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Garth Brooks Sparks Meeting of Dublin Powers as Shows On Brink

Dublin city authorities are due to meet today to try and resolve an impasse that led to the cancelation of five concerts by U.S. singer Garth Brooks.

Some 400,000 people, the equivalent of about one in 10 of the Irish population, had been due to attend the shows later this month, before city authorities refused permission for two of the concerts.

Brooks, a top-selling U.S. artist who has sold more than 123 million albums during his career, this week canceled all the remaining concerts, before yesterday suggesting in an e-mail to his Irish promoter that he would perform if the “powers that be” could intervene to ensure all five shows went head.

The Brooks controversy is dominating the media in Ireland, leading news bulletins and newspapers, and has been discussed in parliament by Prime Minister Enda Kenny. The city’s mayor Christy Burke said today he’ll meet with Dublin City Council’s chief executive to try and resolve the matter.

“The nation is crying out for it to be resolved,” Burke said in an interview with RTE Radio today. He said the Mexican ambassador in Ireland had offered to mediate, and that some local residents wanted U.S. President Barack Obama to get involved.

Dublin City Council refused permission for two of the shows, amid objections from some residents around Croke Park, where the five concerts were due to be held.

Paddy Power Plc, Ireland’s largest bookmaker, today suspended bets on the shows taking place.

“After relentless backing from suspicious Stetson wearing punters in Paddy Power shops from Letterkenny to Listowel it means that all bets are off but the gigs look to be very much on,” the Dublin-based company said.

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