Garth Brooks said ‘it is five shows or none at all’ at Croke Park
A solicitor for one of the Croke Park residents’ groups has threatened to take High Court action against holding any Garth Brooks concerts at the venue.
Anthony Fay has said a High Court injunction will be taken on behalf of a local resident against the Croke Park authorities and Aiken Promotions unless they call off the concerts by next Monday.
Earlier, Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke said he understands the decision not to give permission for two of the planned five concerts cannot be changed or reviewed.
He also said he is powerless to intervene in the dispute over the holding of the concerts at Croke Park.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke, Mr Burke said it is a matter for the Dublin City Manager, who was to discuss issues around the concerts today.
“The law and the planning procedure does not allow the CEO or the city manager to reverse the decision that he has definitively made.
“The Taoiseach could direct him, because the Taoiseach intervened last night and if the Taoiseach is so concerned about planning laws, let him change it overnight as he did with the bankers and the bondholders.”
Mr Burke also appealed to Garth Brooks to go ahead with the three concerts that have been given permission.
Meanwhile, reports that promoters are seeking an alternative venue, such as the Aviva Stadium, for the concerts have been dismissed as there is not enough time for a licence application.
Several venues around the country have said they are prepared to stage the cancelled concerts.
Last night, Garth Brooks himself stated that it is a case of five shows at Croke Park or none at all.
In a statement, Mr Brooks said: “I can’t thank the people of Ireland enough for how welcome they have made me feel.
“I have faith that Dublin City Council will make the best decision for the people of Ireland.
“For us, it is five shows or none at all. To choose which shows to do and which shows not to do, would be like asking to choose one child over another.”
The council said allowing all five concerts would have caused unacceptable levels of disruption to the local community.
The GAA yesterday said it would assess the implications of the council’s decision.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive of the Labour Relations Commission has described the uncertainty surrounding the concerts as a “debacle” and said something must be done to rescue the situation.
Kieran Mulvey had previously mediated between Croke Park residents and the GAA in a process aimed at resolving the dispute over the concerts.
Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, Mr Mulvey suggested that the GAA might offer to not hold any concerts in 2015 in exchange for getting residents to agree to the five Garth Brooks concerts.
“Can we not rescue this situation for the good of the country? For those that have paid their money, for the tourists coming into the country and also mitigate the effect on residents in future years?
“Why not give the residents the opportunity in 2015 of having no concerts, no close down, no lock down, none of the anti-social behaviour they described to me.”
About 400,000 tickets have been sold for the proposed five sold outs shows, including 70,000 to people travelling from overseas.
The National Consumer Agency has advised consumers who have bought tickets for the concerts to wait to seek clarification from the concert promoter.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, NCA spokesperson John Shine said the situation was still in a state of flux but he believed there would be more clarity over the next day or two.
Mr Shine said people are entitled to a refund of their money if they choose not to wait-and-see if an alternative venue is found.
He said those who had bought tickets privately and not from registered businesses may encounter difficulties.
Mr Shine also said that hotel and flight bookings are subject to the cancellation policies of the particular service providers.
Peter Aiken of Aiken Promotions yesterday said he was disappointed that the local authority denied permission for concerts on Monday 28 July and Tuesday 29 July.
Mr Aiken told RTÉ News that the Croke Park performances had grown from an initial two shows to a much bigger customised production, which would be a once-off event that would not be replicated anywhere else in the world.
The production costs were scaled on this basis and it was not possible to simply stop two of the shows, he said.
Concerts are always promoted on the basis of the concerts being subject to licence, he said, and this has always been the way the system has operated in Ireland for any event attended by more than 5,000 people.
Mr Aiken said he did not expect the decision and had been under the belief that even though there may have been a lot of conditions attached, that all of the concerts would be allowed to proceed.
In a statement giving its reasons limiting the number of concerts to three, the council said it did not want to set a precedent for increasing the number of concerts in Croke Park.
It pointed out that if it allowed five Garth Brooks concerts on top of three One Direction concerts, this would have doubled the previous maximum number per year.
It also pointed out that three of the proposed Garth Brooks concerts were on week nights, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
They have also called for updated works schedule and event management plans for the three remaining concerts as well as for the costs of gardaí and Dublin City Council to be met.
There is no right of appeal against the council’s decision except by going to the courts.
The Dublin Chamber of Commerce has said the expected knock-on to the economy will drop from an estimated €50m to €30m as a result of the cancellation of the two concerts.
- Brooks’ ultimatum: ‘Five shows or none at all’
- Croke Park residents’ groups threaten legal action over concerts