this hasn't been forgotten and it's nice to know that people who don't have to think about you do think about you," he said.
Mr. McCombe said his sons, Clive and Colan, were big fans of the Irish supergroup.
"I will write back to him. It's something for a star like that to write to someone like me," he said.
© 2000 Irish News. All rights reserved.