A HIGH-profile act such as U2, Coldplay or Garth Brooks could be performing in the Gaelic Grounds as soon as next summer, after the GAA were given the green light to host concerts at the Ennis Road venue.
Rejecting an inspector’s recommendation not to grant permission for music gigs, An Bord Pleanala have given the go ahead to the GAA to host concerts at Páirc na nGael for the next four years.
Each concert, GAA officials say, would mean a cash injection of €10m for the local economy.
“We would be looking at a high-profile act but we would also be looking at an act that would attract a following that would be least likely to cause disruption in the locality,” explained Oliver Mann, chairman of Limerick County Board, in the aftermath of the decision to allow concerts in the stadium.
“We don’t want to discommode the residents in the area if at all possible. If there is disruption caused, we want to keep that to an absolute minimum,” he added.
Páirc na nGael could physically hold concerts for up to 49,000 people - nearly 15,000 more than that of nearby Thomond Park, which is well established as a concert venue, playing host to Bruce Springsteen this summer.
“We will have to see the draws for the Munster championship. If it’s feasible we would hope to have a concert next summer,” said Mr Mann.
In February, Limerick City Council gave the go-ahead to the GAA to hold concerts in the venue despite objections from residents’ associations.
The decision was appealed in March by Greystones and District Residents’ Association, Residents of Coolraine Terrace and Clareview Residents’ Association.
They objected on a number of grounds including an inadequate parking plan, the potential for litter, noise disturbance, and public order issues, citing potential issues of drunkenness, violence and vandalism.
Giving the go-ahead, An Bord Pleanala have stipulated that the use of the stadium for concerts shall cease at or before 11pm and all outdoor lighting, music or other amplified sound - except those required for safety and security - shall be extinguished by 11pm.
Among the acts which could be performing at the Ennis Road venue include U2, Coldplay and Garth Brooks who are all expected to announce world tours in the coming months.