'This could hit our bid for Rugby World Cup'
There are fears that the country's bid to hold the 2023 Rugby World Cup and other major international events may be in jeopardy if this month's Garth Brooks concerts don't get the go-ahead.
Business chiefs say the long-term impact of cancelling the concerts could be much wider than Dublin City Council realises. In particular, they high- lighted our bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023.
"The spotlight is on Ireland, whether we can hold large-scale concerts, events and also sporting events of international reputation in the future," said Adrian Cummins of the Restaurant Association of Ireland.
"There is a huge bid on for the Rugby World Cup and other major European soccer competitions. It's hugely embarrassing for the country – people need to take a step back and put the country first."
Senator Averil Power said that if the upcoming concerts were cancelled it would risk inflicting "huge damage to Ireland's international reputation as a tourist venue".
"At a time when we are pitching for major events, like the Rugby World Cup, there's no doubt that it will be used against us by our competitors for such events," the Fianna Fail representative said.
The Dublin Chamber of Commerce has estimated that the dates would inject an additional €50m into the economy as 70,000 visitors are expected to arrive for the concerts.
Stephen McNally of the Irish Hotels Federation was also a part of the business lobby group speaking in Dublin yesterday, and he projected that the international visitor number for the Croke Park dates may even be as high as 90,000, as tickets have also been purchased for foreign fans within this country.