Legal threat contributed to Garth Brook’s decision to cancel concerts

Mixed reactions from local residents as hospitality industry left ‘reeling’ at loss

 Garth Brooks: believed to have watched a live webstream of Dublin City Council’s Monday meeting. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Garth Brooks: believed to have watched a live webstream of Dublin City Council’s Monday meeting. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Wed, Jul 9, 2014, 01:00

Concern about legal action taken to stop his Croke Park concerts contributed to Garth Brooks’s decision to cancel the events, according to Labour Relations Commission chief executive Kieran Mulvey.

Mr Mulvey, who tried to resolve the disputes over the five proposed concerts, said Brooks became disillusioned by the lack of certainty over whether he could perform.

Injunction proceedings were lodged in the High Court on Monday, aimed at preventing the three concerts licensed by Dublin City Council from going ahead.

“We really wanted him to come for the three but we had to tell him about legal action being taken in the legal courts. He wanted to know when would he know the outcome of that? All we could say is ‘we don’t know’,” Mr Mulvey said.

Council decision

Brooks had also watched the live webstream of Dublin City Council’s meeting on Monday where council chief executive Owen Keegan confirmed he would not reverse the decision to refuse licences for two of the concerts, Mr Mulvey said.

 

Minister for Tourism Leo Varadkar last night said the issue was “badly handled all round”. He called on hotels to give full refunds and not to impose cancellation charges on reservations connected with the concerts.

“From a tourism perspective it is a real setback that these concerts have been cancelled,” he said. “This is at heart a licensing issue and demonstrates that we need to review the system to ensure that something like this does not recur.”

There was mixed reaction to the cancellation from residents and business groups.

‘Shocked and surprised’

Croke Park Streets Committee chairman Éamon O’Brien said he was “shocked and surprised” to hear Brooks decided to cancel all five concerts.

 

The group objected to the granting of licences for the concerts in Croke Park. “I absolutely feel for the fans. It’s disappointing there was no solution. We’re not happy that it went this way,” he said.

Seán Farrell who lives on Elizabeth Street close to the stadium said it was “very regrettable” that none of the concerts is going ahead.

“Looking at the national picture, this would have been great for businesses and given a boost to the local economy. My sympathy is with the fans who would have spent a lot of money on tickets. Will they ever get to see him now?

“There’s around 27,000 residents here but it’s only a small minority who opposed it or went to meetings and signed petitions against it.”

Restaurants Association of Ireland chief executive Adrian Cummins said the hospitality industry in Ireland was “reeling” after the news.