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Residents still stunned over shock move to pull concerts

THE residents at the heart of the Garth Brooks row were all taken aback by the singer's sudden decision to pull all five of the gigs.

Regardless of whether they were for or against the concerts, people living in the locality said they couldn't believe the drastic move.

Outspoken Eamonn O'Brien, who lives in Castleknock, was at the forefront of residents' battles with Croke Park over the dispute.

Mr O'Brien, who is on the committee of a community handball centre next to the Cusack Stand, said that Garth Brooks and Aiken Promotion's decision was a shock.

"I am very surprised by the decision. It does not make good business sense whatsoever," he told the Herald.


Resident Susan Mangan came out in full support of the gigs last week when it first emerged there were serious problems.

She said that the community will miss the legacy payment proposed in terms laid out by top negotiator Kieran Mulvey of the Labour Relations Commission.

"I am absolutely gutted for the community - we are going to lose out on €500,000 of a legacy which is badly needed," Ms Mangan said.

"This is between the GAA and the Handball Association, they have divided our community."

Another local, Sandra Reid, said 
that the move has tarred all of the locals' reputation with the same 

"At the moment I'm ashamed to say I'm a resident and I never thought I would say that," she said.

Resident William Spence described how a "hard battle was being fought with GAA" and residents. But he believes that it was outrageous that Garth was not happy with three nights and continued to push for five or nothing at all.

"Garth Brooks was going to bring a film crew to Ireland so the concert could have been streamed to America pay-per-view as if they're not satisfied with €46m in ticket sales. And on top of that they wanted to do a DVD," he said.

"I have no sympathy for the GAA or Aiken, it serves them right."

Meanwhile, former resident Gary Griffin who now works nearby and had a ticket for the Monday night concert said there were no winners.

"I feel that the GAA were railroading the residents but the country on a whole has lost a lot, more so than the residents," Mr Griffin said.