'Bestest' weekend ever as 1D give farewell concert
NIALL Horan's epic homecoming gig ended with a bang last night as One Directions three-day stint at Croke Park drew to a close.
It was an eventful series of concerts with plenty of screaming, silver streaming fireworks and chat about Superquinn sausages.
Some 240,000 Irish fans attended the gigs over three days but last night a handful of dejected 'directioners' sat outside Croke Park lamenting the fact that they were unable to get their hands on tickets.
Lauren Johnston (16) and Lauren Vince (15) from The Liberties, in Dublin, had been on the hunt for passes all day to no avail.
"I'd love to see them," Johnston wailed. "We didn't get the tickets in time. I'm devastated. I've got everything crossed that we get inside."
Others were more lucky. Saoirse Kelly (18) from Dundalk, Co Louth, had gone to every single one of the concerts.
"I wouldn't miss it for the world. Niall willl give it his all," she told the Irish Independent.
Eight-year-old Zoe and six-year-old Kirsty Clelland from Dundalk, Co Louth, were excited to see the band and to get a day off school.
"It's the bestest weekend ever," Kirsty said. "I get to see Niall and no school on Monday. Santy gave me the tickets."
And Mia Murray (4), attended her first 1D concert with her mother Barbara Walsh. "She's the smallest One Direction fan here," Walsh explained. "But she'll be rocking out at Croker."
With 80pc of the audience aged between five and 18 years of age promoters MCD increased security measures to ensure the grounds are child-friendly.
They took measures such as a 'tag your child' system, had seven lost children information points in the stadium and an app devised especially for the concert.
The concerts delivered a major boost to the capital with restaurant sales, shopping and some booking into hotels.
Last night, promoters MCD deemed the event a success while the Gardra Siochana said it was one of the most subdued and civilised series of concerts held in Croke Park.
"There have been no real difficulties," a gardai spokesman said. "Lots of hysterical girls but apart from that disruptions have been at a minimum. It's just young girls and their mammies."
The stage where Louis, Harry, Zayn, Niall and Liam were entertaining screaming fans was perched on Hill 16. It was one of three being used as part of One Direction's 'Where We Are' world tour and is transported on 70 trucks.
The band play Sunderland's Stadium Of Light next week but Irish fans will be talking about the Croke Park gigs for months to come.
It was the first time a band have played three consecutive nights at Croke Park. Later this summer, country superstar Garth Brooks will play five nights.