Residents group threaten to object to gigs unless Croke Park consults with them

Residents group threaten to object to gigs unless Croke Park consults with them

Bruce Springsteen is expected to play at Croke Park in April. Photo: Brad Barket/Invision/AP

A Croke Park group, which claims to represent more than a 1,000 residents and hundreds of businesses, is threatening to object to any live concerts at the GAA headquarters next year if they are not consulted with.

The District 7 Community Alliance is demanding to be allowed to attend a meeting next week between Croke Park management, Dublin City Council and music promoters to discuss any unrest which is brewing over several live concerts being scheduled for 2022.

The meeting is due to take place at 7pm next Thursday in the new handball and community centre on Sackville Avenue and will be chaired by Noeline Blackwell.

Croke Park officials say the meeting will be an opportunity for local residents to meet in person with senior management from the stadium and Aiken Promotions to specifically learn more from them about stadium concert planning for next year.

Last week, it was revealed that negotiations were underway for country music superstar Garth Brooks to potentially play three gigs at Croke Park next September for the first time in 24 years, with the potential for further dates to be added.

Bruce Springsteen is expected to play at the same venue in April while Ed Sheeran has added an extra date, which will take place on 23 April at the northside venue as part of a larger tour of Ireland. Tickets for Sheeran’s gigs go on sale on Saturday.

In 2014, Brooks axed five sell-out gigs which left 400,000 fans disappointed after they had purchased tickets. The controversy made headlines globally as the international mega star was set to return to Ireland for the first time since 1997.

However, last Monday, speaking on an official Facebook livestream, Brooks said that he “still had not received the green light” to go ahead with any proposed concerts.

Meanwhile, the alliance says that they have been made aware that Croke Park is planning a meeting with local residents groups with regards upcoming concerts and assert they have not been invited to attend.

In an email to Croke Park officials on Wednesday by four signatories, the alliance says it represents seven resident associations (1500 households and 200 businesses) within the general area of Dorset Street.

They say: “(We) have yet to receive an invite to any meeting, neither have any of our constituent associations. As our area is greatly impacted with traffic congestion, parking, lack of policing, anti-social behaviour and dumping, we feel Croke Park is being selective in who they will sit down with.

“District 7 members will be meeting early next week to discuss putting in an objection to any events on the grounds of exclusion and failure on your behalf to engage honestly with all residents groups.” It is signed by chairman Tony Kelly, vice chairman Ray Kenny, Raghnall Ó Floinn a committee member and acting secretary Angeline Kenny.

In response, a Croke Park official, Julianne Savage who is engaged in communications and community affairs said they, “do not especially invite any specific residents’ groups to our community meetings. They are open to all who live within the stadium’s 1.5km community radius.

“(They) have been misinformed on that matter and it’s an important point to clarify to you, and for all parties.

I’m happy to clarify as per all local community meetings organised by the stadium, they are open to all residents in the stadium’s 1.5km community radius to attend.

Ms Savage adds: “I wasn’t aware of your group and haven’t heard from you previously to make your acquaintance which is a pity.” Thousands of residents who have individually registered with Croke Park to receive updates from the stadium on such local matters received an invitation to attend next week’s meeting on Wednesday.

There are also more than 100 local businesses, residents and community organisations registered on the Croke Park local business and local organisation database where they receive regular community updates.

It is proposed that Brooks’ concert dates are September 9, 10 and 11 while a two-day outdoor concert application has been made to Dublin City Council for September next year indicating that the music megastar is pushing for five gigs in total. The application was received on Wednesday by the Council from Aiken Promotions.

The licence application involves two outdoor concerts to be held in Croke Park on Friday, September 16, and Saturday, September 17, next year.

Under Planning and Development Regulations any person can make a submission or observation in writing to the local authority in respect of an application within three weeks of the receipt of the application by the local authority.

The application can be viewed and inspected at Dublin City Council’s planning by the public daily by appointment from 9am to 4.30pm. The deadline for observations is October 12 at 4.30pm which can be made either by post or email.

Under planning law, three concerts per year (planning law year) can be held at Croke Park.

The planning year to allow for outdoor concerts being held begins after the month of April annually which would allow for the Sheeran and Springsteen gigs to be held and not impact on Brooks’ proposed events.

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