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Aiken told to pay garda bill for Garth gigs

RESIDENTS who have to bear five Garth Brooks concerts could be left without gardai patrolling outside the stadium unless concert promoters cover the policing costs.

Gardai normally provide public and non-public policing for concerts, with promoters reimbursing approximately 60pc of the cost to the force after the event, according to Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

However, the Herald has learned that Aiken Promotions has been told gardai will not patrol the area around the stadium for the five concerts unless the firm covers the full cost.

Public policing covers the residential area around the national stadium as concert goers enter the gig, whereas non-public policing takes place inside the stadium.

According to Aiken Promotions, "there is always a payment for non-public duties carried out by the gardai at events".

If it happens, this will be the first time a concert will go ahead without the gardai providing any element of public policing for free.

A local authority source said that because the concerts were "purely profit-oriented", the promoters should cover the full policing costs.

"The promoters will have to pay the rate for inside and out," they added.

The source also said that even though the concert licenses have yet to be granted by Dublin City Council, they "won't go ahead without policing".

EXPENSE

Aiken Promotions were the ones "driving the expense," the council insider added," therefore, they should pay".

This is the latest hiccup in the Garth Brooks concert saga, with locals extremely un-happy that five more concerts have been added to the venue's schedule, breaching a 2009 agreement between Croke Park and the residents in which three concerts a year were agreed.

But this year, three One Direction concerts will be held there, followed by five Garth Brooks gigs and one American Football game in August, the Croke Park Classic.

More than 400,000 people will attend the Brooks concerts over the five nights in July, meaning a surge in policing needs that will pull gardai away from their normal duties.

Minister Shatter told the Dail recently that "the cost of providing policing for a concert is determined by the number of rostered hours and overtime hours involved.

"The average cost of a rostered hour is approximately €20 and the average cost of an overtime hour is €31," he added.

Croke Park bosses met local politicians last week in a meeting chaired by Kieran Mulvey of the Labour Relations Commission.

Mr Mulvey told the gathered delegates he would not stand over any agreement that was not binding.

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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