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Dublin: 0 °C Saturday 18 January, 2020
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Leo and Phil to the rescue? Government told to get involved in Garth Brooks debacle

Fianna Fáil say Ireland’s tourism reputation is at stake.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

FIANNA FÁIL ARE calling on ministers Leo Varadkar and Phil Hogan to get involved in the fallout from the cancellation of the Garth Brooks concerts.

The party’s spokesperson Timmy Dooley says that the Minister for Tourism and Minister for the Environment should meet because Ireland’s image as a tourist destination is at risk of being tarnished.

“Around 70,000 of the tickets sold for the five gigs were bought outside the country, providing a massive boost to hotels and restaurants in the Dublin region,”said Dooley.

The decision to cancel the concerts will do nothing to promote Dublin or Ireland, and has the potential to damage our international image. Not only are tens of thousands of fans left angry and disappointed, many of them could also be left out of pocket having booked into hotels and B&Bs for the night.

Dooley’s call comes as the country and western singer cast doubt on any shows going ahead, saying in a statement last night that “for us, it is five shows or none at all”.

Fianna Fáil does not specifically say what steps should be taken but urges the two ministers to immediately “explore all the options open to them”.

But speaking on Newstalk Breakfast this morning, the Green Party’s North Inner City councillor Ciarán Cuffe questioned, “how many people were silly enough to book plane tickets from New Zealand before planning was approved”.

Cuffe also came to the defence of residents who objected to the concert, saying that they “feel let down by the GAA who they’ve felt bulled by since the expansion of Croke Park went ahead 20 years ago”.

He said that the residents of Clonliffe Road have had people urinating in their gardens over the years, adding that he feels Garth Brooks fans would be “in a different class to One Direction fans” but that he doesn’t make any judgements on anyone.

Read: Have a ticket to a cancelled Garth Brooks gig? Here’s how you can get a refund >

Opinion: Fiends in high places – Garth Brooks and the national malaise >

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Rónán Duffy

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