Dublin City Councillors will vote on an emergency motion from Fianna Fáil this evening demanding the City Manager take whatever steps are necessary to facilitate the licensing all 5 concerts by Garth Brooks at Croke Park this month.
Fianna Fáil City Councillor Jim O’Callaghan has said “If the City Manager refuses to recognise the unique importance of these events to the city economy he should at the very least allow the elected councillors to have their say on the issue.
Fianna Fáil held a press conference in Dublin this morning where representatives of the retail, restaurant, hotel and pub trade warned that the city faces missing out on €50m. This figure is conservative considering how much inward tourism we’re likely to have as a result of the concerts.
Councillor O’Callaghan said: “This is very damaging to Dublin’s international reputation as a major city for key entertainment and sporting events. We recognise that the statutory scheme governing the granting of licences for outdoor events is clearly not up to scratch and needs to be completely overhauled but we need to find a way to resolve this issue and allow these events to go ahead at the end of the month.
“Fianna Fáil has published legislation, a Bill to amend the Planning and Development Act, to provide for an appeals mechanism in cases where local authorities refuse to grant an event licence. Under the Bill appeals can be made on economic and tourism grounds, or if the refusal to grant the licence could damage the country’s reputation.
“There are very detailed and considered proposals that have been put forward by Kieran Mulvey to establish a proper structure around holding major events like these at Croke Park. I think these would go a long way to addressing the concerns of residents and we are fully supportive of these recommendations being adopted by all sides.”
The emergency motion being tabled by Fianna Fáil at today’s meeting of Dublin City Council is worded as follows:
“The elected members of Dublin City Council, having noted:
a. The unique importance of the 5 Garth Brooks’ concerts to the tourism and economy of Dublin city;
b. The impact that cancellation of 2 of the concerts will have on 160,000 purchasers of tickets;
c. The fact that the decision to refuse a license for 2 of the 5 concerts was a decision made without any recourse to or consultation with the elected members of the council;
d. The fact that the statutory scheme governing the grant of licences for outdoor events does not provide, in breach of fair procedures, for an appeal;
and notwithstanding the carelessness of the concert promoter’s decision to sell tickets for an event that was yet to be licensed when it must or should have been aware of the opposition that would exist amongst local residents to 5 consecutive concerts,
call upon the city manager to reverse his decision to refuse a license to 2 of the 5 concerts or, in the alternative, requires the city manager to recognise that a decision of this importance and magnitude is a matter for the elected members of the council.”
Cllrs Jim O’Callaghan, Deirdre Heney, Tom Brabazon, Sean Haughey, Frank Kennedy, Catherine Ardagh and Daithi de Roiste