Europe

Garth Brooks Irish concerts: Councillors back all five gigs

  • 7 July 2014
  • From the section Europe
Media captionA decision on the planned Garth Brooks' concerts in Dublin is expected by Tuesday

Dublin City councillors have backed calls to allow all five Garth Brooks concerts to go ahead.

An emergency motion was tabled by Sinn Féin, but councillors were told the previous decision to allow only three shows could not be reversed.

Earlier, injunction proceedings were formally lodged at the High Court in Dublin aimed at preventing any of the shows from going ahead.

The proceedings were brought by Brian Duff.

His solicitor, Anthony Fay, is acting for some residents of the Croke Park area.

The US star had been due to stage five shows at Croke Park stadium on 25 to 29 July.

The case lodged in the High Court in Dublin on Monday is against Aiken Promotions (Ireland) Ltd and Páirc an Chrócaigh Teoranta (Croke Park).

The orders sought include injunctions preventing the holding of the three shows which had secured approval from Dublin City Council.

No further details of the proceedings have yet been made available to date, but the filing of the documents suggests an application may be made either on Tuesday or later this week.

However, Dublin City Council said on Friday that only three concerts would go ahead and it could not reverse this.

Concert promoter Peter Aiken said a decision would be made on Tuesday.

In a statement, he said he welcomed the decision by Dublin City councillors to support the motion asking the city manager to reconsider his position.

Mr Aiken said his company had responded to a range of facilitators and politicians in an attempt to find a way of presenting the give concerts.

"These approaches have not been encouraged by council officials," he said.

Some residents are unhappy at the disruption caused to their lives by major concerts at the city's Croke Park stadium, which is run by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA).

When the council refused permission for two of the dates, Garth Brooks said on Thursday he would do "five shows or none at all".

'Faith'

The US singer compared having to choose between concert dates to being asked "to choose one child over another".

The singer said he had "faith that Dublin City Council will make the best decision for the people of Ireland".

According to Garth Brook's official website, he will hold a press conference on Thursday 10 July.

It is speculated that he may speak about the recent concert disruptions.

About 400,000 fans have booked tickets for the five sold-out concerts, but permission has only been granted for shows on 25, 26 and 27 July.

A mediator has been brought in to try and resolve the situation.

The motion tabled by Sinn Féin urging the council to reconsider the conditions of the licence for the Garth Brooks concerts was carried by 28 votes to 27 with three abstentions.

Lord Mayor Christy Burke said three days of talks with promoter Peter Aiken, the GAA and mediator Kieran Mulvey had failed to find a solution.

"[Mr Keegan] made it very clear that the three concerts that's been awarded to Garth Brooks and Aiken promoters is where it stands and there is no room for flexibility, no room for adding to those three," Mr Burke said.

"Everything under the sun has been discussed and debated with the manager by representatives from all sides."

A Sinn Féin motion calling on Mr Keegan to review the conditions as a way of reversing the decision to cancel two of the concerts was carried by 28 votes to 27 with three abstentions.

A motion from six Fianna Fáil members calling on the manager to reverse his decision was tied at 26 votes with five abstentions.

Councillors voted in favour of motions for an alternative venue to be found.

Earlier, a petition from 900 residents mainly from the Ballybough area calling for all five concerts to go ahead was handed in to the meeting.

A decision will be made by Tuesday on whether any of the planned concerts at Croke Park will go ahead.

On Friday, Dublin City Council released a statement outlining the timelines of events from the date the tickets went on sale, to its refusal to grant the licences earlier this week.

The council said it had received complaints from residents living near Croke Park stadium who said their area was "locked down" during major concerts and their objection to the unprecedented number of gigs on consecutive nights.

More than 370 people wrote to the council outlining their concerns about the Brooks shows.

On Friday, some residents launched a petition to have all five proposed events go ahead.

'Hope'

They said that those who oppose the concerts do not speak for the entire area.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Brooks had been booked for five shows on consecutive nights at Croke Park in July and said he will stage "five shows or none at all"

Gina Quin, chief executive of Dublin Chamber of Commerce estimated the loss in revenue to businesses in Dublin if the last two concerts did not go ahead at between 20m to 30m euros (£15m - £23m).

Ms Quin also said a major concern was that this put up "a very bad sign to the international community about Dublin being open for business and major international events".

Several other venues have been mentioned as possible alternatives to stage the final two shows, but Mr Aiken said it would not be possible to move venues as the set was custom built for Croke Park.

He said one alternative may be to hold the cancelled concerts in Croke Park in October, following the conclusion of the All-Ireland football and hurling championships.

Mr Aiken said he stood to lose a "seven figure sum" if the concerts did not go ahead, while he also claimed Mr Brooks would stand to lose "millions".

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