Concert next year is unlikely


THE STAGING of major rock concerts at Slane Castle now seems impractical, Lord Mount Charles said.

Rock greats such as Bob Dylan and REM may serve only as memories of summer fests at Slane unless a suitable licensing scheme is introduced for outdoor concerts and other events, he added.

Speaking last night following the High Court ruling requiring him to apply for planning permission for each Slane conceit, he said: "I am devastated. It is a shame that after 15 years in this business that this should come to pass."

To secure planning permission for separate events at Slane Castle would be almost unworkable and the implications of the ruling would have to be considered very carefully, he said.

The ruling could affect other open-air concerts and such events as the National Ploughing Championships.

Officials from Meath County Council had attended meetings about the staging of concerts at Slane over the past 15 years, yet the need for planning permission had never arisen. A system of licensing for major outdoor events should be introduced by the Government.

"On the surface of it, I think that 1997 is gone for Slane. I can't do a deal with an act, whatever it may be, unless I have a clear deck. I'm feeling pretty gloomy."