Garth Brooks still holding out hope of performing his hits on Irish soil
The world's highest-paid country singer, Garth Brooks, has given fresh hope to his legion of fans that he will fulfil a commitment to perform a concert at Croke Park in Dublin.
Brooks told a Co Tyrone fan who camped out for two nights to buy tickets for two of his five hotly-anticipated concerts in 2014 that he has "100% made the opportunity available to the people that make the decision in Ireland to get those shows back up and get them running again".
"If and when they say yes, I will be there," he stated.
The chart-topping singer made the comments at a question and answer event at last week's CMA country festival in Nashville. Referring to the controversial decision to cancel the five sell-out concerts in Dublin in July 2014, the 56-year-old star said: "I had to pick two of the five to cancel. I said screw that. I'm not going to do that to these people. It was all or none, so it became none.
"I have been lucky to see the Irish flag at every concert that we do and so I thank them for travelling."
The late cancellation, just 11 days before the first show was due to take place, devastated almost half a million fans north and south of the border. Brooks described the shock decision as "probably the saddest moment of my musical career".
Dublin City Council granted permission for just three of the gigs to go ahead at Croke Park stadium, although there had been an offer to push back some of the shows until later in the year.
Planning permission for two of the concerts was turned down by city chiefs over an agreement between the GAA and Croke Park residents that there would be a maximum amount of events held in the stadium.
Brooks admitted that selling 400,000 tickets in the Irish capital was "very sweet".
"When that cancellation happened, it was probably the most devastating thing that ever happened in my career. That happened probably after the coolest moment in my musical career, selling 400,000 tickets in one city. That's very sweet."