Hundreds of objections lodged against Garth Brooks concerts
Residents warn over noise levels, lack of parking, public disorder and temporary toilets outside homes
A file image of Garth Brooks in Croke Park in January when he announced the first of his concerts at the stadium in July this year. Photograph: Irish Times
The council has received 375 submissions in relation to the granting of a licence for the country star’s consecutive concerts running from July 25th to 29th.
A spokesman for the council said the majority of the submissions objected to the concerts, for which 400,000 tickets were sold in February worth an estimated €26 million, going ahead at Croke Park.
Many objections refer to a planning regulation granted by An Bord Pleanala in March 1993 during the redevelopment of Croke Park .
This stated: “The number of special events such as concerts, conventions or exhibitions shall not exceed three per annum.”
The three One Direction concerts staged at the stadium last weekend have used up the allowance for this year, residents claim.
Aitken Promotions, which is staging the Garth Brooks concerts, applied on April 16th for a Public Event Licence from the council for permission for the concerts to take place, with the audience for each night not to exceed 82,300.
The council is required under legislation to consider observations and objections and meet statutory agencies before making a decision.
There are a number of residents’ associations in the area.
One of these, The Clonliffe and Croke Park Area Residents’ Association, which has more than 300 members, submitted 18 objections.
The association said an agreement between Croke Park and residents made after protests over the U2 concert in 2009 confirmed only three concerts would be held each year.
Other issues raised in the objection letter included concerns over the level of noise pollution, lack of parking, difficulties getting in and out of homes under what they term as “martial law conditions”, public disorder, temporary toilets and urinals being located outside their homes, litter and traffic congestion.
“Local residents have had their property continually tampered with by patrons attending events at Croke Park including people spitting on their windows and doors,” the letter said.
A spokesman for Croke Park Area Residents Alliance, an umbrella which represents seven resident associations (including the Clonliffe and Croke Park Area Residents’ Association) and has more than 6000 members, said it was in talks with the GAA and that another meeting was planned for next week.
Patrick Gates said: “We’re hoping city council will take on board our views of the residents as set out in the objections. We are still looking at our legal options.”
Labour Relations Commissioner chief executive Kieran Mulvey, who is mediating talks between residents and Croke Park, said he had been involved in three meetings on the issues.
“Residents have been robust and clear regarding their grievances, which include access to their homes, disruptions to their lives and littering of the area,” he said.
Mr Mulvey said the first face-to-face meeting between GAA representatives and some of the residents took place last week.
“It was a full and frank engagement of opinions,” he said.
“The GAA has outlined their concerns about having a more constructive and better relationship with the residents’ associations.
“A lot of issues have been going on for years.”
Irish Stadium Communities Association and Croke Park Streets Committee Ltd, a member of Irish Stadium Communities Ireland Ltd, have also submitted objections, following legal advice, against the application for the licence. The groups have more than 650 members.
Eamon O’ Brien, chairman of both groups , said the residents want the council to convene a public meeting where their concerns could be discussed.
“We’re willing to take this to the High Court if we have to. But we’ll wait and see what response Dublin City Council will give first. Our next action will be guided by legal advice,” he said.
A Croke Park Stadium spokeswoman said residents were not consulted before the concerts were announced because of “commercial sensitivity”.
“After the U2 concerts in 2009, there was a meeting between residents and Croke Park at which the issue of consultation prior to concerts was discussed,” she said.
“These discussions were not formalised, and it is with a view to putting a formal agreement in place that Kieran Mulvey was appointed in March this year,” she said.
The spokeswoman said the organisation hoped to reach agreement with the local community in relation to special events at the stadium.
“We have been very focused on taking feedback from local residents and understanding their particular concerns, which can be different depending on whether they are located within or outside the Garda cordon for concerts,” she said.
A spokesman for Dublin City Council was unable to state when a decision would be made on the licence.
“A decision will be made by Dublin City Council on the application following careful consideration of the observations and meetings with the statutory agencies as required under the relevant legislation,” he said.
Asked if the council would call a public meeting, as requested by some of the objectors, he replied: “The correct manner as outlined under the Planning and Development Act and associated regulations of making an observation on an Event Licence application is in writing within five weeks of lodgement of the application.”