The staging of five Garth Brooks concerts at Croke Park over eight days next year will leave local residents feeling “like prisoners” in their homes, states one of more than 80 complaints lodged with Dublin City Council about the gigs .
People living near the north Dublin stadium objected to the American country singer’s concerts on grounds including possible anti-social behaviour, traffic and parking congestion and noise pollution, documents released under the Freedom of Information Acts show.
Around 80,000 people are expected to attend each show. and dealing with these crowds, one complaint says, would have “a significant negative impact” on the day to day lives of residents.
“Starting with the erection of barriers at the end of the street and ending with the Garda helicopter hovering above the area and the street sweepers up and down the road for hours after the event has finished.”
Residents would “have to deal with rubbish, disruption, inability to move our cars, and having to show proof of address”, the person said.
They added that they “once had my bag searched while trying to access my home” at the time of a previous concert in the stadium.
Three concerts had been granted outdoor event licences for September 9th, 10th and 11th next, but the council last month confirmed it had approved two further licences for gigs on September 16th and 17th.
When ticket sales began more than 280,000 people were waiting in an online queue to buy tickets for the initial run of three shows. By 10pm that night some 200,000 tickets had been sold.
This prompted Brooks to express his delight at the demand in a Twitter post.
“IRELAND!!!!! Just waking up to the news!!!! Unbelievable !!!!!,” he said.
Litter and noise
Eighty-six letters sent to Dublin City Council objecting to its decisions were released to The Irish Times.
One resident objected on the grounds of anti-social behaviour, including that they would face “banging on doors and windows, vomit, urine and poo, litter and noise”.
“Just because Croke Park decided to have events should not mean I cannot come and go to my home and live my life freely,” another person said.
A resident living “under the shadow of Croke Park” said they had experienced their quality of life “diminish over the past 20 years as a direct result of the intensification of the use of the stadium”.
“I hold the local authority directly responsible for this. They have absolutely failed to protect my family’s and my rights,” the person said.
Another resident said they felt locals were “like prisoners in our own home on the nights of the concerts”.
“At a recent daytime match in the venue I found myself having to ask a young man to refrain from urinating on a children’s play area,” they said. “You can imagine how much worse later events, where alcohol consumption is greater, are.”
Another said there was “no justifiable reason other than greed” as to why the concerts could not take place at “an alternative venue”, which would “suit many concert goers who live outside the Dublin area”.
The local community were “very supportive of having one weekend of chaos such as the Ed Sheeran concerts in April”, but the idea of five nights of gigs between September 9th and 17th “appalled” one resident.
Disruption caused by music concerts was “just about bearable when residents know there are only five concerts, spread out throughout the year. The prospect of disruption for two consecutive weekends next year is frankly depressing and upsetting,” another said.
The additional concerts were described as “an unjust attack on property rights” in the letters, and one person suggesting that the decision should be “referred to the EU” as a civil rights issue.