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Sunday 25 February 2018

Garth Brooks cancels all five Croke Park concerts

The GAA says it shares the ‘intense disappointment’ of the 400,000 people who have purchased tickets for the Garth Brooks' Comeback Special concert after the country singer cancelled all five gigs today.

The organisation and the Croke Park Stadium said they ‘note with much regret the confirmation that none of the Garth Brooks concerts scheduled for later this month will now take place’.

In a statement, the GAA said they worked closely with Aiken Promotions in its efforts to stage the ‘unique series’ of concerts ‘which would have represented an exciting national event and a joyful summer celebration’.

They also stated that Croke Park Stadium ‘engaged fully with Dublin City Council officials and addressed comprehensively every issue presented during this planning process’.

Garth Brooks gigs cancelled: The right or wrong decision?

Garth Brooks in Croke Park

“At no stage were we given any indication that a licence was likely to be refused for any of the five concerts,” they wrote.

“The GAA has made clear its acceptance of mediator Kieran Mulvey’s report on the long-term management of concerts and special events in Croke Park.

“We wish to acknowledge Mr Mulvey’s exceptional efforts over the past few days to resolve the issues raised by the refusal of a licence for the fourth and fifth concerts.

“The GAA is very encouraged by the emergence in recent days of groups of residents in the Croke Park area who share our wish for a positive continuing engagement with the Croke Park Stadium; we look forward to working with them on the recommendations of the Mulvey Report.”

Dublin City Council (DCC) has expressed their disappointment at the decision not to proceed with the three concerts.

In a statement released this evening the DCC said it has "sympathy for those ticket holders who purchased tickets for the performances".

"Dublin City Council hopes that Aiken Promotions will reconsider its decision," read the statement, reiterating that the DCC granted a licence for three concerts.

Aiken Promotions were first to announce the news, saying;"It is with great regret that Aiken Promotions today announce that the 5 concert Garth Brooks Comeback Special Event at Croke Park has been cancelled. No concerts will take place.

"The ticket return process will be outlined tomorrow.

"Aiken Promotions have exhausted all avenues regarding the staging of this event.

"We are very disappointed for the 400,000 fans who purchased tickets for The Garth Brooks Comeback Special Event. "

Meanwhile, Ticketmaster also sent out a statement and said they are working on a plan to make the cancellation process 'as simple and convenient as possible for customers'.

"The scale of this operation is unprecedented in the Irish entertainment industry and therefore we would ask customers to continue to be patient while we finalise our plan," they wrote.

They confirmed they would publish full details of the plan tomorrow.

An unprecedented row erupted in Ireland after the singer extended his planned two shows at Dublin's Croke Park to more than twice as many gigs to cope with demand.

Some 400,000 tickets were sold to fans worldwide. But city chiefs turned down planning permission for two of the concerts over an agreement between stadium owners the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) and residents living around the arena.

It was originally reported that promotor Peter Aiken has flown out to meet Garth Brooks in a last ditch effort to save the concerts.

However, it has been confirmed this evening that Mr Aiken did not leave for the US but remains in constant contact with the country star.

Croke Park Streets Committee chairman Eamon O’Brien said this evening he was 'shocked more than delighted' when he heard the news this evening.

“I was shocked really more than delighted,” he told RTE’s Drivetime this evening.

Mr O’Brien, who is chairman of a 640-strong group, said that they will have a meeting tonight where they will assess the recent events.

“We will have a meeting tonight where we will have an assessment of things and do a press release or have a press conference,” he said.

Meanwhile, Fay & Co Solicitors, who were acting for some of the Croke Park residents, have called for an urgent review of the licensing laws governing concerts and major events in Ireland.

They wrote in a statement this evening that this should include a right to an oral hearing, a right of appeal to an independent body and reversing the minimum time period for lodging an application back to at least 16 weeks prior to the event.

"It is now incumbent on the government to enact legislation which is more equitable and protects the rights of local residents and other stakeholders. It is further requested that the privacy of our client be respected," they wrote.

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