Northern Ireland news

Reports country music star Garth Brooks could play five gigs over two weekends at Croke Park

Speculation is mounting that Garth Brooks could perform at Croke Park next year

Residents in the area around Croke Park are objecting to a plan for Garth Brooks to play five concerts over two weekends.

As speculation mounts over whether the singer will finally perform at the Dublin venue, it is also understood that Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band and Ed Sheeran are also being lined up to perform in the Republic in 2022.

It was reported that Brooks hopes to stage five concerts at the Dublin stadium next September after a similar plan collapsed in 2014.

Croke Park already has planning permission for three gigs in a year.

It is understood Brooks team are expected to apply for a compliance certification for three gigs and then ask for an event licence for two more shows.

Negotiations on bringing Brooks to Dublin are understood to be at an "advanced stage".

It comes as rumours also circulate that Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band could play two gigs at Croke Park in April.

There are also suggestions that Ed Sheeran could make an appearance in the Republic in 2022, but possibly at a different venue, possibly Cork's Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Virgin Media News said: "We understand the event licence being sought for Croke Park for two dates next April is for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band - there’s also a prospect of Ed Sheerin, though other Irish venues are being examined for him for 2022".

Springsteen, who last performed in Dublin in 2016, previously hinted at a return to the Republic during an appearance on The Late Late Show with Ryan Tubridy.

"My antenna tells me that will not happen before 2022 and I’d count ourselves lucky if it happens then," he said.

The speculation surrounding Brooks playing at the home of the GAA comes after five concert dates in 2014 were cancelled, causing uproar among fans.

Three dates were initially planned for July 2014, but demand saw another two shows added to the schedule for the Oklahoma-born singer, who had previously played the iconic venue in 1997 when construction work was taking place.

However, opposition to the shows by residents living close to Croke Park, along with Dublin City Council refusing permission for two of the gigs eventually led to Brooks cancelling all five concerts.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne yesterday, the chairperson of the Croke Park Residents Association, Patrick Gates, said proper consultation was needed with residents.

He said reports around Brooks performing at the stadium had not been officially communicated to them,

"We are all looking forward to opening up and moving past Covid... but it has to be done in a respectful way that is cognisant of local needs," he said.

He said residents do not have a problem with a run of three concerts by Garth Brooks or anyone else, but any more than that would be a problem.

The GAA did not respond to a request for information, while Dublin City Council said it did "not have any comment to make on this".

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