U2 has announced it will donate $7.2 million to help fund music education for Irish children, according to Billboard. An additional $2.9 million is being provided by Ireland Funds, an international charitable fund group supported by people of Irish descent around the world.
The funds will be spread out though 2015, with the hopes of the government ultimately taking over the expense. The announcement comes after the Irish government decided to cut education spending in an attempt to save $8.6 billion this year, part of the terms of the economic bailout package.
The donation will cover the costs of musical equipment and the hiring of teachers. Fifty-percent of the funds will go towards projects developed by local education groups like Music Generation, which has selected three counties to receive funding, including the Vocational Education Authority in County Silgo which will provide music tuition for 16,000 children to take after-school classes.
Although Ireland is famous for being the home of international music figures such as Enya, the Corrs, Celtic Woman, and of course, U2, only one percent of its secondary pupils receive music tuition.