Belfast Telegraph

Mystery grows as man who tried to stop Garth Brooks gigs claims: I was given £12,000 to fund court case

GAA the target not US singer, says resident

By Niall O'Connor

The man who sought a High Court injunction to prevent Garth Brooks performing in Croke Park was allegedly given a suit and €15,000 (£11,926) to fund the case.

Brian Duff (43) claims that unnamed individuals who "wanted to take the GAA down" provided the cash.

The Dublin High Court case is understood to have played a significant role in the decision to pull all of the concerts.

However, the father-of-four said that the case wasn't about Garth Brooks and he regrets ever getting involved.

Brooks was due to perform five gigs at Croke Park later this month as part of his long-awaited comeback tour. But some residents objected and Dublin City Council only granted licences for three.

Brooks said he would play five gigs or none. While the Council said their decision would stand, there have been massive efforts to find a way for him to play.

Mr Duff said he sought money for an injunction to ensure the gigs would not go ahead on Sunday at a hurling match in Dublin.

He refused to say who paid him but claimed it was people north and south of the border.

"I said, 'I'm bringing the GAA to court.' Garth Brooks was a just stepping stone. This money came from people in GAA circles. It's GAA clubs who are sympathetic to the cause," he said.

The scaffolder from Dublin's north inner city said the money was placed in a bank account early this week.

A source also confirmed that he was provided with a suit to wear in court.

The bid to halt all concerts was due to be heard today, but according to Mr Duff, has now been withdrawn.

Just hours afterwards, Belfast-based promoter Peter Aiken appeared to feel there was renewed hope with the removal of the legal threat, a withdrawal of objections from many residents and confirmation that some of the letters opposing the concerts were forgeries.

"He is still willing to come," said Mr Aiken. However, Brooks was "making it clear" it was for the five concerts.

It is understood that Mr Duff's solicitor was not aware that his case was being funded by other individuals.

A GAA spokesman said that no comment would be made in response to the claims. Mr Duff was last night in hiding after he and his family were allegedly subjected to death threats.

He contacted Dublin's Lord Mayor Christy Burke after receiving threats but said he did not intend to notify gardai.

Asked whether he would be reporting the threats, Mr Duff replied: "You can't be a squealer in the north inner city... do you want to get me shot?"

He said he was forced to stay in rented accommodation as a result of the backlash from his court action

The Lord Mayor explained that Mr Duff decided to drop his case after his daughters were targeted for abuse on Facebook.

"There was all sorts of threats made on his life. He had to stay in a B&B as a result. He's pulling the plug on the injunction. He will not be appearing in court," he said.

Meanwhile, Ticketmaster confirmed it was still planning to begin issuing refunds from Monday.

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