Brooks decision a ‘lose-lose’ for residents and concert goers

Punchestown and Páirc Uí Chaoimh suggested as alternative venues

 Solicitor Anthony Fay and  Eamon O’Brien at a Croke Park Streets Committees Association Ltd & Croke Park Community & Handball Centre press conference in relation to the Garth Brooks concerts. Photograph:  Collins

Solicitor Anthony Fay and Eamon O’Brien at a Croke Park Streets Committees Association Ltd & Croke Park Community & Handball Centre press conference in relation to the Garth Brooks concerts. Photograph: Collins

Thu, Jul 3, 2014, 18:26

The decision by Dublin City Council to refuse planning permission for two Garth Brooks concerts at Croke Park has been described as a “lose-lose” scenario for residents around the stadium and concert goers.

“Local residents are pleased that their position, frustrations and concerns were taken into account by the Planning Department but the impact on concert goers must also be taken into account” said councillor Nial Ring, after it was confirmed that the concerts on July 28th and 29th will not now proceed.

Mr Ring added that the planning legislation – which requires ten weeks notice for a concert – meant they could not be relocated to the Aviva on the same dates.

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Brooks, who retired from recording new music and touring in 2001, chose Dublin for his five-night ‘Comeback Special Event’, selling a record 400,000 tickets, equivalent to almost 10 per cent of the population, ahead of a wider tour later this year.

Many people queued for days to secure the tickets.

“I queued for two days and two nights for these tickets. I’m so annoyed, it’s just terrible,” Carol McDonald, who had bought a ticket July 29th told RTÉ’s LiveLive. “It’s making a show of Ireland, he (Garth Brooks) is probably over in America saying ‘what the hell’s going on’.”

Colm Stephens, who chaired a public meeting “Stop the Croke Park Concert Madness” on Tuesday, said while he welcomed the decision to refuse two concerts, residents would still protest next Monday outside City Hall before the next council meeting over the decision to grant permission for the other three concerts.

“The reasons given by the council in disallowing the fourth and fifth Garth Brooks concerts are equally valid for the first three as well,” he said.

“We’re sticking to our position that three concerts in any year is more than enough.

“If we had real consultation and genuine engagement we could have avoided last minute decisions like this. It’s a terrible inconvenience for people. We’re really conscious of that.”

Solicitor Anthony Fay who is representing a number of local residents in their dispute with Croke Park regarding the concerts said his clients are reserving their position until a public meeting on the matter is held.

“This was an ill-thought out venture by Croke Park and the promoters who went behind the backs of the community, breaking previous agreements and trying to force additional concerts on people that they didn’t even have a license for”

Commenting on the effect this would have on Garth Brooks fans Mr Fay said: “It was irresponsible of the promoters to sell tickets to the fans ‘Subject to License’ and expect to profit from it.