'Not legally possible' to change Brooks decision

In a statement issued this evening, Dublin City Council has stressed it is not "legally possible" to alter the decision on the licensing of the Garth Brooks concerts in Croke Park.

Brooks has previously said that he will play "five shows or none at all."

In a statement presented to City Councillors by the Chief Executive, Owen Keegan, he outlined the Council's process in making the decision.

He said he "hopes that Garth Brooks will avail of the licence that has been granted" and play three shows, and sympathises with ticket holders. He also said he hopes the two shows planned for Monday and Tuesday "could be facilitated at some stage in the future."

However, he said the decision cannot be altered now.

"It should be noted that an event licence decision made under the Planning & Development Act cannot be amended or appealed," he wrote.

"It is not legally possible for the Council to reopen the decision to grant a licence or to amend the conditions attaching to that licence. In these circumstances the question of the Council participating in a mediation process that involves changing the Council’s decision does not and cannot arise."

Fianna Fáil published a bill on Friday which would amend the Planning and Development Act to provide for an appeals mechanism, on the grounds of economic, tourism, or reputation reasons.

Sinn Féin called on the council to reverse its decision, while Labour leader Joan Burton asked the council to "resolve" the issue.

The statement also stressed that over the course of a number of meetings between June 3 and June 24, the promoters were told that no decision had been made.

"Dublin City Council stated at both meetings that its most serious concern was the number of shows proposed and the impact on people living in the area."

In making its decision, the council found that "the scale, magnitude and number of the concerts with an expected attendance of in excess of 80,000 people per night" was unprecedented.

They also took into account the three One Direction shows that had already taken place in May, and the "cumulative effect on residents … of licensing five shows in a row, three of them on weekdays."

Meanwhile, RTÉ reports an injunction request has been lodged in the High Court with the aim of preventing any of the concerts proceeding, including those already granted a licence. Further details have yet to emerge.

By Dave Molloy

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