Entertainment Music News

Sunday 22 April 2018

Croker locals reject €500k Garth Brooks legacy offer

Garth Brooks will play five consecutive concerts at Croke Park this summer
Garth Brooks will play five consecutive concerts at Croke Park this summer
Singer Garth Brooks
People queue for Garth Brooks at the bridge water centre
Joyce Fegan

Joyce Fegan

Croke Park residents are 
intent on issuing legal proceedings to stop the Garth Brooks concerts, despite an offer of €500,000 to resolve the dispute.

The solicitor representing the residents, Anthony Fay, said: "We are at advanced stages of issuing proceedings on foot of consultations with planning law barristers."

Yesterday, Kieran Mulvey, who was appointed to mediate between Croke Park and the residents, published a report aimed at resolving the dispute.

It was recommended that a one-off legacy of €500,000 be set up for the locals to improve the area.

Mr Mulvey's 30-page report also recommended that the GAA never again holds more than three concerts in a row in Croke Park.

Yesterday, however, residents refused to comment on the report, except to say that they were disappointed by it as they met to discuss their action 
going forward.

There are five Garth Brooks concerts planned for July in the national stadium. Dublin City Council has yet to grant a licence for the events.

The five concerts come after three One Direction gigs there last month.

In 1992 An Bord Pleanala made a decision that no more than three non-GAA events 
could be held at Croke Park annually.

And in 2009, after the three U2 concerts, an agreement was signed between residents and Croke Park that the Bord Pleanala decision would remain in place. And the chairman of the Croke Park Street Committees, Eamon O'Brien, told The Herald that: "We are extremely disappointed with the Mulvey report."

Regarding the €500,000 figure, he said that the amount only equates to €18.51 per household.

"When Croke Park sent out their survey asking the locals for feedback on the impact of the concerts, they wrote to 27,000 households, so divide half-a-million by that and you get €18.51 per home," said Mr O'Brien.

On top of the €500,000 one-off fund, there is an annual fund, which Mr Mulvey said should also be increased.

A resident told The Herald: "This report is not binding, it's a recommendation."

It is understood that the residents' legal team will work through the weekend as they prepare their case.

While the GAA did not respond to a request for a comment, its director general, Paraic Duffy, told RTE News that the sports body welcomed the report.

Some 400,000 tickets, estimated to be worth €26m, for the Garth Brooks concerts have been sold.

The concerts, if they go ahead, will beat U2's and One Direction's records of three nights in a row at the stadium.

(The Herald)

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