THEY are pillars of the community and fixtures every Sunday at Church. But for a year at least, residents in the south Dublin suburb of Killiney will have to adjust to life without the Hewsons.
Bono and his family have packed up as many of their belongings as possible and are moving to France and, from September, to New York.
During the week, staff at the family’s mansion were seen loading possessions on to removal trucks. For many, it was their last work for Bono, as the cooks, cleaners, nannies etc – except the army of security guards – have all been laid off for ‘the foreseeable future’.
In their place now are builders, busy revamping the star’s white Georgian-style property, which is undergoing a major refurbishment.
Bono and wife Ali are adding a completely new floor to the Vico Road house as well as a lowerground floor conservatory and a second-floor level terrace around the entire house.
So no more for now the sight of Bono squeezing his grey Maserati Quattroporte sedan through the main gates, as his two elderly dogs stand to attention by the side of a watchful security guard.
The local St Patrick’s Protestant church will also be a quieter affair without the regular arrival of the Hewsons for Sunday service in their black, tinted-window VW Tiguan.
For years, Jordan, 20, Memphis Eve, 18, Elijah, 9 and John, 7, have been familiar faces at services there.
Jordan, who is based in New York where she is studying politics and history, is said to be looking forward to seeing more of her siblings.
Home from September is to be Bono’s E15m-plus penthouse at the San Remo building facing Central Park in Manhattan.
Bono bought the 27th-floor apartment from Apple tycoon Steve Jobs. One Killiney resident who passes Bono’s house each day said last night: ‘There have been a few removal trucks coming and going from his house over the past few months.
‘Bono and his wife are a lovely couple and they will be missed. There is sometimes a bit of an issue about the cars his staff park by the junction at his house but it’s not such a big deal.’ She added: ‘You often see them about but people around here leave them to their own devices.
‘Sometimes you can’t help but get close to Bono. A few months ago, I ended up hearing a conversation Bono was having with somebody about a film project.
‘He was in front of me on a pathway on Killiney Hill as I was trying to pass and he was on his mobile phone.’
The band are gearing up for the Tuesday launch of their tour. Starting in Barcelona, it arrives in Ireland for three dates at Croke Park in July.