Tuesday 12 December 2017

Garth gig debacle must never happen again

THE saga of Garth Brooks' gigs - or the shortage of them - had more twists than a spy novel.

What led up to yesterday's cancellation of all five gigs represented a monumental cock-up, a fiasco that's hugely damaged the reputation of this country.

The promoters sold the tickets before they had planning permission. The GAA gave the go-ahead to five gigs, instead of the annual three they agreed with residents.

The City Manager, who made the decision, says he cannot by law return to it.

And at the back of it all Brooks himself has behaved like a petulant child, claiming that it will be five gigs or none,

And then the whole lot was cancelled yesterday afternoon, leaving 400,000 fans bitterly disappointed.

It is estimated that €50m in revenue has been lost now that the five gigs won't go ahead, and on top of that we have the chaos of punters cancelling tickets and looking for refunds.


Behind it all it appears that no legal mechanism existed to reverse the City Manager's decision.

There was a solution, though, one way to get out of this seemingly intractable morass.

An emergency bill could have been passed by the Dail to create an appeals process to City Council planning decisions. If passed this would have given the Government powers to deal with this issue, ruling definitively on the matter.

Such a law would also ensure that a costly debacle like this would never happen again.

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