Croke Park director admits Garth Brooks plans ‘excessive’

‘I think looking to have five concerts in a row was just too much and I think we got caught up in the exuberance of that’

Garth Brooks’s five  concerts scheduled for  Croke Park never went ahead last year. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Garth Brooks’s five concerts scheduled for Croke Park never went ahead last year. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

Croke Park stadium director Peter McKenna has accepted that the plan to host Garth Brooks five concerts on successive evenings last summer was excessive.

Ultimately none of the events took place after Dublin City Council, after initial indications of support, gave permission for only three nights and the singer cancelled all performances.

Speaking to Richard Curran on RTE Radio’s The Business, McKenna was asked would the GAA handle such a situation differently in the future.

“Yeah,” McKenna replied, “I think looking to have five concerts in a row was just too much and I think we got caught up in the exuberance of that. What we really need to establish with the community is an accord, some agreement which is published and available for all to read it and that we stick by that.

“The Lord Mayor and the minister in the area, Paschal Donohoe, are pulling together members of the community and ourselves to work through that process so I’d be hopeful that in the next three, six months that that will happen.”

McKenna also reiterated his call for reform of the legal mechanisms governing the staging of concerts. Croke Park have planning permission for three concerts a year and any others are subject to licence.

“It was a fiasco; there’s no doubt about that. I think what we need to do is learn a few lessons from what happened. I think the licensing programme needs to be looked at, the type of requirements you’re asked to do when you submit a license for fixed venues like Croke Park or the Aviva or the RDS – maybe 70 per cent of that should be pre-agreed.

“Just look at is the event planned going to have a major impact on the area and if it is, let’s call it early and when people buy a ticket they should have a reasonable expectation that the event is going to happen.”

He went on to point out that the GAA needed to raise commercial revenues to supplement gate receipts and public allocations, saying that the association received €2,500,000 from government, less than five per cent of the overall revenues generated.

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