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Wednesday 30 July 2014

Residents at odds as some want Brooks gigs reinstated

Sam Griffin

Published 05/07/2014|02:30

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Residents who support the five Garth Brooks concerts
Hotel group owner Fionn MacCumhaill

DOZENS of Croke Park residents say they have been misrepresented and have called for the two cancelled Garth Brooks concerts to be reinstated.

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As the fiasco escalated further yesterday, the 'Local Residents Supporting Garth Brooks' group held a highly charged meeting, at which members launched a petition calling for all five concerts to go ahead.

"In signing this petition we as residents wish to acknowledge that we were not consulted by neither Croke Park or any of the residents' groups who claim to be acting in our name," the petition distributed to audience members states.

The group is calling for the full implementation of the Mulvey Report, drawn up during the mediation process between concert promoters and residents, which proposed that more than three concerts in a row should never again be held in Croke Park.

The group wants assurances that only three concerts will be held at the stadium each year, as well as a legacy grant from the proceeds of the concerts to develop the area and an apology from Croke Park.

One of the organisers, Susan Mangan, said residents had been "misrepresented" and that those opposed to the concerts were a minority of locals.

"The main reason for setting this up was because there is a so-called committee representing the wider group when it doesn't," she told the Irish Independent.

"These concerts are a small inconvenience for the amount of goodness they bring to the area."

The residents now plan to hold a protest rally at 2pm tomorrow, but Croke Park Streets Committee chairman Eamon O'Brien last night dismissed the claims by these residents and said they had an opportunity to raise these issues during the consultation process with the concert promoters.

Decision

Meanwhile, the Dublin North Business and Cultural Community, which represents over 120 businesses in the north inner city, called on Dublin City Council to allow all five concerts to proceed.

Hotel group owner Fionn MacCumhaill (above inset) said: "This is the greatest undemocratic decision we've seen. These concerts bring one-sixth of Dublin's tourism business. This is all being put in jeopardy, particularly in this part of the city, which has been neglected by Government for years."

Secretary Ian Ferris added: "This decision by Dublin City Council completely fails to take cognisance of the income that would be lost."

Irish Independent

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