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Brook it Taoiseach Micheál Martin urges Garth Brooks to play in Cork in 2022

Mr Martin said he “would actually” like to attend a Garth Brooks concert and said it was “great now that people are coming back to perform and that we have your concerts” following 18 months of the pandemic.

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Country star Garth Brooks

Country star Garth Brooks

Country star Garth Brooks

TAOISEACH Micheál Martin has said he would like to see Garth Brooks play in Cork next year after three concerts were approved for Croke Park in September 2022.

The country music superstar has sought approval for five nights at GAA headquarters, but Dublin City Council has so far only granted a licence for dates on September 9, 10 and 11 next year with an application September 16 and 17 pending.

Croke Park has a licence to host three concerns per year and any move to hold more concerts, which require a planning submission, is likely to meet with opposition from residents’ associations.

They famously opposed Mr Brooks’s attempts to hold five concerts at the 80,000-seater venue in 2014 leading to him cancelling all five nights despite tickets selling out for the dates.

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Micheal Martin (Don Pollard/CFR/PA)

Micheal Martin (Don Pollard/CFR/PA)

Micheal Martin (Don Pollard/CFR/PA)

Speaking in New York, where he earlier chaired a meeting of the UN Security Council, Mr Martin said: “We could have a few in Cork as well, you know... absolutely yeah.”

Mr Martin said he “would actually” like to attend a Garth Brooks concert and said it was “great now that people are coming back to perform and that we have your concerts” following 18 months of the pandemic.

Speaking about the potential for conflict between the concert promoter, Croke Park and residents, Mr Martin would not be drawn on whether he plans to intervene as he called on one of his predecessors, Enda Kenny, to do in 2014.

“Progress has been made over the years. I think Croke Park has learnt a lot in terms of its engagement with local residents, I think venues more generally now have far more proactive policies, working with local residents, to resolve issues and issues of significant concern," he said.

"That applies to sporting occasions as well as to concerts. People do need access to concerts and to iconic stars and that's something that we've always been good at in Ireland.”

Meanwhile, Mr Martin also paid tribute to the legendary Cork entertainer Billa O’Connell, who died aged 91 on Thursday morning. The Taoiseach described him as a “iconic performer” who had been a good friend of his.

“I think Cork lost a bit of Cork today. He was an incredible person who was quintessential Cork in his humour, in his wit, did many a panto… so there's a generation of Cork people who will be very sad today at his passing but will also celebrate a person who made an enormous contribution to the city," he said.

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