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Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe and Minister of State for Tourism Michael Ring at the launch of the "Dublin Goes Country" event. Ruairi Carroll via Vine
On the Record

Here's how many times Garth Brooks was mentioned in Leinster House last month...

Did you guess ‘between three and five times’?… Nope, higher. Much higher.

ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT — BEFORE you even start reading this article, we concede that of course there are far more serious things to be talking about, and that perhaps the last thing we need in the Irish media is another article about Garth Brooks.

For instance, if you want to catch up on the latest international headlines you can always click to that section of our site. And for the latest science and technology news — yes, we have that covered too.

That said, this piece didn’t take that long to write, and well, you clicked on it — so really you’ve only yourself to blame for reading this far.

Last chance to leave the Garth Brooks article!!! Click here

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We did the counting so you didn’t have to — and it turns out that, starting from 3 July, when Dublin City Council first announced that it would only grant permission for three of the five planned concerts by the country star, there were 103 individual mentions of Garth Brooks’ full name.

That’s across the Dáil, the Seanad and the various Oireachtas committees — and includes everything from off-the-cuff, off-subject interruptions like these….

…to the committee hearings later in the month at which representatives from Dublin City Council, Aiken Promotions and the GAA appeared to provide their accounts of the debácle.

Bills Bills Bills

The singer made cameo appearances in all sorts of places (insert your own Garth-based pun here), including debates on a number of important pieces of legislation, like these:

The National Treasury Management Bill 2014. 

In fairness, Fine Gael’s Michael D’Arcy was trying to draw attention to something entirely different when he uttered the be-hatted superstar’s name…

There are 75,000 people in employment today who were not working this time last year. I am always amazed why there is not more comment about this wonderful news story, particularly when people can discuss Garth Brooks incessantly for almost two weeks.

- 15 July.

The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland Bill 2014: Second Stage

Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan making a similar point…

I wonder what it is doing for our international reputation that the national Parliament on several days this week has discussed Garth Brooks at a time when there is a homelessness crisis in the country and there are international incidents such as that referred to in Gaza and the abduction of hundreds of girls by Boko Haram in Nigeria because they want an education.

- 10 July.

Employment Permits (Amendment) Bill 2014: Second Stage

I agree with Senator White about the Garth Brooks debacle but I do not think he was refused a visa to come to this country.

-  John Kelly, Labour, 9 July… Click here for the full context.

And finally….

Before we finish (and you get back to the real’s award for ‘Most Cringeworthy’ Mention of Garth Brooks in the Houses of the Oireachtas  (2014 Edition)’ goes to Senator Catherine Noone of Fine Gael…

Yesterday was a bad day for Dublin, particularly, I suppose, if one was a Brazilian Garth Brooks fan. Not to be flippant about it in any sense, Mr. Brooks followed through on his threat to cancel all five concerts and it is a considerable blow to the Dublin economy.
- 9 July.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

It’s wouldn’t have been a bad joke (if not a particularly original one) — if only she’d committed: it’s never a good idea to say something flippant and follow it up with “not to be flippant”.

It’s the first rule of comedy.


Read: Timeline: Garth Brooks at Croke Park – from sold-out to cancelled

Read: Full metal racket: The Government’s in no mood for a scrap, and the McGraths are livid…

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