Proposed four-storey facility would be located on the site of the band’s Dublin studio
Plans for a U2 museum on the site of the band’s recording studio in Dublin’s docklands are at an advanced stage, with a planning application set to be lodged in the coming days.
Despite the fact that – along with Guinness, St Patrick, Oscar Wilde and, possibly, Michael Flatley’s feet – U2 are Ireland’s most famous export, there are no public spaces celebrating the band’s achievements on the world stage.
Even the walls of graffiti which once surrounded their old studio at Windmill Lane have been levelled to make way for towers of glass and steel.
It is intended the four-storey museum will be dedicated to the band’s archive and will include artefacts covering its 40-year story.
It will sit adjacent to the studio in an unimposing warehouse on Hanover Quay where some of U2’s most famous songs over the last 20 years have been recorded.
According to sources familiar with the process, designs for the museum, will be housed in a cantilevered building jutting out over the river Liffey, have already been drawn up.
If the museum goes ahead, it will be just the latest twist in a game of pass the parcel which has been running for 15 years.
In 2002, much to the annoyance of U2, the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) bought the studio with the plan being to level it.
By way of comfort, the band were to be given the top two floors of a nearby development which quickly became known as the U2 Tower. Planning permission was granted for the tower but the economic crash intervened and the proposals were quietly shelved.
Innovative tourism offering
Meanwhile, U2 continued to rent the Hanover Quay studio, which they had sold for millions of euros. In 2014, in a deal said to be worth €450,000, they bought it back.
While the planning application has yet to be approved, An Bord Pleanála has previously gone on the record saying the studios “were part of the cultural heritage of the area and should be celebrated with new innovative tourism offering”.
Neither the band nor any of its spokespersons could be reached for comment over the weekend.