Brucewatch: Bruce Springsteen says ‘Dublin, we love you’ ahead of Croke Park concert

Where is Bruce Springsteen? With a few days left in Ireland, you never know where The Boss will turn up

Bruce Springsteen at McGrattans Bar, off Baggot Street, Dublin,  Saturday, May 18th, 2024. Photograph: Instagram/@springsteen

Ireland is thoroughly in the thrall of The Boss, with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band almost finished their four-date Irish tour. They played at Boucher Road in Belfast on Thursday, May 9th, Nowlan Park in Kilkenny on Sunday, May 12th and Cork’s Park Uí Chaoimh on Thursday, May 16th. Next up is Sunday’s grand finale at Dublin’s Croke Park.

Here’s where the star has been spotted so far duing his Irish tour?


Ahead of the final concert of his Irish tour at Croke Park, Springsteen posted a video of himself outside McGrattans Bar, off Baggott Street, in Dublin city centre, on Saturday evening. The star posted on Instagram, saying “Dublin, we love you” and telling fans heading to Croke Park he will “rock them into the ground”.

It is not clear if he or members of the band had a drink in the bar. Last year Springsteen was spotted enjoying a drink in the Long Hall pub, on South Great George’s Street, in the city centre.


The Boss must think Christmas comes to Ireland in May, because as per a request on a sign, Springsteen broke into Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town on Thursday night in Cork.


Springsteen has gone to Leo Burdock’s flagship fish and chip shop in Christchurch twice in the last few days – once last Friday, and once on Wednesday. The classic Dublin takeaway has previously referred to The Boss as a regular, and we are beginning to think they are right.

@springsteen the legend, The Boss has come back again for some delicious fish and chips @dublinlive_ @lovindublin @98fmdublin @dublinsfm104 @rtetoday @officialspin1038

Posted by Leo Burdock on Wednesday, May 15, 2024

@springsteen the boss has landed at our flagship#christchurch@leoburdockireland

Posted by Leo Burdock on Friday, May 10, 2024

In a comment on their Facebook post in response to queries asking what The Boss’s order is, Burdock’s said: “I believe fresh cod and goujons but his all time favourite is lemon sole.”

The classic Dublin takeaway has also hosted the likes of U2 and Tom Cruise.


Springsteen shared a heartwarming moment with a young fan at his Belfast gig on Thursday night.

The Boss walked down to the crowd mid-show during the song Hungry Heart, and gifted Farrah Lavery from Aghagallon, Co Antrim, who was at her first concert, one of his guitar picks, before embracing her in a hug, which her father joined.

The girl was one of about 40,000 attendees at the concert with her parents and brother, and was sitting on her father’s shoulders when Springsteen approached her with the gift.

Farrah wore an “I Heart Bruce” T-shirt and had a sign requesting Sherry Darling, which as her mother Michelle Lavery said, “only real fans would know”.

“We play that song every single day on the way to school and we get ready for the day ahead and it keeps us in a good mood,” Lavery said. Springsteen has accompanied the mother of two throughout her life, in good times and in bad, she said.

But when her daughter told her she was going to make a sign to request the song, she did not expect Bruce to see it.

“He [Bruce] was a few songs in, he was in good form, but he made a beeline just over the stage to our side,” Lavery said. “He stopped a bit in front of us and then he kept looking at her and singing to her, and then he made his way over to her with his hands held out”.

“He talked to her, rather than singing to her, and she was singing back, and he said, ‘Can I have a hug?’”

The family went home with not only Springsteen’s guitar pick, but the setlist from the night too. They also said they were planning to go to Kilkenny to see The Boss in Nowlan Park on Sunday.

“Springsteen has been such a major part of her life, and I’m so glad for her, she’s so lucky, it’s just brilliant,” Lavery said. “How could her mother not be proud?”

“I’m so glad I made the decision to take her,” she said, “it turned out to be probably the greatest experience certainly of her life, but of mine too. I’m so proud to be able to look at something that meant so much to me and share it with my children.”

Bruce Springsteen with fan Stephen Coulter (55), from Newtownabbey, Co Antrim. Photograph:  Stephen Coulter

Earlier in the week, eagle-eyed fan Stephen Coulter had a not-so chance meeting with The Boss outside the Culloden hotel, where the performer is staying. He spoke to The Irish Times while he queued for Springsteen’s Boucher Road concert on Thursday night.

“I knew there’d be a private jet coming from Cardiff into Belfast so I just kept an eye on flight tracker and normally when he plays Belfast he always stays in the Culloden so I just kept an eye on the flight and took my chance there,” Coulter said.

“There was a member of the entourage there – he’s obviously there to make sure everybody was ready for him coming – so he just told me to stand just in a certain spot, told me not to move, then the cavalcade [arrived].”

“Bruce was the first one off the bus and more or less came straight walking up and I’d a Born to Run album and asked him would he sign it, he signed it and I got an emotional selfie with him, should we say,” Coulter laughed.

“It happened so quick – it’s over and done with in minutes so you’ve a load of questions you’re going to ask but you get the essentials done, the photograph and the autograph.”

Stephen Coulter's copy of Born to Run signed by Bruce Springsteen. Photograph:  Stephen Coulter

It was 55-year-old Coulter’s first time meeting Springsteen, having first seen him in concert in 1985 in Slane when he was 16, “so I’ve been following him for a while”, he said.

“The album’s already away to get framed, I haven’t got it back yet but hopefully it’ll be worth looking at; it’ll get pride of place somewhere in the house.”

The Culloden Estate and Spa is a five-star resort hotel in the leafy Holywood suburb of Belfast. The hotel overlooks Belfast Lough and the Co Antrim coastline, with 12 acres of secluded gardens and woodland – offering The Boss some privacy.

The Irish Times is firmly on Brucewatch, so if you’ve spotted him out and about, let us know.

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Ellen O’Donoghue

Ellen O’Donoghue

Ellen O'Donoghue is an Irish Times journalist