Residents threaten to stop Garth Brooks gigs

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Fans of country music superstar Garth Brooks have been left fretting after residents around Dublin’s Croke Park threatened legal action to halt his sell-out summer concerts.

This July the American multi-million selling artist is due to play five shows to a total of 400,000 people at the home of the GAA.

The arrangement has not gone down well with many of those who live around the imposing stadium, with claims Aiken Promotions didn’t consult residents before two additional dates were added to the initial three.

Yesterday, a spokesman for the promoter said: “There was an initial meeting with some local community groups and residents held in Croke Park on Wednesday night and we will be making no further comment to the media while the consultative process is ongoing.”

Speaking on the Republic’s Newstalk radio programme, Patrick Gates from the Clonliffe and Croke Park Area Residents Association, said that the locals feel like they have been “let down” by the politicians, the council and the police over the repeated disruption caused by events at Croke Park.

Mr Gates raised the “possibility of taking an injunction”, with a view to having the concerts stopped, or asking that the licence for the event is refused or major restrictions imposed.

“We don’t want our community locked down for five days,” he said.

As well as the Garth Brooks concerts, One Direction will also be at Croke Park this year – and the 80,000-seater arena will host an American football game in addition to the usual GAA matches.

Brian Mohan of Fianna Fáil has urged the operators of Croke Park to “respect the concerns of local residents”.

He said that “many residents around Croke Villas and the Clonliffe area find it extremely difficult during these events”, and that while there is a financial boost for local businesses, “residents’ issues need to be respected”.

It is understood a newsletter has been distributed to residents, saying that the stadium officials and Aiken Promotions were working with the local community to “identify a specific legacy initiative” following the July concerts.

Garth Brooks, 52, is one of the biggest music stars of all time – selling more than 125 million albums.

Independent Dublin city councillor Nial Ring told the Irish Times: “There is a complete lack of trust in the GAA, and the lack of communication, consultation and respect has left the GAA in a position where the local residents will do all in their power to stop the concerts.”

A GAA spokesman said: “We will be making no further comment to the media while we continue our consultative process.”