First came the thrill, then sweet anticipation – and disappointment
SCHOOLBOY Cameron Cloke (10) is among the legions of Garth Brooks fans whose plans for a special outing at the end of this month were thrown into turmoil by yesterday's announcement.
The Wexford boy won the hearts of the nation after his parents posted a video of his emotional reaction when they had pretended they were unable to secure tickets, but had in fact been able to get some for the third date.
The Garth Brooks super-fan has a ticket for Sunday but, like others with tickets for one of the three permitted gigs now has reason to be worried about whether even that will go ahead.
He's now just hoping for the best and that the Sunday concert will go ahead.
"I think it's way more important than any match or anything like that going on in Croke Park that day or anything," the young boy said.
"It is really disappointing now."
His doting father, Michael, revealed that he was looking forward to sharing the occasion with his boy, as the last Irish appearance from the Oklahoma singer in the capital 17 years ago holds a special place in his heart.
"I was at his concert in 1997, I took my brother and he was in a wheelchair. He died a couple of years later," he said, regarding the special experience which he had been hoping to share with his young son.
Carlow woman Ann Rooney told the Irish Independent that she was "sickened" when she heard the news yesterday morning as she had been due to attend three of the dates.
"I am disappointed," she said. "I was standing on Sunday and sitting on Monday.
"I was so looking forward to it, I really was. I even had tickets for Tuesday. I would have went to all three."
The current Wicklow Rose Gillian Burke said that she had been due to attend the Monday event, and she had gone to great lengths to get some tickets.
"The week before we were planning who was going to be on what laptop, we had five different laptops going the morning they went on sale for the first three days. And, we didn't get anything and we were devastated.
"I was delighted when two more dates had been added," she said. "There will be a lot of disappointed fans in Ireland today."
Meanwhile, the cancellation of the concerts has come as a crushing disappointment for a bride-to-be. It was set to be a magical few days for schoolteacher Roseann Ni Cheidigh with the concert the perfect send-off for her honeymoon.
Roseann, from Inverin in Co Galway, will marry Martin Joe O Flatharta from Carraroe in Inverin Church on Friday, July 25, the day of the first concert at Croke Park.
"We were initially disappointed as the first concert was planned for that day, but then it became possible to get tickets for the other dates and the Monday was just right for us as we fly out on honeymoon the next day", said Roseann.
The teacher of Home Economics and Irish at St Enda's secondary school in Salthill is a big fan of the country music star and arranged for herself and her new husband to join a group of close friends at Croke Park on Monday, July 28.
"We had everything planned and it was to be the perfect end to our big weekend before we leave on honeymoon on Tuesday.
"When I heard about the concert on the Monday I started queuing in the centre of Galway at 5.30am. I eventually got the tickets at 9.10am and we then booked accommodation and everything else.
"It's a lot of cost over a very expensive weekend and it's just so disappointing that it is not now going to happen. I don't think there is anything we can do about it," she said.
One person who was not disappointed was junior minister Joe Costello, as Croke Park is in his electoral area.
He said the decision from the council was hugely beneficial for the local community.
"I am delighted with the decision. It was never appropriate that there should be five consecutive concerts there after the three One Direction concerts," he said.
"I think that the result of all of this is that it will indicate that the residents around Croke Park and their concerns are being taken seriously."
Also left in limbo last night was Irish country singing sensation Nathan Carter who had been due to perform as the opening act at the Monday and Tuesday gigs.
A spokesperson for the singer said that they had no official comment yet as they were waiting to see what happened.
It's not just Irish fans who have been left disappointed as around 70,000 of the tickets had been purchased by international revellers, including eight in Afghanistan.
Around 12pc were sold in England, Scotland and Wales, while 3pc were sold in Canada and the US.
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