Senators say concert licensing laws need ‘sorting out’

Martin Conway (FG) says organisers should not assume ‘it will be all right on the day’

Licensing laws covering events like the Garth Brooks concerts should be sorted out, the Seanad heard tonight. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Licensing laws covering events like the Garth Brooks concerts should be sorted out, the Seanad heard tonight. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

 

Licensing laws covering events like the Garth Brooks concerts should be sorted out, Fine Gael Senator Eamon Coghlan said.

He said issues arising in the neighbourhood of such events must also be resolved. “Let us not have an Irish solution to an Irish problem,’’ he added.

Mr Coghlan said that when the concerts were first announced earlier this year, there was a spectacular launch in Croke Park and sales went through the roof. Contracts were drawn up and employment generated.

“However, all of this was subject to a licence from Dublin City Council, ’’ he added. “Where in God’s name would one get this ?’’

Aideen Hayden (Lab) said the Garth Brooks affair was like the Cabinet reshuffle in that it went on and on.

“I realise there is a considerable number of disappointed people, and a huge cost to the Irish economy, but it is going from the sublime to the ridiculous when we get to the point of asking the President of the United States to intervene in five Garth Brooks concerts in Ireland, ’’ she added.

Paul Coghlan (FG) said 400,000 people were allowed to buy tickets for functions that had not been licensed, while it was wrong that one person, manager or chief executive, should have such power without the right to appeal.

Martin Conway (FG) said the country must realise that the law could not be taken for granted and that “it will be all right on the day’’.