Five Garth Brooks concerts for Croke Park was ‘misjudged’

Mediator recommends €500,000 fund for community and limits on events up to 2019

Singer Garth Brooks at Croke Park in January, where he first announced details of two concerts. The number was eventually increased to five as the concerts quickly sold out. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Singer Garth Brooks at Croke Park in January, where he first announced details of two concerts. The number was eventually increased to five as the concerts quickly sold out. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Fri, Jun 27, 2014, 10:19

There should never again be four or five concerts held on consecutive nights at Croke Park stadium in Dublin, a report initiated following controversy over the five forthcoming Garth Brooks concerts has said.

Chief executive of the Labour Relations Commission Kieran Mulvey, who acted as mediator between residents and the GAA, which owns the stadium, said the decision to promote five concerts was “misjudged”.

The report recommends, amongst other measures, that a special fund of €500,000 arising from next month’s Garth Brooks concerts be established to benefit the local community.

Mr Mulvey, who held several meetings with local residents, said the “strongly held views” of some stakeholders were “not easily reconcilable”.

But he noted the intensification of the use of the Dublin stadium for concerts, special events and sporting competitions had had a “negative impact on the quality of life of the residents, particularly, but not exclusively, in the inner cordon area”.

“These events cause disruption and inconvenience and have now been increased disproportionately by the holding of a total of eight concerts and and external sporting event in one year (2014). In retrospect the decision to promote five extra continuous nights of concerts was misjudged and was compounded by the way in which they were announced and handled,” the report states.

The report notes a “stalemate” around the position on the number of concerts to be held in the stadium in 2015 and 2016. While the residents had said they would prefer no concerts to be held in those years, Croke Park’s position was that it would adhere to three concerts maximum for both.

Mr Mulvey said he would encourage management at the stadium and event promoters to agree to reduce the number of concerts over the two years.

For the years 2017, 2018 and 2019, there should be a maximum of nine concerts with an average of three a year.

“There may, within this total, be a maximum of four concerts in any one year but in this situation there cannot be more than three nights in succession and the overall total of nine cannot be exceeded,” the report said.

It notes that there may be a special event in 2016 to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising. Mr Mulvey said that if the Government requested the use of the stadium for such an event it would be “a unique occasion of national significance”.

He also made recommendations about the finishing times for concerts and said a monitoring and review group should be established under an independent chairperson.