Monday 19 March 2018

Dublin City Council: Decision to reduce Garth Brooks concerts 'cannot be amended or appealed'

Dublin City Council has said its decision to reduce the number of Garth Brooks concerts "cannot be amended or appealed".

In a strongly worded statement released this evening, Dublin City Council defended its decision to only grant licences for three of the five Garth Brooks Croke Park concerts, which are due to start on Friday 25th July.

In their statement, the Council said it consistently expressed concern about the number of concerts proposed and told the promoter, Aiken Promotions, of these concerns.

"Dublin City Council has been consistent (since it was confirmed that tickets were sold for five concerts) in informing the Promoter and his agents that its main concern was the impact that 5 consecutive concerts would have on the local area."

The statement also said that the “Promoter could have lodged the licence application at any stage, including before the tickets went on sale last February”.

Dublin City Council also stated it was "not formally consulted by the Promoter prior to the tickets going on sale".

However, they stressed that Aiken Promotions were under no obligation to "to consult them beforehand".

The statement also conceded that the decision was not "not made lightly" and the decision was made "in consultation with other members of senior management”.

The Council statement also said that the decision cannot be overturned.

"It should be noted that event licence decisions made under the Planning & Development Acts cannot be amended or appealed."

The statement seems to have dashed the hopes of 160,000 Garth Brooks fans affected by the decision not to grant licences for two of the country & western superstar's concerts at Croke Park later this month 

Last night, Garth Brooks released a statement of his own and heaped pressure on the Council to reverse its decision or else he would pull out of the full five concerts.

"I have faith that Dublin City Council will make the best decision for the people of Ireland.

"For us, it is five shows or none at all.

"To choose which shows to do and which shows not to do, would be like asking to choose one child over another.

"However this plays out, Ireland has my heart and always will," said Mr Brooks.

Earlier today, Aiken Promotions stressed that they kept Dublin City Council informed of their plans for the Garth Brooks concerts since January.

A detailed statement issued by the company outlined the planning process they drew up for the concerts and their submission to the council.

They insisted council officials were aware of their plans since Garth Brooks’ highly publicised press conference in January in which he announced he was to play a series of concerts in Croke Park.

The statement, which was issued just before 4pm, was issued by the promoters “in order to clarify recent reports”.

Aiken said they followed all procedures, stating “it is standard practise in Ireland to inform the licencing authority, then to announce an event and then to put the tickets on sale in advance of a detailed licence application begin submitted”.

The promoters said an application for a license for the event must be submitted ten weeks prior to the event.

In this case, the application was submitted to the council 14 weeks before the concerts were scheduled to begin.

Aiken said they provided all the information required in the licensing application including statistics on the stadium layout, the impact on the local environment, sanitation, stewarding and traffic management.

“It takes time in order to collate this information. An application cannot be submitted until all this information is confirmed. Equally Dublin City Council cannot grant a licence for an event unless they have all the relevant details of that event,” the statement read.

Earlier today,  Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar said the onus is on promoters Aitken to reschedule or relocate the cancelled Garth Brooks concerts.

Mr Vardakar said there was a need to review licencing laws for major events.

"The way this happened at the very last minute is clearly unsatisfactory from everyone’s point of view and highlights the need to review the major events licencing laws," he said.

"Nonetheless residents have legitimate concerns about five concerts in a row which the GAA has conceded was a mistake."

“The decision on the licence was made by Dublin City Council and there is no provision in law for it to be appealed or overturned other than by the courts," he said.

The GAA has said it will assess the implications of DCC's decision and will make no further comment until Monday 7 July.

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