Friday 19 December 2014

Dublin City Manager grilled over his role in Garth Brooks debacle

Niall O'Connor Political Correspondent

Published 18/07/2014 | 15:30

Owen Keegan. Photo: Arthur Carron
Owen Keegan. Photo: Arthur Carron

DUBLIN City Manager Owen Keegan says he would have resigned if he had paved the way for a judicial review into the decision to block the five Garth Brooks concerts.

Mr Keegan said that by agreeing to such a proposal - tabled by Aiken Promotions - his position as head of Ireland's largest local authority would have been made untenable.

TDs and senators have questioned Mr Keegan for a second time this week as the fallout from the concerts fiasco continues.

Mr Keegan insisted that the council "operated fully and appropriately" and again refused to accept any blame for the debacle.

The City manager rejected claims that he gave assurances to the GAA that the concerts would be facilitated by the council.

But he admitted that during a phone conversation with Croke Park stadium director Peter McKenna in February, he indicated that he was supportive of five concerts taken place.

Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley accused Mr Owen of "sitting back and allowing this to spiral out of control".

He said that Mr Keegan had a role in creating a "mess" and that hundreds of thousands of concert goers have now lost out.

It emerged on Wednesday that Aiken Promotions was willing to instigate a judicial review into the council's decision to block the concerts, but only if Mr Keegan gave the green light.

The basis for the judicial review was that a large proportion of the objections against the concerts turned out to be fraudulent.

But Mr Keegan said he would contest the proposed judicial review because if he did not, he would "lose all credibility".

The meeting of the Oireachtas Communications and Transport Committee is continuing in Leinster House.

Irish Independent

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