Taoiseach ‘willing to help find solution’ to Garth Brooks debacle

Singer wrote to promoter to say ‘I cannot begin to tell you how badly my heart is breaking’

Singer Garth Brooks has said he is still willing to play his five Dublin dates if there is a chance all the concerts can be staged. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill	/The Irish Times.

Singer Garth Brooks has said he is still willing to play his five Dublin dates if there is a chance all the concerts can be staged. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill /The Irish Times.

Wed, Jul 9, 2014, 21:37

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is willing to facilitate a deal to salvage the five cancelled Garth Brooks concerts at Croke Park if a proposal is brought forward.

The intervention came after the American country singer today said he would only perform in Dublin if all five concerts, which were cancelled yesterday, could be staged.

The cancellation came after Dublin City Council last week refused licences for two of the gigs planned for the stadium on July 28th and 29th. It said this was due to fears of noise, traffic disruption, illegal parking and “potential antisocial behaviour” given the “scale, magnitude and number” of concerts over five consecutive nights.

In a letter to concert promoter Peter Aiken today, Brooks said he “cannot begin to tell you how badly my heart is breaking right now” following the cancellation of the concerts.

He said it would be a “dream” to play in front of 400,00 people at Croke Park.

Brooks said he could not do fewer than five gigs as telling “160,000 of those people that they are not welcome would be a nightmare”.

Brooks said he could not agree with Dublin City Council’s decision which would meaning playing only three concerts - on July 25th, 26th and 27th.

“(Playing three shows and not all five) means I agree that is how people should be treated and I just can’t agree with that,” he said.

Mr Kenny is said to have ruled out emergency legislation when questioned at a regular meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party.

While a source close to the Taoiseach said there was no question of interference in the city council’s planning decision, he left open the prospect of last-ditch Government manoeuvres to help save the concerts.

In his letter, Brooks said a ship carrying his stage equipment was still en-route to Ireland.

“If you think for any reason that the ‘powers that be’ in Ireland can fix this, then I will faithfully go to the last second,” he said. “If you tell me, ‘Garth, thanks but it is over’ I will cease my efforts and bring our people and gear back to the States”.

Brooks also asked Mr Aiken to let him know how to proceed. He gave permission to Mr Aiken to show the letter to Irish media.