'Five shows or nothing' - Brooks' ultimatum as thousands of British fans face further disappointment
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'Five shows or nothing' - Brooks' ultimatum as thousands of British fans face further disappointment

GARTH Brooks has told his 400,000 fans, including 70,000 from overseas, that "it's five shows or none at all" at Croke Park this month. 

The singer’s ultimatum follows the decision by Dublin City Council to give permission to only three of the five proposed concerts that were to take place at GAA headquarters.

In a statement issued on Thursday evening, Mr Brooks said: "I can't thank the people of Ireland enough for how welcome they have made me feel.

"I have faith that Dublin City Council will make the best decision for the people of Ireland.

"For us, it is five shows or none at all. To choose which shows to do and which shows not to do, would be like asking to choose one child over another."

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70,000 overseas fans had bought tickets to see the country singer in Dublin, with many British-based fans sharing their disappointment with the council’s decision on social media.

Peter Aiken of Aiken Promotions, the promoter of Brooks' Croke Park concerts, suggested that there is a possibility that none of the shows at GAA’s headquarters would go ahead, after the council cited unacceptable levels of disruption to the local community in their decision to deny permission for the concerts on Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 July.

The singer was devastated by the decision and felt that it was unfair that the 160,000 people who had bought tickets to the two cancelled shows could no longer attend, according to Mr Aiken.

He added that the performances at Croke Park had increased in size from the initial two shows to a large-scale one-off production. As a result, Mr Aiken said that the production costs had been scaled accordingly and that it would not be possible to simply cancel two of the five shows.

In a statement from Dublin City council, the reasons given for reducing the number of concerts to three were that they did not want to set a precedent for increasing the number of concerts in Croke Park in the future.

It highlighted that allowing the five Garth Brooks concerts in addition to the three One Direction concerts would have doubled the previous maximum number of annual shows, and also that several of the proposed Garth Brooks concerts were due to take place on on week nights.

There is no right of appeal against the council's decision except by going to the courts.

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The GAA said it will assess the implications of the council's decision.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, meanwhile, told the Irish Independent that he hopes something can be done to save the two axed Garth Brooks concerts.

"I understand it is to do with a planning issue and the council made its decision here. I hope everyone can work out a consequence to that," he said.