Residents threatened with legal action for disrupting U2 exit

Angry residents reached an uneasy truce with the GAA last night over a row caused by the removal of the massive U2 stage at Dublin’s Croke Park.

Earlier, protesting residents had been told they could be liable for financial losses to the band running to “multiple millions of euros”.

A group of 50 residents were handed letters from promoters MCD early yesterday morning warning them that preventing the removal of stage equipment was against the law.

“We now put you on notice that we will seek legal redress to recoup all financial losses incurred as a result of your actions,” the letter states. “These substantial losses include, but are not limited to, losses incurred by U2 and/or Live Nation Global Touring from potentially cancelled shows. Such losses can be expected to run into multiple millions of euros.”

A spokesman for MCD did not return calls yesterday.

The protests mounted by local residents delayed the movement of the band's stage — but were eventually called off after the GAA apologised for the upheaval caused by the operation.

Locals began the demonstrations early yesterday morning when U2's crew started to move the stage, eventually causing 50 trucks carrying some of the stage, TV screens, lighting and sound equipment to miss the intended morning ferry to Gothenburg in Sweden.

Lengthy talks aimed at ending the dispute over noise caused by the operation led to a statement from the GAA's director general promising to engage more with residents at future events.

“We thank the local community for their understanding and co-operation in assisting the efforts to bring about a resolution and we apologise for any inconvenience caused to residents in the last 48 hours,” said Paraic Duffy.

“We have listened carefully to their views and we are committed to a process of dialogue which will be consultative in its nature in an effort to achieving the best possible outcome for all concerned in the running of the major events at Pairc an Chrocaigh.”

Croke Park’s pitch was returned to the ground yesterday afternoon. Workers moved quickly to lay the sod in advance of the weekend's three All-Ireland quarter-final matches.

The bank holiday weekend triple-bill will see Cork take on Donegal and Tyrone against Kildare on Sunday. Dublin are set to take on Kerry on Monday.

The pitch was ripped up prior to the gigs in order to facilitate the 390-tonne ‘Claw' structure.

The surface was replaced with sand before metal sheeting was laid down to facilitate the crowds.

There has been ongoing tension over the last number of years at the number of events staged in Croke Park, with locals claiming the stadium is now used for 26 weekends a year, well in excess of similar arrangements in cities such as Cardiff.

The protests centred around the continuous 44-hour period from 1am yesterday which Dublin City Council gave the band to dismantle the stage.

Last night, a spokesman for the residents said they had received numerous promises over the years about disruption at the stadium.

“This time around we have sent a message, and hopefully one that is heard because quite often we feel like we are baying at the moon,” said Dave Purdue.

“Really, we are at a point where enough is enough.

“The 48 hours was the straw that broke the camel's back on this one. There have been plenty of new dawns over the years. I think actions will speak a lot louder than press releases.”

The protests resulted in some trucks missing a ferry and departing several hours late.

“We should all not be talking to you and [should be] on a boat,” said the tour's production director, Jake Berry.

He said that the band did not want to risk accidents by driving heavily laden trucks past protesters outside the stadium.

“It affects the tour schedule. Read that any way you want,” he said. The band were told of the protests at about 5am yesterday when their private jet landed in Nice, France, where they are staying inbetween gigs.

“It's just really put a damp squib on something that was a fantastic experience and fantastic show,” said Mr Berry.

The band will play Gothenburg on Friday and Saturday before travelling to Gelsenkirchenin, Germany, on Monday, and Chorzow in Poland, on 6 August.

From The Belfast Telegraph

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Angel Di Maria is shown the red card
Roger Federer after his win over Tomas Berdych
Life and Style
News in briefs: big pants in 'Bridget Jones's Diary'
fashionBig knickers are back
James Milner is set to sign for Liverpool this week despite rival interest from Arsenal
sportReds baulk at Benteke £32.5m release clause
The controversial Motor Neurone Disease Association poster, featuring sufferer Michael Smith, has drawn a series of angry complaints
newsThis one has been criticised for its 'threatening tone'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: European Sales Director - Aerospace Cable & Wire

£100000 - £125000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a top tier supplier to the...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Project Manager

£17100 - £22900 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the North West's leading...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an intermediate help de...

Recruitment Genius: CNC Turner

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This long established manufactu...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral