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No court intervention yet over Garth Brooks gigs after Aiken seeks legal advice

The concerts may be off, but the Oireachtas wanted answers. Here’s what Aiken and the GAA told them.

Music Garth Brooks Source: AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

Updated 7.15pm

CONCERT PROMOTER PETER Aiken was in front of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport and Communications today, to answer questions on the Garth Brooks debacle.

Yesterday the committee grilled Dublin City Council Chief Executive Owen Keegan, who said the council’s decision to approve three of the five Brooks gigs was “appropriate, balanced and reasonable”.

The Director General of the GAA, Paraic Duffy told the committee that the gigs had “become an event of national significance”.

He said that the One Direction gigs held earlier this year had gone off without a hitch and had been used to trial new crowd control methods.

“Complaints”

“These measures were hugely successful and only three complaints were made to gardaí by residents, an unprecedented figure.”

He said that the GAA and Dublin City Council had met as late as early June to discuss a works schedule and had not been informed that the gigs were under any threat.

“All of our contact with Dublin City Council led us to believe that all five concerts would be approved.

“At no point was Croke Park made aware of the need for contingency plans.”

Garth Brooks tour fiasco Croke Park stadium is seen behind houses along Jones' Road. Source: Barry Cronin/PA Wire

Duffy went on to lament the fact that Dublin City Council had not phoned the GAA to tell them of the decision.

He said that just because the scale of the gigs was unprecedented does not mean that they should have been refused, and said there was ”incontrovertible evidence” that some of the objections made to Dublin City Council were false, but that the council did not weigh this properly.

He added that the GAA accepts the findings of the Mulvey Report and called on the residents to have a single coherent grouping.

Peter McKenna of Croke Park says that Owen Keegan had assured him that the city would be supportive of the Garth Brooks gigs going ahead.

However, in a statement this evening, Dublin City Council said that ”no assurance was given, or indeed could be given at that stage, that all five proposed concerts would be licensed”.

“In this conversation Owen Keegan reiterated his position that the City Council is supportive of special events and concerts in Croke Park.”

Keegan is to appear before the committee again on Friday.

Peter Aiken of Aiken Promotions told the committee that selling tickets before the licence was granted was “custom and practice” in his business.

He said that having no appeals mechanism was “extremely frustrating”.

Aiken said that the gigs were going to be “our big moment” and said that they would be “massive”, likening them to Bruce Springsteen’s 10-night run at Giants Stadium.

Aiken said that while “it is all pretty raw” right now, but said he was seeking legal advice. He said he will “be out seven figures” and that Brooks would lose millions.

Aiken said that the situation surrounding the objections made against the gigs was “like an episode of Father Ted”.

He said that “whatever is going to happen, has to happen today” in terms of saving the gigs. The only way for this to happen would be if Dublin City Council agreed not to contest a judicial review.

No such review was filed so far this evening, it is understood.

Aiken confirmed that Brooks’ ship is docked in Antwerp.

Additional reporting by Nicky Ryan. Originally published 12.45pm.

Read: The Dublin city council chief talked about the Garth Brooks debacle

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