Garth Brooks: Committee seeks answers over gigs

Garth Brooks
Garth Brooks

The key players in the Garth Brooks concert row in Dublin are being called to give an account of themselves, starting today, before a powerful committee of the Republic of Ireland’s parliament.

Negotiations to resurrect country star Garth Brooks’ cancelled comeback in Ireland last night dramatically fell through, with refunds expected to begin on Thursday.

Around 400,000 fans will not receive their money until Thursday because of the discussions, seller Ticketmaster said.

The singer called off five shows he planned to play in Dublin later this month following a battle between venue owners and local residents.

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport and Communications will today hear from Dublin City Council’s chief executive about the concerts.

Owen Keegan will discuss the council’s role in concert licencing.

Last week the committee agreed to request the attendance of key parties in the row.

Representatives of the GAA, which owns the proposed venue Croke Park, and promoters Aiken Promotions are scheduled to appear before the committee tomorrow.

Chairman of the committee John O’Mahony TD said: “The committee notes the ongoing efforts in reinstating the concerts and remains hopeful that a satisfactory resolution can be found.

“The committee shadows the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and is gravely concerned at the damage to Ireland’s reputation caused by the cancellation of the concerts, particularly given the upward trend in tourism numbers in recent years.

“The purpose of both meetings is to hear from each key player in the chain of events that have led to the cancellation of the planned Garth Brooks concerts.”

The first meeting takes place at 11am today. The second meeting, with representatives of the GAA and Aiken Promotions tomorrow, is also expected to begin at 11am.

Both events will be broadcast live on Oireachtas UPC Channel 207 and can also be viewed online and viewed through the Houses of the Oireachtas Smartphone app, available for Apple and Android devices.

However, it is not known if people in Northern Ireland will be able to view proceedings live.

Ongoing behind-the-scenes talks to try and resolve the row are being led by Dublin City Council and the GAA.

The key problem is that the council approved only three concerts – not five – and does not have a legal option to allow an appeal of the decision.