'I'm coming back' | 

Garth Brooks says Ireland is a unique place in which to perform as he plans his return

‘As somebody who does this for a living, to come over here, any chance to play here, I would love that’

Garth and Trish backstage at Croke Park

Eddie RowleySunday World

American country superstar Garth Brooks revealed that he will definitely be returning to Ireland.

Speaking to the Sunday World backstage before taking to the stage for his final Croke Park concert after an incredible five nights of shows in the iconic GAA stadium, Garth said: “What you guys give an artist you can’t get anywhere else on the planet. “As somebody who does this for a living, to come over here, any chance to play here, I would love that.”

He indicated that this could include Croke Park but he’s also looking at what Ed Sheeran did, as in performing at the iconic Dublin venue but also others around the country such as Thomand Park.

He said: “Ed Sheeran, who I love to death, I look at his two nights in Croke Park and then playing somewhere else. And, after traveling around this week, I don’t mind coming to you.

“Once you’ve tasted it you can’t come back here quick enough.”

He also paid a tribute to the Irish promoter Jim Aiken, the man who first brought him here back in 1994.

“I owe Jim Aiken the same as I owe Kent Blazy, the songwriter who wrote ‘If Tomorrow Never Comes’, because he’s the one who introduced me to this woman here tonight,” he said, standing beside his wife Trisha Yearwood.

“Me not meeting Jim Aiken would be the same as me not meeting Kent Blazy, it’s changed my life, and Ireland has made me a better artist, a better musician and a better songwriter. And what I love about Ireland is that it makes me a better person.”

Garth and his country star wife, Trisha Yearwood, have been enjoying what he described as “our second honeymoon” since arriving in Ireland.

The happy couple visited scenic Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, on Monday and popped into the Wicklow Heather restaurant in nearby Laragh for lunch, posing afterwards with delighted owner Betty Kenny.

She said they were “such a lovely couple and we were so happy to show them our antique book collection”.

Last night, Trisha Yearwood told reporters that that was her favourite restaurant on the trip.

Then, on Tuesday, Brooks made his way to Limerick where he greeted members of the Munster rugby squad who were training in University of Limerick. He readily posed for a picture with the entire team while also having a game of basketball on campus.

According to Munster assistant coach Denis Leamy, Brooks “just showed up out of the blue” while they were in the middle of a session.

“We were doing an indoor preparation session; a little bit of mauling. So he arrived with his camera crew and a few of his people into the middle of it. It was quite bizarre really,” he said.

Garth has been mingling with locals, including those around Croke Park, and posing for selfies wherever he all week.

However, the superstar’s every move has been shadowed by a film crew capturing his Irish visit for a special Netflix documentary to be screened in the near future.

The documentary will focus on the incredible connection that Garth has made with the Irish people, the 2014 debacle when all five sold-out shows were cancelled, and his triumphant return this week from the moment he touched down at Dublin Airport.

Meanwhile, Nathan Carter yesterday predicted the hype around Garth’s Croker gigs will give our country music scene a oost in the aftermath of the pandemic.

“There is now a general feeling that after Garth Brooks putting such a massive spotlight on country music and attracting people who might never have been to such shows before, he has created a whole new fanbase for everyone working on the Irish scene,” Nathan said.

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