Band Aid Donates Archives to Ireland’s National Library

George Michael, Bob Geldof, David Bowie, and Bono perform "Do They Know it's Christmas?" at Live Aid 1985.

By Mary Gallagher, Editorial Assistant
February / March 2018

Bob Geldof and the Band Aid Trust donated their archives to the National Library of Ireland in December, opening them to public viewing for the first time. The charity effort raised £8 million for famine relief in Africa with the release of the 1984 single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” The following year, the organization hosted the first ever Live Aid concert, featuring the collaboration of popular groups including U2, Duran Duran, and Queen. Band Aid founder Bob Geldof characterized the gift as a token of “our thanks and gratitude to Ireland and the Irish” for the nation’s commitment to Band Aid’s mission and the library’s willingness to preserve the trust’s archives.

On the receiving end, a number of Irish leaders expressed their own thanks for the donation – among them President Michael D. Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. In a statement, Varadkar reflected on Band Aid as a shining moment in Irish history in particular. “It showed Ireland and in particular an Irishman taking the lead in tackling hunger and injustice,” he said.

The archive contains articles of publicity on the event, some physical donations, and letters from individuals public and private, including teenagers and younger. ♦

 

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