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So there it is. All five Garth Brooks concerts cancelled, the economy out an estimated €50 million, hundreds of thousands of disappointed fans and Ireland is left looking like a laughing stock. It is embarrassing and disappointing.
There are many parties that have to shoulder some of the blame, but to my mind the two parties that are most at fault are those few hundred residents that objected, and Dublin City Council.
Reports that the Garda are investigating claims of alleged fraudulent objections being submitted makes it even more frustrating that this small group have gotten their way. I hope the claims are followed up on.
However, Owen Keegan’s handling of the licensing was nonsensical and in my opinion flawed and incompetent.
To cite possible ‘anti-social behaviour’ as a reason for cancelling two concerts while allowing another three shows to take place makes no sense whatsoever, and showed a complete lack of understanding of the concert-goers that would be in attendance at these shows.
Then to hear that DCC had offered to licence four shows but not the last one strikes me as nothing more than a combination of stubbornness and arrogance. It seems to me that they just didn’t want to be seen to be ‘caving’ in to common sense so they stood their ground on the last show.
A very big spotlight should now be shone on Mr Keegan and Dublin City Council.
This debacle has been a huge financial blow to the city and the country has been done massive reputational damage and people should be held accountable.
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