Dublin leaders to meet for new Garth Brooks concert talks this afternoon

Garth Brooks

Talks are to take place at 3pm today in an effort to salvage all five Garth Brooks concerts.

The meeting, involving the Dublin Lord Mayor Christy Burke, Dublin City Manager Owen Keegan and the Chief Executive of the Labour Relations Commission, Kieran Mulvey, will be convened at DCC Civic Offices.

Brooks is due to address a press conference in the US later.

The US singer has said his “heart is breaking” after the sold-out extravaganza with 400,000 ticket holders was cancelled due to problems obtaining permission from local authorities.

Brooks pulled out after being granted permission for just three out of five planned gigs at Croke Park.

It followed concerns from some residents about the impact of five concerts on the inner city area.

The top-selling US singer, who turned his back on touring to raise his family in Oklahoma 13 years ago, had issued an all-or-nothing ultimatum last week, saying he would play the five nights or none at all.

The star said to choose one show over another “would be like asking to choose one child over another”.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny last night encouraged all parties to come together and find a positive solution as the controversy makes headlines all over the world.

Today, Tánaiste Joan Burton said she wanted a successful outcome to last-ditch negotiations after five performances in Dublin.

Minister Burton said: “Events and facts have come to light which were not in the public domain, perhaps, at the time.

“By discussions between the parties, it may be possible to achieve a resolution and I hope it will be achieved.”

City chiefs, concert promoters and stadium owners have been summoned before a parliamentary watchdog to account for the fiasco which is estimated will cost the country’s recovering economy more than €50m.

A court injunction sought from the High Court to try to block the concerts has been struck out after the cancellation was announced and arrangements made to refund ticket holders.

Minister Burton said the Government was prepared to assist the negotiations and suggested Brooks could be invited to end a mooted world tour in Dublin in coming years.

She told the Dáil: “If you want a successful outcome, as opposed to a heated debate, I would put my confidence in the negotiations and talking and speaking ability of the parties that are affected. I want to see a successful outcome, the Government would like to see a successful outcome.”

She said the critical issue was that 400,000 people had bought tickets.

“I want the issue resolved, it is a significant economic boost to the economy.”

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said that the Taoiseach was right to intervene in the issue.

Minister Bruton says it is in everyone's interest that this issue is sorted out quickly.

"Well I think everyone wants to see an outcome," he said.

"But the question is whether that can be achieved?

"I thing he has taken initiative to convene some of the key players, and he's indicated he stands ready to support a solution if the Government has a role.

"But I think he also recognises that this is a complex issue. There's legal dimensions, there's planning dimensions, those are clearly issues that have to be addressed as well."

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