Garth Brooks cancels all Dublin shows: Situation 'very badly handled', says Irish premier Enda Kenny

Around 400,000 tickets had been sold for a string of shows by the US singer

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The Independent Culture

Country singer Garth Brooks has cancelled five concerts he had planned to play in Dublin later this month, following a battle between venue owners and local residents.

More than 400,000 tickets had been sold for the string of shows, which were due to start at Croke Park stadium on 25 July.

Irish premier Enda Kenny described the situation as a shock to the system, adding that the unprecedented fall-out was "very badly handled all round" and would cost Dublin's economy.

Brook had been in semi-retirement for more than a decade, and the stint had been billed as a “Comeback Special” for the 52-year-old singer, who is one of the best-selling musicians in US history.

But residents local to the stadium complained when Brooks announced plans to extend his initial two-show stint to cope with demand from fans.

The dispute grew increasingly bitter, sparking a legal bid by some residents to have the shows cancelled, and a rival petition calling for them all to go ahead.

Last week, the spat culminated in Dublin City Council refused to grant permission for five shows, citing that they would cause “an unacceptable level of disruption” for residents and businesses. Licences were granted for three nights only, on July 25, 26 and 27.

Brooks responded by releasing a statement to say he would play five shows or none.

“To choose which shows to do and which shows not to do, would be like asking to choose one child over another,” he said.

Promoter Peter Aiken said Tuesday that attempts to reach agreement among the feuding parties had failed and “no concerts will take place.”

Ticket-seller Ticketmaster said it would be offering refunds.