Garth Brooks indicates he will not return to Ireland as all five Croke Park concerts cancelled
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Garth Brooks indicates he will not return to Ireland as all five Croke Park concerts cancelled

GARTH Brooks has indicated that he will not return to Ireland as part of his upcoming world tour after finally confirming last night that all five of his Croke Park concerts have been cancelled.

In a statement released on Monday evening the singer confirmed that none of the shows would go ahead, despite suggestions that some of them could be pushed back till later in the year.

It is understood that Brooks was offered the chance to play three of the Dublin shows this month and then two or potentially three more in October.

But the issue could not be resolved, and 400,000 fans were left disappointed when he revealed that he was "crushed" to announce that Ticketmaster refunds for all the shows would begin at 9am on Thursday.

The singer also indicated that he has no plans to add Irish dates to his upcoming world tour and instead urged Irish fans to "come see the show, at some point around the world."

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Aiken Promotions said it “regretted to announce that despite pursuing all possible solutions, the concerts the five concert Garth Brooks Comeback Special Event at Croke Park is cancelled. No concerts will take place.”

The statement from Brooks last night confirmed the news, when he said: "As hard as I try, I cannot see the light on this one."

"I have always been advised to never send a message in the moment. It is said it is best to take a walk, wait a while and think about it.

"With that said, I just received the news the Irish council cannot change their earlier ruling to not allow the licences for all five shows.

"To say I am crushed is an understatement. All I see is my mother's face and I hear her voice. She always said things happen for a reason and for the right reason. As hard as I try, I cannot see the light on this one.

"So it is with a broken heart, I announce the ticket refunds for the event will go as posted by Ticketmaster."

The statement ended speculation in recent days that a compromise could be reached and that there could be a last-ditch attempt to stage the shows.

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"I want to thank the Irish authorities for going the distance for all of us who wanted to share songs and dance together,” Brooks added.

"I really want to thank all the people around the world that continued to think good thoughts that this would actually happen.

"Most of all, to Peter Aiken and those 400,000 people who believed enough to go through what they have been through to get to this point . . . I love you, always have, always will.

"I encourage any and all of them that can – come see the show, at some point around the world, to bring your Irish flags and wave them proudly at the concerts. I will be looking for you . . . Garth."

A senior government source in Ireland said that negotiations yesterday had considered holding three shows on the last weekend in July, as originally planned, and delaying the other two shows until October.

An additional sixth gig had even been suggested in order to reach an agreement, but it is believed that logistic restrictions and planning concerns meant the split offer was not straightforward.

The Brooks statement came as politicians prepare to scrutinise the decision by Dublin City Council to approve licenses for only three of the five shows at the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications today.

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The Chief Executive of the council Owen Keegan will appear before the members to discuss the issue today.

Concert promoter Peter Aiken and GAA officials will face the committee tomorrow.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary described the situation surrounding the concerts as "bizarre", and that "it wouldn't happen in any other country in the world."

The staging of Brooks' concerts on five consecutive nights at the end of this month angered residents surrounding the GAA's headquarters, and contributed to the council's decision to only give permission to three of the five shows.

The cancellation of the gigs became a national issue in Ireland, with Dublin’s Chamber of Commerce stating that the economy could lose out on a €50 million windfall if the Garth Brooks concerts do not go ahead.

Last week, the Taoiseach also intervened in the fiasco in an attempt to resolve the situation by placing increasing pressure on the council to reach a more favourable outcome.

But a compromise could not be reached and the 400,000 fans are now left to count the costs try to claim back travel and accommodation costs to the Dublin gigs.

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