Benefit of Garth Brooks gigs outweighs disruption - residents

Vintners Association claims loss of Croke Park concerts could cost Dublin pubs €15 million

Sun, Jul 6, 2014, 19:23

Residents living close to Croke Park, who support the Garth Brooks concerts being held at the stadium, held a protest today calling for licences to be given for all five concerts.

On Thursday Dublin City Council refused permission for two of the five gigs planned for Croke Park at the end of the month.

The group, Ballybough Residents Supporting Croke Park, say concerts at the stadium create much needed local employment which far outweighs any disruption.

“It’s only five nights, and for those nights the young teenagers here get jobs at the stadium, at the bars and the hot dog stands. These kids get money in their pockets and get something to do,” local resident Lorraine Gavin said.

Paul Dixon, spokesman for the group, who also lives in the area, said he supported the conclusion reached by chief executive of the Labour Relations Commission Kieran Mulvey that the concerts should be allowed go ahead this year, with a reduced number of events over the next two years and a community fund to be put in place.

“One of the big problems was the failure of people to agree and the number of different groups Mr Mulvey had to deal with. There needs to be one group set up as the recognised residents group that deals with Croke Park that could have representation from all different residents’ organisations.”

Publicans are also calling for all five concerts to be given licences. The Licensed Vintners Association has written to council chief executive Owen Keegan, urging him to reverse his decision not to allow two of the proposed five concerts . The association said the Dublin economy simply “can’t afford”to see the concerts cancelled.

It estimates that the loss of the five concerts could cost Dublin pubs as much as €15 million. Speaking today, association chief executive Donall O’Keeffe said Dublin publicans were appalled at the turn of events.

“This is still a very difficult economy for every business in the city and the Garth Brooks concerts promised a hugely significant financial boost for pubs and for the wider hospitality industry. It is simply unbelievable that the city manager who oversees a penal commercial rates and water charge regime for businesses in the City took the decision to cancel concerts that could help us afford the high charge regime.”

‘Working behind the scenes’

Aiken Promotions and Croke Park have been “working behind the scenes” this weekend in an attempt to find a way to allow Garth Brooks concerts due to take place at the end of July to go ahead, the promoter behind the gigs said yesterday.