Northern Ireland

Garth Brooks Dublin concerts matinee plan 'not feasible'

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Media captionWhy were all five of Garth Brooks sell-out Irish shows cancelled?

A deal proposing to stage two Garth Brooks concerts in Dublin as matinees has been described as "not feasible".

In a statement, Dublin City Council said the proposal for matinees was made by Aiken Promotions.

However, Aiken Promotions issued a statement on Thursday night saying the plan "is not feasible".

Last week, Dublin City Council granted permission for only three of five planned concerts in Croke Park later this month.

All five were called off on Tuesday.

Earlier, Brooks criticised the handling of the controversy.

Under the matinee proposals, Saturday 26 July and Sunday 27 July daytime gigs would take place between 14:00 BST and 18:00 BST, with the night-time concerts from 20:00 BST to 23:00 BST.

The council accepted the deal on the basis that it would still be within the legislative framework of the three-day licence.

However, in response to the proposal, Brooks said "to treat 160,000 people differently than all the rest and to see a show other than how it was meant and created is wrong".

He also said it "cannot possibly compare" to a five-night straight run.

Earlier, addressing a news conference in Nashville, Brooks said he "didn't have a clue how we got here".

"Don't sell a show to people, get their hopes up and then just cancel."

He said that the "powers who can fix it" should "open it up for the five nights, let everybody have fun and then go to work on never letting it happen again".

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Media captionGarth Brooks offered to meet the Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny to resolve the issue over licensing

The US star added that if Irish prime minister Enda Kenny wanted to speak with him, he would "crawl, swim and fly over".

He said: "I will drop on my knees and beg for those five nights so people can come."

A planned meeting between the Irish Parliament's transport committee, the GAA (which owns Croke Park) and Aiken Promotions on Friday has been postponed.

The concerts were cancelled on Tuesday, after the council said only three of five proposed concerts could go ahead.

The singer told his promoter he would either perform all five gigs or none, but he would "go to the last second".

Image caption Garth Brooks wrote to promoter Peter Aiken on Wednesday

Arrangements for the refunding of 400,000 tickets for the Croke Park concerts were revealed on Wednesday.

Later that day, a letter from the country music star to Irish concert promoter Peter Aiken was made public.

In it, he wrote: "Our guys are still en route and if there is any chance that the five planned concerts can be salvaged and nobody is being let down then we can proceed as planned until the refunds begin."

Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke said Mexico's ambassador to Ireland had offered his assistance.

"The Mexican ambassador contacted me yesterday and he offered his services at a diplomatic level if he could be any help," he told Irish broadcaster RTÉ.

"I had a group of residents from Ballybough who said they intend to call Barack Obama to try to encourage Garth Brooks to play in Dublin."

Croke Park, owned by the GAA, is in a residential area in the north of the city, and some residents had threatened legal action after the initial two concerts were increased to five because of unprecedented demand.

However, the residents' group most opposed to the holding of the concerts has said it will now agree to some going ahead.

Eamon O'Brien of the Croke Park Streets Committee had previously threatened legal action against any of the concerts.

Mr O'Brien said that "in the interest of all the Croke Park communities we are prepared to consider a new direction with a view to facilitating the holding of the Garth Brooks concerts".

It has been 17 years since Brooks' last concert in Dublin, and the Croke Park shows were supposed to mark his comeback.

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