Garth Brooks concert licences 'cannot be fast-tracked'

Council chief hopes singer will go ahead with three permitted concerts at Croke Park

Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke said he had reached agreement with the Aviva Stadium to stage the two Garth Brooks concerts but this was “ruled completely out” by Aiken Promotions and Croke Park management.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke said he had reached agreement with the Aviva Stadium to stage the two Garth Brooks concerts but this was “ruled completely out” by Aiken Promotions and Croke Park management.

Tue, Jul 8, 2014, 01:00

Dublin City Council chief executive Owen Keegan has dashed the hopes of Garth Brooks fans that all five concerts planned for Croke Park will go ahead.

Dublin City Council last week refused licences for two of the gigs planned for the stadium. Brooks has said he would perform all five nights in Croke Park or none at all. More than 400,000 tickets have been sold.

Concert promoter Peter Aiken said a decision on whether any concerts would go ahead will be made today.

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Talks headed by Labour Relations Commission chief executive Kieran Mulvey and Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke took place with various parties over the weekend aimed at facilitating all five concerts.

Efforts focused on reaching agreement that the singer would play the three permitted dates on July 25th, 26th and 27th, with the two remaining shows held a number of days later, to give residents respite. However, the proposal required the agreement of Mr Keegan to “fast-track” the licence process to allow the two additional events to go ahead.

 

Timescale

Legislation requires that licence applications are made at least 10 weeks prior to an event. Mr Keegan last night told councillors: “we have to keep to the timescale”.

His position had not changed and the question of the council becoming involved in a mediation process to change the licensing decision “does not and cannot arise”.

He said he hoped the singer would avail of the licence that had been granted and play the three permitted shows.

“Of course the city council has sympathy for those ticket holders who purchased tickets for the shows on Monday and Tuesday and would hope that these two shows could be facilitated at some stage in the future.” But he said it was not “legally possible” for the council to reopen the decision to grant a licence or amend the conditions attaching to the licence.

 

Procedures

“As the licensing authority, Dublin City Council must adhere to the procedures laid down in the relevant legislation.” Mr Keegan said he was “absolutely satisfied” the council applied the statutory process in the “appropriate manner and reached an appropriate decision”.

 

The council would welcome an opportunity to discuss with all the relevant interests, including the Department of the Environment, changes in the event licensing system to include “a possible restriction on the sale of tickets in advance of the issue of an event licence” in the future, he said.

Mr Burke said he had reached agreement with the Aviva Stadium to stage the two concerts but this was “ruled completely out” by Aiken Promotions and Croke Park management.

Councillors were last night split on the issue. A Sinn Féin motion calling on Mr Keegan to review the conditions of the licence to allow the five concerts to go ahead was passed by 28 votes to 27, however, Mr Keegan said he would not be in a position to give effect to the motion.