Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson on Tourism Timmy Dooley says serious questions remain unanswered in relation to the Garth Brooks concert debacle. As it stands, none of the five concerts are going ahead, resulting in massive revenue losses for Dublin and Ireland as a whole. The Oireachtas Transport and Tourism Committee has now invited Dublin City Manager Owen Keegan, Aiken Promotions and the GAA to appear before it this week to discuss the situation.
Deputy Dooley commented, “We need to get to the bottom of what happened in this situation and ensure that it is never repeated. There needs to be transparency and accountability in the sales, planning and licencing process so that the public can have confidence in the system. Unfortunately as a result of this fiasco, that confidence has been seriously undermined.
“The cancellation of these concerts has damaged Ireland’s reputation, and could have an impact on our ability to host future events. It has resulted in the loss of at least €50m to the hospitality industry in Dublin, and untold damage for the wider economy. 70,000 of the tickets were bought abroad and many of these fans had booked trips to Ireland to coincide with the gigs. The fact that the concerts will not now be going ahead has left a bitter taste in their mouths, while the other 330,000 ticket holders are angry and disappointed.
“This story has hit the headlines right across the globe and has undermined Ireland’s image as a friendly tourist destination. It could also have an impact on future bids for major sporting and cultural events.
“I published a Bill last Friday, that allows an appeals process to be put in place and gives powers to the Minster for the Environment to overturn the decision by Dublin City Council and allow 5 concerts to go ahead. The ball is now in the Government’s court.
“All of the parties involved, Dublin City Manager Owen Keegan, Aiken Promotions and the GAA, have also been invited to appear before the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Tourism to explain what happened in the run up to this current situation. We are urging all of the parties involved to take up this invitation so that members of the committee, as well as the general public, can understand what has happened”.