Brooks concert organisers called before Oireachtas Committee

Promoter Peter Aiken. Picture Richard Mills

Aiken Promotions, the GAA and the Dublin City Council manager Owen Keegan are being called to a meeting of the Oireachtas Tourism Committee tomorrow.

It is the latest development in the fallout from Garth Brooks' decision to cancel his Croke Park concerts later this month.

For his part, Peter Aiken today likened the fiasco to "living in a nightmare" - but he says the singer made the right decision.

Some 400,000 fans had tickets for the concerts, with Ticketmaster having just announced how they can get a refund.

Speaking on the 'Neil Prendeville Show' on Cork's RedFM, Mr Aiken said he thinks Garth Brooks was right.

"If you see it from his point of view: he sold 400,000 tickets - he wasn't going to come and not play to 160," he said.

"But he couldn't come and do three shows and then there's 160,000 people who don't get to see him.

The cancelled concerts dominated leader's question time in the Dáil this morning, with Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin appealing for emergency legislation to be passed to rescue the comeback special.

“Surely the Government should have intervened at some stage in this debacle,” he said.

“Many hoteliers, restaurant owners, publicans, young people looking for work, simply can’t believe that the country can almost nonchalantly say we don’t need that.”

Mr Martin said there is an air of disbelief across the country that a major economic project in its own right has been allowed to be cancelled.

It was not beyond the parliament to pass emergency legislation to give a clear signal that Ireland deals hands-on with events that have such an economic impact, he said, adding that his party would back such legislation.

“Is anybody going to do anything about it? Can it be retrieved and can it be rescued?” he asked.

But Mr Kenny said the Government risked being accused of “doing down” the rights of residents around Croke Park and interfering with the planning process if it intervened.

Describing the fall-out as a “bitter economic lesson to have learned”, the Taoiseach said he has ordered a review of the planning process for major events.

“It’s a major loss to the country, to the goodwill and good feeling of all those fans of Garth Brooks that this is lost, not to mention the hard economic loss to people here,” he said.

“It’s a mess.”

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