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Waiting for Garth Garth Brooks coming to 'totally different Croke Park environment' than in 2014 says councillor

Cllr Nial Ring previously slammed "Greedy" Garth for his behaviour which he described as “dishonest, disingenuous and petulant” at the time

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Country star Garth Brooks

Country star Garth Brooks

Country star Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks will be coming to a “totally different Croke Park environment” if the rumours that he is to play the Dublin stadium next year come true, one local councillor has said. 

The music megastar is understood to be finalising plans for a series of gigs in Croke Park in 2022.

According to Virgin Media News negotiations are at an advanced stage and the country music singer is set to return to the venue for a number of dates in September 2022.

No official comment has been made as of yet by Croke Park or by the Dublin County Council.

In 2014 the singer cancelled five sell out gigs for the Garth Brooks Comeback Special concert in Croke Park which left 400,000 fans disappointed after they had purchased tickets.

Cllr Nial Ring was one of the outspoken objectors when ‘Garthgate’ erupted, slamming "Greedy" Garth for his behaviour which he described as “dishonest, disingenuous and petulant” at the time.

"Seven years ago the relationship between Croke Park and the local community was toxic, with threats to close down the local handball/community centre,” said Cllr Ring who was on the management committee at the time.

"Seven years later the locals now have a €15m state of the art Handball & Community Centre, thanks to years of mediation led by former taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, and residents and community representatives.

"Nowadays the consultation and engagement between Croke Park and the local community is excellent and I would expect the GAA to come out quickly and communicate with the local community on exactly what is the status of the rumoured concerts.

He added: “As long as this communication process is in place and we can see some community gain from allowing the concerts, I am sure that Gareth would be welcomed to our area as long as he remembers that he won't be the biggest star in the North Inner City - that's our own Kellie Harrington.

Seven years ago, the controversy made headlines around the world as the international superstar was set to return to Ireland for the first time since 1997.

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The initial plans allowed for two shows at Croke Park and many fans camped out over night to secure the much sought-after tickets.

Dublin City Council only granted a license for three of the sell-out shows, however, and the country star insisted it was five or nothing. As a result 400,000 refunds were issued and fans were left broken hearted.

The Croke Park Residents Association has said Brooks is welcome to the area but only for three nights.

Three concerts a year are allowed at Croke Park, and organisers then have to apply for a licence for any further gigs.

Patrick Gates from the Croke Park Residents Association says nobody wants a repeat of 2014.

He said: "We don't mind Garth Brooks coming - we'd welcome him. Croke Park are entitled to three concerts: if they want to have Garth Brooks for those three concerts, I don't think residents would have any problem,” he told Newstalk.

"But any more than three concerts... certainly that's a real cause for concern for the residents.

"It's just because Croke Park seems to be incapable of properly managing the events outside their stadium - it causes all sorts of problems in terms of public order."

He said there have been problems with anti-social behaviour in the area, linked to recent matches at the stadium.

He stressed it is all still rumours at this stage, and they haven't had any consultation with Croke Park about what is and is not planned.

However, Susan Mangan who led the “for Garth” side in 2014 says she is delighted at the prospect of a Garth Brooks series of concerts next year.

“I’m delighted and I’m sure the community will be delighted, she said. “Back then there was a division in the community between those who were for the concerts and those who were against.

“But the community is back together now and I’m pretty sure people would be looking forward to hm coming. It’s positive news, for local businesses and the pubs as well.

“It’s seven years later and people have moved on,” she added. “But I don't think there will be five gigs. I think they will stick with the three and that will have to be ironed out with the community.

“The community I’m part of, in Ballybough Avenue, has a great relationship with Croke Park. They do great things for the kids and the old people,” she added.

“Now, we’re in a better position, and we’re all just looking for a positive now. We’re coming out of a very dark period over the last 18 months so this is good for everyone.”

A self-confessed Garth Brooks fan, Susan bought tickets in 2014 and still has them.

Asked if she buy tickets if or when they go sale she said that not only would she be top of the queue but she would at the airport waiting for Garth.

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