The critics who like to blithely slag off Bono for having an inflated sense of self-importance should take note of what Facebook’s top executive in Ireland said last week at a conference.  If it wasn’t for Bono, the social media giant would likely have based its European, African and Middle Eastern operations in Switzerland.

Sonia Flynn, Facebook’s public policy director for Ireland, made the revelation at an event hosted by IDA Ireland in Dublin.  The company’s high-profile COO Sheryl Sandberg had been targeting Switzerland as Facebook’s landing place, but a meeting with Bono, Flynn confided, convinced her that Dublin was the place to be.

“Facebook would probably have been in Switzerland instead of Dublin if it hadn’t have been for the intervention of the pop star,” a report on The Next Web site said.

Bono, of course, through his U.S.-based private equity firm Elevation Partners, acquired a significant amount of stock in Facebook when the company went public in 2010.