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€500k fund for local projects in Croke Park Brooks deal

THE GAA is to never again hold more than three concerts in a row at Croke Park under the terms of a ground-breaking resolution with local residents.

Residents were outraged after the organisation allowed five consecutive Garth Brooks concerts this summer, prompting the GAA to call for mediation from Kieran Mulvey of the Labour Relations Commission.

Mr Mulvey's report, which will be published today and which has been seen by the Irish Independent, also recommends that residents will be given €500k compensation by way of a once-off legacy fund out of the Garth Brooks concerts.

Mr Mulvey recommended this should be used to contribute to local capital projects and be administered by Dublin City Council and the Croke Park Community Fund – with the current Lord Mayor, councillor Christy Burke, as the chair.

The GAA did not want to comment about the report or its contents until after its publication today, but it is expected to receive its findings positively.

In his report on the 'Long Term Management of Concerts/Special Events in Croke Park,' Mr Mulvey noted that "the intensification of the use of the stadium for concerts, special events and sporting competitions has had a negative impact on the quality of life of the residents".

"These events caused disruption and inconvenience and have now been increased disproportionately by the holding of eight concerts and an external sporting event in one year," he said.

In addition to the Brooks concerts, due to take place from Friday July 25 to Tuesday July 29, three One Direction concerts were staged in May.

Littering

Some 400,000 tickets worth an estimated €26m were sold in February for the country music star's comeback concerts.

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"In retrospect, the decision to promote five extra continuous nights of concerts was misjudged and was compounded by the way in which they were announced and handled," he said.

Noting that the GAA and residents have been at loggerheads and that "a new relationship needs to be built and sustained under a new structure," he came up with a total of 11 recommendations concerning the staging of concerts, policing, littering and other issues.

A key recommendation is to limit the number of future concerts to no more than three consecutive nights in one year, noting "in no circumstances should there be either five or four concerts organised in the stadium on consecutive nights in the future".

He also called for the creation of a special once-off "legacy fund" of €500,000 to compensate residents for the inconvenience suffered during the Garth Brooks concerts.

Mr Mulvey also recommended a ceiling of nine concerts, with an average of three per year, be held between 2017 and 2019.

But he stressed "there cannot be more than three nights in succession and the overall total of nine cannot be exceeded."


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