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Old 03-25-2005, 01:38 PM   #1
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Irish Times Article-Ali profile

Does anyone one have the Irish Times Article-the Sweetest thing from March 5, 2005? There is a good profile on Ali in that edition. If anyone can get a hold of it, please post the article here. Thanks.

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Old 03-25-2005, 01:45 PM   #2
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I think Niamh or Kelly posted that somewhere around here.....

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Old 03-25-2005, 08:48 PM   #3
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Mmmmm... I usually post articles from the Irish Independent, not the Irish times. I've just checked its archive and I can't find an Ali related article from March 5th.

I could search the Irish Times archive but I wouldn't be able to see it or post it because I'm not a paid subscriber
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Old 03-26-2005, 04:01 PM   #4
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Here you go!

The Sweetest thing

Profile: She could have turned into another vain, shallow rock wife, but instead she has set her own agenda on charity and aid work. So is she as sweet as she seems, asks Tony Clayton-Lea

Next week in New York Ali Hewson launches Edun, a clothing range with a conscience. Edun (nude spelt backwards) is a collaboration with the design team behind the fashion brand Rogan, and the clothes were created on the principle that everyone benefits when companies act in a socially responsible manner. Edun's creative designer, Ronan Gregory, says that the world doesn't need another fashion brand, but Edun's stated ethos is to have respect for the people who make the clothes, the place where the clothes are made, the materials used and the consumer.

Respect is a word that features often in Ali Hewson's vocabulary; respect for herself as the dutiful but not Stepford wife of (in all probability) the world's best-known rock star; respect for her husband's apparently compulsive mission to right global economic wrongs; respect for the downtrodden. Solidarity? That's not just another word for Ali Hewson - it's an issue, a mindset, a necessity.

Alison Stewart would have been, perhaps, just another middle-class working wife if she hadn't hooked up with Paul Hewson while they both attended Mount Temple School in Dublin. Then, as now, Paul had the gift of the gab.

His charm offensive was initially brushed aside, so clearly she was no pushover. In Eamon Dunphy's official U2 biography, The Unforgettable Fire, he describes the instinctively self-protective Stewart as "lovely of disposition, calm with a warm, humorous smile which was all the more attractive to Paul for the barest hint of mockery it contained . . . She wasn't going to become 'just another one of Paul's girls'."

Her plans for a career in nursing and/or medicine altered radically within a few years of meeting Hewson. Stints of working in motor insurance and in her family's electrical business got in the way of her ambitions. What obliterated them was the steady progress of U2. Several years ago, she spoke to The Irish Times of the regret she felt at not having a nurse's type of personal contact with people; but it's clear that, long before and since, she has balanced her "lost vocation" with the simple practicalities of being involved in the lives of people other than her own friends and family.

Ali Hewson is a giver, not a taker. She has made the decision to not sit at home in Killiney in luxurious isolation, a rock star spouse idling the hours away waiting for hubbie to return with tales of wanton excess. Despite being the mother of four children - Jordan (15), Eve (13), Elijah (five) and John Abraham (three) - she has made it her business to be socially and politically aware and active.

She visited Ethiopia in 1985 (with Bono) and came away from that experience enriched as much as enraged. Similarly, when she visited Belarus with her friend Adi Roche (famously leaving the children at home with Bono in order to drive an aid ambulance), she returned with a fierce passion to set things right. Factor in her fundraising for the children of Chernobyl (she is patron of the Chernobyl Children's Trust), her fact-finding missions to Sarajevo and El Salvador and the campaign against Sellafield, and you have a person who looks on these matters with a great sense of urgency.

Even with her Edun clothes range, attention to responsible social detail is not lost - she inspects every factory that makes the clothes (in Africa, Peru, India and Tunisia), ensuring that the ethos of the brand is achieved and maintained.

Hewson manages all of this without infringing on even the periphery of the cult of celebrity. She prizes her privacy above most other things, which is why you see her on television or interviewed in the print media only when she has a campaign to make people aware of. The antithesis of the shrewish, crude rock star wife as typified by Sharon Osbourne, Hewson is sensible enough to let her husband bag the headlines and the photo shoots, and to hide her family from the glare of publicity (hands up who could recognise their children in a crowd?).

Is she as good and decent a person as she appears? Apparently so. Her "very ordinary" background in a hard-working family attests to her tenacity and desire to get things done. "Why can't we look after old people properly, give them really good, well-paid nursing care in comfortable, well-renovated homes?" she asked in this newspaper just over four years ago. "Why can't we build a children's hospital wing that is generously staffed and equipped?" Ever the carer, ever the nurse - it seems she has long since stopped feeling guilty for being so rich; indeed, her financial situation is the one thing that allows her to help people in so resolutely practical a manner. Why, the implication is, should anyone feel guilty about that?

As for being married to Bono, one would have thought by now that we would be over the fact that being apparently harmoniously married for almost 23 years (the couple married at the Church of Ireland church in Raheny in August 1982) isn't something so outlandish after all.

She is, as Bono crooned in the song he dedicated to her, "the sweetest thing". The marriage is successful, Hewson said this week in London's Evening Standard, because they give each other space to realise and attain their goals; because "we like each other, because we talk to each other, and we are passionate about what we do".

By refusing not to take her life and lifestyle, her money, her famous acquaintances, her not-so-famous friends and her responsibilities for granted, Ali Hewson has achieved perhaps the best, most convincing balancing trick of all: bridging the gap between her public persona and her real personality.


The Hewson File

Who is she?

Do you really need to ask? Ali Hewson is the wife of U2 singer, Bono.

Why is she in the news?

Aside from being the wife of Bono, you mean? Next week in New York, she launches Edun, a clothing collection for men and women inspired by art nouveau style that unites "a sharp aesthetic with ethical production methods for conscientious shoppers" - according to the brand's publicity.

Most appealing characteristic

She is very much her own person. The trappings of fame and fortune rest easy on her shoulders. She's a nice person. (Don't laugh - some people are, you know)

Least appealing characteristic

She doesn't flaunt the fact that she's a multimillionaire. You'd love it, wouldn't you, if, say, she ordered a hot dog from a New York diner to be flown over to the Hewson pad in Killiney

Most likely to say

"How can I help?"

Least likely to say

"MTV has asked if we're interested in an At Home with the Hewsons reality show. What do you think, Bono?"
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