Loss of Brooks gigs to cost Dublin €250m, Taoiseach says

Kenny says singer takes ‘very strong view of his integrity and credibility as a performer’

The cancellation of the Garth Brooks concerts at Croke Park marked a loss of some €250 million for Dublin, Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dáil. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

The cancellation of the Garth Brooks concerts at Croke Park marked a loss of some €250 million for Dublin, Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dáil. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

 

The cancellation of the Garth Brooks concerts at Croke Park marked a loss of some €250 million for Dublin, Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dáil.

Speaking about the controversy surrounding the country singer’s gigs, Mr Kenny said “this would appear to have been very badly handled all round”.

“I’m sure this is a great disappointment to his many hundreds of thousands of fans here,” Mr Kenny said.

“It’s a shock to the system in terms of the economy of this city and the reputation of our country and I do hope that these kind of issues can be more efficiently handled on the next occasion that they arise.”

He added that “there is a planning process in place which is the law. And that planning process allowed for three concerts. Next year’s planning allows for three more but this is now not going to happen.”

On the singer’s decision to cancel all five concerts, Mr Kenny said: “The point is the singer involved Garth Brooks takes a very strong view of his integrity and credibility as a performer and an artist and his view was five or nothing in view of what had been put on the table.”

Mr Kenny told Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin that all concerts had been cancelled and “the singer involved is not coming to Ireland and this has an implication of a quarter of a billion for this city”.

Mr Martin had called on the Government to accept and if necessary amend legislation published by Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley to create a system of appeals to the licensing laws in relation to concerts.

Mr Martin thought it represented a €50 million loss to Dublin’s economy “and a very significant reputational damage to the country”.

He called on the Taoiseach to accept the Bill, deal with it in Government time as it was a “realistic reasonable response”.

Mr Kenny said they would give consideration to the Bill “but there is to be no concert at all”.