Community meeting | 

Mixed opinions among residents to planned Garth Brooks Croke Park dates

'I have no problem with three concerts taking place, but why can't it be spread around. Why can't they have concerts in other parts or other venues instead of all in the one location?'

Garth Brooks pictured at Croke Park

Fiona Dillon

There are mixed opinions among local residents attending a meeting tonight about concerts planned for next year at Croke Park.

Under current plans, Garth Brooks is expected to play three concerts in Croke Park, on September 9, 10 and 11, 2022.

An application for two more dates, on September 16 and 17, 2022, has also been received by the Dublin City Council.

Meanwhile, Ed Sheeran will play two nights next April.

While there has yet to be an official announcement about the Garth Brooks concert plans, Croke Park invited local residents living in the stadium’s 1.5km community area to attend a special local community meeting starting at 7pm in the new handball and community centre on Sackville Avenue.

It offered residents “an opportunity for you to meet in person with senior management from the stadium and Aiken Promotions to specifically learn more from them about stadium concert planning for next year.”

A resident on his way in, who did not want to be named, told "I live probably a little over a kilometre from the park. I am outside the cordon when matches are on. But parking is a huge problem in our area.

"I have no problem with three concerts taking place, but why can't it be spread around. Why can't they have concerts in other parts or other venues instead of all in the one location?"

He said he had no issue with matches, but "concerts get too much time, after time. You could put up with it now and again."

Also attending the meeting, Dublin Independent councillor Nial Ring said this time round, the promoter and the GAA have engaged very early on, around "a year before the Garth Brooks proposed concerts."

He said he would hope the GAA, and the various parties would listen.

"There are fears, there are anxieties, there are various side issues, and hopefully they listen, and if they listen and can come to an agreement, I think that would be terrific. "

Mr Ring said he believed "this could be a further boost for the area, bringing a lot of jobs, a lot of buzz around the area, for local pubs, clubs, shops, hotels making a few bob.”

"Maybe it is something that we can actually do, and it's really down to the community and if their fears can be allayed and the communication can be as good as hopefully it's going to start this evening, well hopefully we can get a positive result."

He said the fact that the proposed concerts would take place over two weekends may help.

"But we will see. This is what we are here to discuss and that is why it is great to see this engagement with the various stakeholders.

"But ultimately, this will be a decision of the community."

Local resident Susan Mangan who lives on the Ballybough Road, was in favour of the Garth Brooks concerts back in 2014, and is still in favour of them happening today.

She believed it would provide "a much needed boost for the economy around the area," pointing out he is a world famous superstar.

"I think it brings a lot of good. A lot of local people are employed by Croke Park and five nights of concerts put on here, is five nights of work for local people.

"I think five nights out of the year is not a lot to put up with. We have had two years of no concerts here, we are coming out of a very dark time with Covid. This is something positive for the community, for the local businesses."

She said there can be parking issues but when it comes to disruption "but there is constant movement.”

"We do have things in place with the gardaI and traffic control. Everything is moving and it does work okay. Not saying it can't be improved, but that is what tonight is about. Sitting down and putting the issues across and hopefully having them sorted."

Physiotherapist Tracy Lowry who lives right beside Croke Park was also in favour of the concerts going ahead.

Ms Lowry pointed out that the concerts would bring employment to the area, in that two week period.

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