Thursday 20 June 2019

White House: 'We won’t be getting involved in Garth Brooks fiasco'

However, Tanaiste Joan Burton has said she believes a solution can be found

Luke Byrne, Niall O’Connor, and John Downing

THE White House has said it will not be getting involved in the Garth Brooks fiasco.

Earlier today, Dublin Lord Mayor Christy Burke revealed that the Mexican Ambassador had offered to mediate in the ‘will he, won’t he’ saga over whether the country music star will play five nights at Croke Park.

Mr Burke also said a group of residents from Ballybough in Dublin told him they intend to call on US President Barack Obama to try to encourage Mr Brooks to play in the capital.

But when contacted by this afternoon, White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden confirmed that the President will not be intervening

“This is an issue we'll leave it to Mr. Brooks and the City of Dublin to resolve,” she said.

However, prominent politicians closer to home are increasingly vocal in their belief that the Government can be used to find a solution.

Tanaiste Joan Burton told the Dail that the row which has torpedoed five concerts before 400,000 people in Croke Park was of major concern.

She said people were being denied a summer celebration.  "I want to see the issues resolved. It's a significant boost to the economy," the Tanaiste said.

Ms Burton said in the light off all the facts which had come to light in recent days, she believed a solution can be found.

The Tanaiste was under pressure from Fianna Fail culture spokesman, Timmy Dooley, who accused the Taoiseach "on sitting on his hands" while the row led to the concerts' cancellation.

"The situation was allowed go from fiasco to farce," Mr Dooley said.

The FF spokesman challenged the Tanaiste to cite what "new facts" had come to light which might help find a solution. 

But Ms Burton said all the facts were published in the newspapers and negotiations must now be carried out in private.

Meanwhile, Jobs Minister Richard Bruton has said he is hopeful a government-led solution can be achieved.

Obviously this has been a very complex issue, clearly there are a lot of players involved. I think there has been an indication of an initiative which we hope will succeed, " Mr Bruton said.

"But I think the Taoiseach has indicated that the government stands ready if we have a role to play. We can only hope that this delivers an outcome but it's far too early to play," he added.

Speaking at an Enterprise Ireland event in Dublin, Mr Bruton said Taoiseach Enda Kenny was right to intervene "if an outcome can be secured".

"Everyone wants to see an outcome, the question is whether that can be achieved. I think he has taken the initiative to convene some of the key players, and he has indicated that he stands ready to support a solution if the government has a role," he added.

Meanshile, a meeting between the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke, and the Chief Executive of Dublin City Council, Owen Keegan, is to take place at 3pm to see if the five planned concerts can still be staged.

The meeting was requested by Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

He asked Labour Relations Commission Chief Executive Kieran Mulvey to see if the concerts could be salvaged.

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