The GAA & the Garth Brooks debacle


THIS week’s column comes to you hot on the heels of the confirmation that all five Garth Brooks concerts, due to take place in Croke Park later this month, have been cancelled. As you read this, the blame game is in full swing, and in this Hurler has little sympathy for the GAA. That’s not to say that the other stakeholders, namely Garth Brooks, Aiken Promotions, the various residents’ groups, the Dublin City Manager Owen Keegan, Dublin City Council and those ultimately responsible for failing to update the daft legislation surrounding the licensing of concerts – our 166 Dail deputies and the 60 senators – emerge with much credit either. The whole lot of them should hang their heads in shame. But Hurler is really only concerned here with the role played by the GAA. This column is known to back the GAA, sometimes blindly, but, in this instance, has zero sympathy for the bind they found themselves in over the last week.

In simple terms, once the Garth Brooks concerts triggered a phenomenon in which 10% of the entire population of Ireland decided they would like to go see him in the flesh, the GAA and Aiken Promotions became blinded by greed and added on concerts willy-nilly. The ins-and-outs of who did what have been well documented elsewhere, suffice to say the GAA’s compliance in riding roughshod over an understanding in place with the residents groups did not remotely surprise this column. The GAA are becoming increasingly about the money – thanks in no small measure to a man by the name of McKenna.

To read more of ‘Hurler on the Ditch’ click here.