Garth Brooks Cancelled, The Nation Will Suffer


Heads up, this is a personal opinion. This is a personal opinion of a Garth Brooks fan. Most importantly this is a personal opinion of a ticket holding Garth Brooks fan who is right now trying to control a blinding temper. Anyone who follows me on Twitter may have seen my analogy of this situation as resembling a child being given thousands of free sweets, but refusing them because his mother tells him he has to bin the wrappers himself. Sadly, I feel this analogy is completely accurate to the shambolic handling of the Garth Brooks debacle, which tonight has ended in the definite cancellation of the five gigs in Croke Park.

Blame for this situation has bounced about like a ricocheting bullet, and is yet to fall finally upon anyone. First it was the residents, who are now mostly exonerated due to the revelation of fraudulent claims. Then it went to Peter Aiken as the country slowly but surely found out that licenses are never secure when tickets for concerts go on sale, blame shifts again. Then came the council, where the blame looks closest to sticking. This ordeal has shown one thing, that Ireland is still the country where a tiny minority can spoil the fun for the masses. I’m aware that planning laws must be adhered to, decisions cannot be reversed on a whim and ultimately this was a dead duck once the two gigs were cancelled. But where the council and city manager aware of this?

Why couldn’t an exception be found to enter negotiations first before making this beaureaucratically irreversible decision? Maybe think of the bigger picture, the financial benefits, the reputation we would improve upon having been an absolute joke of a nation that last half decade or so? As a rugby fan, the concept of this country punching above its weight is not a new one to me. When we won the Six Nations this year, the optimism amongst people was palpable. As it had been in 09, in tough times we will take any glimmer going. Look at Ireland in the Euros for God’s sake. We had no chance to begin with, and then got over there to give a horrible display of football. All the while the country was riding high, I watched as a non-football fan and our countrymen and women screamed their hearts out at the games as we were handed several trashings.

We need slivers of light, and these concerts would have represented our biggest one. And they’re not going to happen. Neither will the mooted, and until now very real, chance of us hosting the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Hell, Brooks even refrained from hinting he would return here for a date on his upcoming world tour. Cead mile failte? Dead and buried. We will recover from this, but don’t hold your breath.

*Garth Brooks retains the right to cancel, uncancel and cancel this article again*

Image courtesy of BBC

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