"We truly blew it."

I’m devastated. My family were always Garth Brooks fans, so growing up I was too. Every get-together always turned into a Garth session.

My mam saw him in ’97 and I always hoped I’d get to someday. It’s been a dream to see him. When it was announced he was coming I was thrilled.

Six of us arranged to get tickets. Me, my sister, my aunty and three cousins. Between us all we had God knows how many laptops running on Ticketmaster and all keeping in touch on the phone. I was the one to get them after about 55 minutes of that circle going around on Ticketmaster saying ‘do not refresh your page’.

Well, the excitement. We had them. We were going to see Garth! It’s been marked proudly on my calendar since then and I’ve been counting down.

My sister and aunt, who both live in Roscommon, booked accommodation in Dublin. My sister was making a family trip to Dublin out of it. One of my cousins lives in Scotland. He booked flights along with his wife and daughter, and accommodation also. For him it was a birthday present. His flights and accommodation are non-refundable.

I knew from the start the five nights were going to be an issue for some, but I wasn’t worrying about that. I assumed it was under control. When problems arose a week ago it was pretty nerve-wracking, but I was very optimistic.

I wanted to do something, anything, so I set up the petition on Friday morning to urge the council to allow the five nights to go ahead. I always knew it was never going to make a significant difference, but it helped me feel I was getting my voice heard, along with over 8,000 other people who signed it.

From Thursday to now has been a surreal experience. I’ve been in a Garth Brooks bubble, reading up on the latest news and praying it would go ahead.

I’ll be honest, I thought maybe he might relent and do the three. I’m devastated that he hasn’t done that. But the blame, in my opinion, lies more with Aiken and Dublin City Council. Aiken for breaking the terms of their agreement by arranging way more concerts than allowed, and Dublin City Council for leaving their decision until three weeks beforehand and leaving no time to fix this.

I am truly gutted. I’m embarrassed at the coverage our country is getting now, and I doubt Garth will come back. I am absolutely devastated that it’s all over. We truly blew it.

lDublin woman Laura Moran set up an online petition last week calling for all five Garth Brooks shows to go ahead. It received 8,000 signatures, but to no avail.


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