Saturday 7 December 2019

Labour's Joan Burton urges council manager to 'resolve' Garth Brooks debacle

Niall O'Connor Political Correspondent

JOAN Burton has called on Dublin City Manager Owen Keegan to resolve the Garth Brooks concert debacle.

Just hours before she becomes the new Labour leader, Ms Burton said there needs to be an "amicable solution" found between all parties involved.

The Social Protection Minister said the concerts represent a "very big event in the life of Dublin", adding that she is concerned that Garth Brooks fans have now been left in limbo.

Ms Burton specifically mentioned Mr Keegan and said a solution that also meets the demands of the residents needs to be found.

Garth Brooks at Croke Park earlier this year
Garth Brooks at Croke Park earlier this year
Dublin City manager Owen Keegan

"I'm very sorry for all the fans. I know a lot of people who have made party plans around the event," she said.

"But these are matters between the residents, the promoters, the City Council and the GAA. Certainly it is a very big event in the life of Dublin but equally residents have their concerns. I hope an amicable agreement can be reached," she added.

Separately, Ms Burton said she will meet Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the coming days to decide the make-up of the new cabinet.

She refused to rule out the prospect of appointing Labour senators to junior or senior cabinet posts.

There is speculation in both Labour and Fine Gael circles that senator Ivana Bacik may be given a ministerial position.

While accepting that she has not yet been unveiled as Labour leader and Tanaiste-elect, Ms Burton said she has strong support from party members across the country.

Addressing the media this morning, Ms Burton failed to mention her opponent in the leadership race, junior Health Minister Alex White.

Asked about the proposed review of the Programme for Government, Ms Burton said any new programme must focus on social investment.

"I want to emphasise the social repair of the economy as well as the economic repair and I would imagine that will occupy quite an amount of the discussion."she said.

Ms Burton was speaking at a pre-budget informing involving social groups at Dublin Castle.

The new Labour leader is due to be unveiled later today, followed by the new deputy leader.

The deputy leadership position is being contested by TDs Alan Kelly, Michael McCarthy, Sean Sherlock and Ciara Conway.

Mr Kelly, the junior Transport Minister, is favourite to win the election.

Meanwhile, Ms Burton said the free travel pass is "absolutely safe" in next Budget.

She said the adjustment will be "significantly less" than the €2bn figure set by the Troika.

Ms Burton also confirmed she wants to introduce a living wage - which has been ruled out by Fine Gael Ministers.

Irish Independent

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