A file image of Sir Bob Geldof in academic robes, speaking to media at UL
Sir Bob Geldof, who received an honorary doctorate from UL in 2019. Below with Professor Eoin Devereux
Tuesday, 14 November 2023

Sir Bob Geldof will make a virtual return to University of Limerick as part of a special screening of the documentary Citizens of Boomtown.

The humanitarian, activist and musician – who received an honorary doctorate from UL in 2019 – will take part in a Zoom based conversation with Professor Eoin Devereux of UL’s Centre for the Study of Popular Music and Popular Culture.

It will form part of a special screening of the documentary, to be introduced by Professor Devereux, which takes place on Monday, November 20 at University Concert Hall.

Citizens of Boomtown offers a very personal insight into The Boomtown Rats, revealing the highs and the lows of the first Irish band ever to reach No.1 in the UK charts – not once, with Rat Trap, but twice with the global top seller I Don’t Like Mondays. Bob Geldof also revolutionized global music broadcasting with his hugely successful Live Aid concert in 1985.

The band broke up a year later but re-united in 2013 to play a triumphant set at the legendary Isle of Wight Festival. The Boomtown Rats released their latest album, Citizens of Boomtown, in 2020.

Directed by Billy McGrath, Citizens of Boomtown features exclusive interviews with the four members of the re-grouped Boomtown Rats - Bob Geldof, Garry Roberts, Pete Briquette, and Simon Crowe. The documentary also includes compelling insights from special guests including Bono, Sting, Sinead O’Connor, Jools Holland, Dave Stewart, Joseph O’Connor and Eoin Devereux.

UCH Director Sinead Hope said: “We are delighted to work with Professor Eoin Devereux and the Centre for the Study of Popular Music and Popular Culture at UL to bring the story of one of Ireland’s most iconic and influential musical acts to UCH, one of the highlights of our Autumn/Winter 2023 cinema season.

“In 2019, Bob Geldof was awarded with an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Limerick in UCH, and we look forward to seeing the story of Dr Geldof and his fellow Boomtown Rats on the big screen.”

A life-long fan of the Boomtown Rats, Professor Eoin Devereux said: “I am looking forward to introducing Citizens of Boomtown. The Boomtown Rats played a pivotal role in the development of the Irish music industry.  In 1977, they challenged the sacred cows of Church and State in Ireland. 

“Limerick featured in their early gigs, playing as they did, on the Falling Asunder Tour at the former Glentworth Hotel. 

“Their vast contribution has been underplayed in many accounts of the Irish music industry, but this documentary sets the record straight.”

Tickets from uch.ie and doors are at 7.30pm.