It's going to be a late, late show for Gaybo as 1D's oldest Irish fan rocks out
Published 23/05/2014 | 02:30
BROADCASTING legend Gay Byrne may have a couple of decades on most of the fans of pop superstars One Direction but he is ready to prove his bopping skills.
The radio and former 'Late Late Show' star, who celebrates his 80th birthday this summer, will be spotted among the thousands of screaming girls lining out to catch a glimpse of the fab five during their string of three gigs in Dublin's Croke Park.
Mr Byrne is going as a favour to his daughter Crona, who persuaded him to attend tonight's opening concert for the Dublin leg of the 'Where We Are' tour.
"I am going to One Direction with my grand-daughter Kate from Co Clare," said Mr Byrne.
"I was pinned to the wall two months ago and told 'you are going to One Direction and that's it'."
And as the most popular quintet in the world rolls into Dublin later today, it's not just the dedicated legions of fans who will be welcoming them with open arms – as the capital's pubs, cafes and restaurants are also set to benefit from their arrival.
Chief executive of the Restaurant Association of Ireland, Adrian Cummins, said that eateries in the capital will "benefit hugely".
"Everybody in hospitality benefits from a big concert in the city. The more concerts we have the better for my restaurant members," he added.
Independent north inner city councillor Nial Ring told the Irish Independent that there is a "great buzz" in the vicinity of Croke Park, where the band will thrill 240,000 fans over the next three nights.
"There is beginning to be a great buzz in the area, people do welcome it. It will be a very good pre-cursor to Garth Brooks' concerts – if the concert licence is given," he said.
A candidate in today's local elections, Mr Ring said that there has been a "very professional approach" from Croke Park management and concert promoters MCD in keeping the local community informed, as well as ensuring that there is clear access to the polling stations in the area today.
"All the local shops will do well. It is great for the local economy," he added.
However, Croke Park Streets Association chairman Eamon O'Brien criticised the concert chiefs for the security presence in the area and described it as a "lockdown of the community again".
However, the concert organisers said that they are "very conscious of the local community in all aspects of planning" for this weekend's concerts.
"There is a local community team in place and a dedicated 1800 number to deal with any issues that arise for local residents around the concert set-up," a spokesperson said last night.