Paul Hewson is born in the suburb of Ballymun. He is the second child of Catholic father Brendan Robert Hewson, and Protestant mother Iris Elizabeth Rankin. He experiences an admittedly average childhood until the age of 14, when his mother dies of a brain hemorrhage at his grandfather’s funeral.
The way you see the world is shaped way before you go into the world. It’s shaped through the way you see a community. It’s shaped through the way you see a street. I live comfortably all over the world and people say it’s incredible that you are really a ‘wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home’ person. But I am partly that because of the way I grew up in Finglas — sleeping on a couch, or because my mother died when I was a kid I was in the house on my own a lot of the time, so I’d knock on the door of the Hanveys at teatime, you know, or the Rowens at lunchtime.
It might be London, it might be New York, but that ability to feel comfortable where I am was definitely instilled in me on Cedarwood Road.
At the time of his mother’s death, he is known as ‘Steinhegvanhuysenolegbangbangbang.’ Later this name evolves into ‘Bonavox of O’Connell Street,’ and is eventually shortened to ‘Bonavox,’ ‘Bono Vox,’ and finally ‘Bono.’
He attends school, but is more into girls than his studies. While in school, he is initially interested in acting, but responds to an ad looking for musicians and meets up with the remaining members of what would later become U2. He also meets his future wife.