Country musician Garth Brooks has said having to cancel five sold-out concerts in Dublin back in 2014 was like a "death in the family".
As reported by the Irish Examiner, Brooks was back in Ireland launching two September 2022 gigs at Croke Park, the same venue where the 2014 concerts had been set to be played.
However, objections from local residents' groups ultimately led to the cancellation after licences were only granted for three shows, to which the musician responded by saying he would play all five or none at all.
Speaking about the 2014 cancellation at Monday's launch, Brooks said it was the "greatest heartache" due to how highly he thinks of Ireland.
"It’s the greatest privilege and the greatest joy an artist can have to play Ireland. It’s the greatest heartache to hear you can’t...This has been a rollercoaster ride for me.
"I love this country and I feel they may love me back...I feel like I am home here," Brooks said.
Asked if he understood how his Irish fans reacted to the news that the gigs were cancelled, he said: “It was conveyed to me. I probably understood as much as I could. But at the same time, you probably couldn’t understand it was like a death in the family to us.
“It hurt, hurt, hurt. My thing is I try not to get emotional as it is still very fresh for me, it was something I never experienced. It was one of things that was hard to understand.
“I’m not sure what it was over here, if it was half as bad as it was over at home, then it must have been pretty bad. I don’t know how personal it was, you guys always treated me like I was from here.
“If it was personal for you then you know all we all felt. We all went through it together. I’ve been around the world, there is no place like this. In Ireland, it’s the people that makes it the place you want to be.”
Brooks added that the opportunity to play to his Irish fans has made him “very happy”.
“The chance to come back and to play for those people, that’s a wonderful thing, that all is forgiven. I don’t hold a grudge against anybody. I felt lucky for the opportunity, the opportunity was swept away. I thought it was gone, but then I got a call.
“If anything is to be forgiven, it’s from those people who had those tickets and if they will forgive me for whatever part I played in it and come and see us, that would be very sweet.”
Brooks said that while he would love to play five Irish concerts again, it was unlikely to happen.
However, he did not rule out the possibility of holding smaller gigs when he comes to the country next year, but the September 9th and 10th Croke Park concerts are the only two which have yet been confirmed.
Tickets for the two dates will go on sale at 8am on Thursday, November 25th.
-Additional reporting by Press Association.