Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Garth Brooks being 'stupid' over 'all or nothing' ultimatum, says head of Croke Park residents group

Two of the Garth Brooks comeback dates at Croke Park stadium, Dublin, have been cancelled by the the city council
Two of the Garth Brooks comeback dates at Croke Park stadium, Dublin, have been cancelled by the the city council

Garth Brooks was accused today of being “stupid” with his ‘all or nothing’ stance on five scheduled concerts at Croke Park.

“I think it’s outrageous what Garth Brooks said about not being able to choose concerts to cancel… It’s a stupid way of playing it,” said Eamon O’Brien, chairperson of the Croke Park Streets Committee.

Dublin City Council have granted licences for only three of the five concerts.

Mr O’Brien told The Herald in Dublin that it was stupid of the singer to say he could not cancel two nights in Croke Park involving 160,000 fans without also wilfully cancelling the other three nights involving a further 240,000 fans.

“Garth Brooks does not decide what the planning laws of Ireland should be. It is Dublin City Council that implements the laws, not Garth Brooks,” he said.

Mr O’Brien said he did not feel sorry for the superstar.

“Garth Brooks is a businessman. It’s all about the brand. This is only a blip in his life.  If I had his money, I’d burn my own money,” he said.

All five concerts scheduled for this month are in jeopardy. The city council said only three could go ahead but the singer said it was all five or none at all.

Mr O’Brien said the planning laws were not a shambles and the licencing procedures existed to protect ordinary people from excessive disruption of their lives.

He accused the GAA authorities at Croke Park of being “arrogant and greedy” in “creating an economic juggernaut they thought they could roll through everything.”

“How could anyone organise one of the biggest gigs in the world and, by not getting a licence beforehand,  leave it on a cliff edge?” he said.

“We sympathise totally with the Garth Brooks fans. We are all victims here,” he said.

He apologised to the 70,000 visitors from abroad who planned to come to the concert.  But the economic loss of the money that would be spent in Dublin by Irish fans who would have travelled from outside the city will benefit their own communities as the money would instead be spent locally, he said.

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