Garth Brooks Cancels All Irish Shows After Row
Country star Garth Brooks has cancelled five sell-out concerts in Ireland after a dispute between residents and venue owners.
The cancellations could cost the recovering economy†?250m, according to Irish premier†Enda Kenny, who admitted the news was a "shock to the system".
Brooks originally planned two performances at the 82,000-seat Croke Park stadium in Dublin later this month, but locals objected when that was increased to five successive shows.
Dublin City Council then denied permission for two of the concerts, saying they would cause "an unacceptable level of disruption" for residents and businesses.
The American singer was quoted as saying it was all or nothing - and the event's promoters have now confirmed none of the concerts will proceed.
"To choose which shows to do, and which shows not to do, would be like asking to choose one child over another," Brooks said last week.
The 52-year-old, who has not toured since 2001, sold 400,000 tickets for his "Comeback Special Event" - equating to almost 10% of Ireland's population.
No act has ever played five shows in a row at Croke Park, the country's largest venue - but Mr Kenny admitted the matter had been "very badly handled all round".
"It's a shock to the system in terms of the economy of this city and the reputation of our country and I do hope that these kind of issues can be more efficiently handled on the next occasion that they arise," he said.
"But there is a planning process in place, which is the law, and that planning process allowed for three concerts."
The issue has pitted business and tourism leaders, ministers and Dublin councillors against one another, but it now seems fans will have to wait for Brooks' wider tour later in the year to hear hits such as The Dance, If Tomorrow Never Comes and Friends In Low Places.
A statement read: "Aiken Promotions have exhausted all avenues regarding the staging of this event."
The promoters say 70,000 of the 400,000 tickets were bought by people living abroad.
"The cancellation of all five concerts in July will tarnish the image of Ireland as a tourist destination to overseas visitors," Adrian Cummins, chief executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland said in a statement.
Ticket-seller Ticketmaster says it will be offering refunds.
Brooks has sold more than 125 million albums worldwide.