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Saturday, 25 August, 2001, 21:56 GMT 22:56 UK
Thousands flock to see U2 at Slane
Bono meeting and greeting at Slane
Bono gets low down with the Slane crowd
Tens of thousands of people have flocked to Slane Castle to see rock superstars U2 kick off two major concerts in the Republic of Ireland.

The Irish band played their first gig at the County Meath venue for 20 years on Saturday.

The concert came a day after the funeral of lead singer Bono's father.

Bob Hewson, 75, died from cancer on Tuesday.

Bono, whose real name is Paul Hewson, had flown back to Dublin on a nightly basis from the band's tour to be with him.

The band will play another sell-out concert in Slane next weekend.

U2 have also announced plans for two surprise dates in Glasgow next week.

The band will be at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) on Monday and Tuesday.

The decision was announced on Thursday morning but had been leaked in advance to two newspapers.

U2
Bono bravely decided to continue with the tour

The announcement led to a rush for tickets, with hundreds of people waiting in line outside the SECC on the River Clyde and telephone booking lines taking a flood of calls.

All 18,600 tickets were sold by Thursday afternoon.

The foursome are currently playing the UK and Irish leg of their Elevation tour.

The band will be supported by Glasgow five-piece Cosmic Rough Riders.

Manager Paul McGuinness said: "We are delighted that the tour will be coming to Glasgow.

"U2 love playing Scotland - the audiences are legendary."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's Edel McAllister
reports from Slane Castle
See also:

24 Aug 01 | Showbiz
Bono sings at father's funeral
12 Aug 01 | Music
U2 offer prayer for peace
08 Feb 01 | Entertainment
U2 on fire at warm-up gig
10 Mar 01 | Entertainment
U2's Slane gig sells out in minutes
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