Saturday 20 December 2014

Alan Kelly in bid to save Garth gigs

New minister intervenes as it emerges 40pc of concert 'complaints' are bogus

MAEVE SHEEHAN and JOYCE FEGAN

Published 13/07/2014 | 02:30

Alan Kelly TD. Picture: Tom Burke
Alan Kelly TD. Picture: Tom Burke

THE new Environment Minister and Labour deputy leader, Alan Kelly, has intervened in the Garth Brooks saga in a new attempt to broker a deal that will allow the concerts to go ahead.

A source close to the negotiations last night told the Sunday Independent: "We hope to have a positive update on Monday."

New hopes of a breakthrough came as it emerged that almost half of the submissions from local residents objecting to Garth Brooks' Croke Park concerts in Dublin are bogus.

The scale of the suspected forgery has prompted a criminal investigation in Dublin's north inner city, the Sunday Independent has learned.

Detectives have already identified suspects behind the suspected planning fraud. Around 380 objections to the five concerts were submitted to Dublin City Council when it was considering a licence for the concerts. The complaints from residents were central to the local authority's decision to allow only three of the five concerts to go ahead, which in turn caused Brooks to pull out.

Detectives who called to 180 of the 380 households discovered between 35pc and 40pc of the residents had no knowledge of the planning objections lodged in their names.

In one or two cases, the suspected forgers appear to have used the identities of people with intellectual disabilities.

Sunday Independent

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