|07-22-2002, 01:58 PM||#1|
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(07-22-2002) Mrs. Bono Snubs Embassy and Takes Nuke Row to Tony - The Express
Mrs. Bono Snubs Embassy and Takes Nuke Row to Tony
"I'm not daft, I'm going right to the very top"
The Express, July 19, 2002
Bono's wife Ali Hewson believes in going straight to the top with her antinuclear protest.
She has snubbed an invitation to talks with British Embassy officials in Dublin. Instead she wants to speak direct to Prime Minister Tony Blair. Ali, whose husband has spoken with world leaders including U.S. President George Bush, failed to respond to an invitation to a working lunch by a representative of the British Ambassador eight weeks ago.
Embassy officials issued the invitation after Ali spearheaded a postcard protest against the operation of the Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria.
Instead, she has let it be known that she is more interested in dealing directly with the top of the British establishment -- such as Energy Minister Brian Wilson or Mr. Blair himself.
An embassy spokeswoman said: "The British Embassy extended a lunch invitation to Ali Hewson and Adi Roche, head of the Chernobyl Children's Project, to talk through some of the issues with them about eight weeks ago. But we have had no feedback and we believe she is now on holiday until the end of August so we'll be passing on information to our ministers that she wishes to deal with them directly."
A spokeswoman for Ali confirmed that she had received an invitation by telephone from British Embassy official Andy Pike on behalf of the British Ambassador.
"We received an invitation not from the Ambassador but from Andy Pike in the Embassy," she said. "Unfortunately, she wasn't able to take up the offer because it was right when we were in the middle of the postcard campaign when everyone was very busy. She hasn't been available since then because she has been out of the country. She is on holiday right now with her children but she would like to meet with British ministers when she returns."
Anti-nuclear campaigner Ali helped organise the sending of 1.3million protest postcards in April calling for the Sellafield plant to be closed.
The cards, which highlighted fears in Ireland about pollution risks from the plant, were sent to Mr. Blair, Prince Charles and the head of British Nuclear Fuels, Norman Askew.
The campaign was supported by the Corrs, Ronan Keating, Samantha Mumba and Manchester United captain Roy Keane.
The delivery date of the cards, April 26, was chosen by Ali and Adi to coincide with the 16th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Russia.
Despite Bono's success in meeting and lobbying world leaders, Mr. Blair has steadfastly turned a blind eye to his wife's campaign.
He has also reiterated his support for British Nuclear Fuels, which runs Sellafield.
Ali said: "Everyone in Ireland totally respects Tony Blair for all he's done in Northern Ireland. But they don't like the fact that he's standing behind Sellafield, putting our children at unnecessary risk."
© Express Papers, 2002.
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