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Croker locals unhappy with talks progress

By Conor Feehan

RESIDENTS around Croke Park have expressed their disappointment at the terms of reference proposed by the mediator drafted in to sort out their dispute over five Garth Brooks concerts this summer.

The CEO of the Labour Relations Commission, Kieran Mulvey, was appointed with the task of acting as mediator between all sides in relation to the gigs.

But residents have accused the skilled negotiator of "running from the bull rather than grabbing it by the horns".

Of particular anger to the residents is a term of reference to 'set out in detail systems to minimise the impact of licensed events on the surrounding communities'.


"Notwithstanding that Mr Mulvey states that the terms of reference can be added to it is quite clear that the thrust of the document is 'How do we manage all these licensed events such as concerts in a way to minimise the effect on the community'," said a Croke Park Streets Committee spokesman.

"This misses the point totally. The real question that has to be decided is the minimising of the number of events back to the level of three that had been set down as a planning condition for the stadium and around which number of events the Croke Park Stadium entered into agreements with the local community," said a press release signed by Eamon O'Brien, of the Irish Stadium Communities Association, and Fintan Farrelly, of the Croke Park Streets Committee.

The terms of reference put forward by Kieran Mulvey include examining all aspects of the operation and impact of special events in the past, as well as meeting with the community, its representatives and businesses, elected representatives , gardai, Dublin City Council officials and the promoters and stakeholders to hear their points of view.

Meetings will also be conducted with the GAA and Croke Park Stadium management.

Mr Mulvey said the process will be undertaken with "utmost transparency".

But the terms of reference are described by the groups representing local residents as "most disappointing".