Brooks ‘debacle’

WITH controversy engulfing the Garth Brooks concerts at Croke Park, things look intractable following the country singer’s ominous threat that he will play all five concerts or none at all.

To prevent local residents being discommoded, Dublin City Council gave a licence for three concerts on July 25, 26 and 27, the original dates planned by promoters and the GAA.

But money is the name of the game and when 400,000 fans snapped up those tickets , a mouth-watering prospect of big profits loomed. Two extra shows were instantly added for July 28 and 29, selling out to 160,000 fans now facing disappointment.

Given his immense popularity, the Brooks threat smacks of arrogance and economic blackmail against minority interests. If anything, his ultimatum has made this mess even worse.

Mediator Kieran Mulvey, chief executive of the Labour Relations Commission, has described it as a “debacle”.

In return for five gigs this month, he wants the GAA to declare 2015 a concert-free year. Clearly, the planning process for such events is unsatisfactory and urgently needs to be overhauled.

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