Taoiseach's eleventh hour bid to save brooks concerts

By Fiona Gribben

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny last night dramatically intervened in the ongoing debacle surrounding the Garth Brooks concerts.

In a shock move Mr Kenny made contact with Labour Relations Commission's Kieran Mulvey, Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke, Dublin City Council chief Owen Keegan and Peter Aiken in a last-ditch attempt to bring the country music star to Dublin.

It is believed that the crunch talks kicked off at 7.30pm last night in a bid to salvage the concerts which are a mere 15 days away.

Meanwhile a source close to Aiken Productions has revealed that consultations are currently underway with the musician's management for a new proposal.

"Aiken are hopeful that three gigs will be allowed go ahead, followed by a short break and then two more," the source told the Herald.

The move came as Garth Brooks wrote to Peter Aiken and told him that the ship, carrying all the cargo for the gig was still en route to Ireland.

"I cannot begin to tell you how badly my heart is breaking right now," Garth said in a letter to Peter Aiken. "Our guys are still en route and if there is any chance that the five planned concerts can be salvaged and nobody is being let down then we can proceed as planned until the refunds begin.


"If you think for any second that the 'powers that be' in Ireland can fix this, then I will faithfully go to the last second."

It is unclear what actions the Taoiseach will take but sources confirmed that he has ruled out the passing of emergency legislation to allow an appeal of the decision by Dublin City Council on the concerts.

Mr Kenny said yesterday that the Government could be accused of "coming the heavy" with the local residents if they pursued the introduction of new legislation.

Furthermore, he said the proposed bill cannot be applied to the immediate problem "you're still bound to have a period of public consultation about an issue."

But last night a Government spokesman told the Herald: "The Taoiseach is interested in there being a positive outcome in relation to the Garth Brooks concerts."

The late developments have overshadowed the ongoing discussions between the Taoiseach and his new Tanaiste Joan Burton.

Ticketmaster has already made preparations to refund all 400,000 of the ticket purchases. Permission was granted for just three of the five gigs.