“Life is not tried, it is merely survived”, a country singer once mused and by God don’t the people of Ireland know it well by now.
Little more than a week since Dublin City Council gave permission for only three of five Garth Brooks gigs and the main man himself said it’s ALL or nothin’ leading to their cancellation, we’re struggling to survive at the thought of not having him come to play a few tunes for us.
(For a full rundown of events see TheJournal.ie – they’ve got you covered)
It’s no secret that an estimated one in ten Irish people had tickets to see the man himself play at Croker, but given the fact that one of the gigs was said to have been booked up by international fans it’s ever so slightly hard to figure out just how many of us were actually going.
Let’s pop our cards on the table here before we really begin: The cancellation of the last two gigs was completely warranted in my opinion. Not because I dislike Garth Brooks or think his fans should be denied the opportunity to see him play – I feel sorry for them actually – but because the locals really DO deserve a bit of a break.
I’ve grown up in Dublin 9, about a 15 minute walk from the stadium, and I remember the days when gigs could go on with little or no disruption. Then, at the jolly old age of 24, I ventured down for One Direction this summer.
To say the place was in lockdown was an understatement.
Walking out of the stadium I was greeted by throngs of street sellers (the legality of whom I’m genuinely always confused about) screaming about selling off the last of the t-shirts on a tiny residential street, which was quickly filling with concert goers who were eager to get home.
Peering in the windows of houses at 10.30pm after a non-drinking gig, I genuinely couldn’t help but think “thank God this isn’t going on outside my gaf”. When I got to the usually busy Drumcondra Road and realised it had been completely closed off I really thought they were actually taking the p*ss.
The Team Garth versus Team Residents debate, egged on by the “it’ll RUIN us forever” argument, is largely irrelevant at this point though. It’s the “funeral without a corpse”, as Dublin’s Lord Mayor Christy Burke referred to it on RTÉ’s Six One news, that’s really left many of us with our heads in our hands.
The country’s reputation is at stake all right, but not because we called off a few gigs. You see, it seems that when we actually enforce our own laws in Ireland it’s a problem.
Garth, meanwhile, doesn’t seem to get why his five or nothin’ offer was refused and is still bringing his boat to town in the hops of overturning the decision. He’s basically not taking no for an answer.
What are we to do?
Never fear, the Government is here: An Taoiseach Enda Kenny is only too eager to play the hero for a nation that’s been crippled by the cancellation of five gigs in Croker.
It may have taken himself and his predecessors a few decades to pay attention to mother and baby homes, institutional and clerical abuse and corruption, but they’ll spring to action quick sharp when running the risk of discovering that tomorrow might NEVER come.
About 35 EU summits, 18 Troika meetings, 3 visits to the White House & Enda finally decides to play hardball on a country & western concert.
— Oireachtas Retort (@Oireachtas_RX) July 9, 2014
And if all else fails can’t we just call our good pal Barack Obama? We’ve got friends in high places, so we do, and we’re definitely not afraid to use them in times like these.
“I had a group of residents from Ballybough who… intend to call Mr Obama to try to encourage… Brooks to play”. How mortifying for us all
— Conor Pope (@conor_pope) July 10, 2014
Sure we know you’ve got to be tough when consumed by desire, cause it’s not enough just to stand outside the fire.
It’s safe to say we’re all going up in flames now anyway.