DISCUSSIONS took place this week between top brass Limerick GAA officials and a high-profile music promoter with a view to securing a ‘category A’ performer for a concert in the Gaelic Grounds this summer.
According to a source, “tentative steps have been taken to explore the possibility of staging a concert this summer”.
It is understood that a meeting took place on Tuesday afternoon between members of Limerick County Board and representatives of a well-known music promotions company.
While the source would not reveal the names of the bands which are being considered for the Ennis Road venue, he said “we are looking for a category A performer to cater for the 50,000 capacity venue”.
“It is a realistic possibility for this summer,” he added.
With Aiken Promotions holding a long-established partnership with Thomond Park for their concerts, there are strong suggestions that MCD Productions are engaging with Limerick GAA in terms of the Gaelic Grounds summer concert.
Among the international artists attached to the MCD label are Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and One Direction who are all travelling to Ireland for concerts this year.
The announcement last week that Garth Brooks is to play GAA HQ - Croke Park - in July sparked speculation that he might announce further Irish dates.
Locally, there were hopes among his dedicated fanbase that the Gaelic Grounds might play host to the country superstar.
However, as the Comeback Special is presented by Aiken Promotions that possibility now looks less likely.
Each concert in the Gaelic Grounds, GAA officials have said, will mean a cash injection of €10m for the local economy.
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 last summer, and Elton John and Pink in the past.
Planning permission was granted by Limerick City Council for concerts at the Gaelic Grounds last February, despite objections from local residents. The decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanala.
Giving the go-ahead, An Bord Pleanala 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.
At last week’s meeting of Limerick County Board, officials told delegates that details of a concert in the Gaelic Grounds could possibly be announced at the February meeting.
Any concert will have to fit in with the GAA calender but 2014 does not appear busy for the Gaelic Grounds.
The footballers play Tipperary at the Ennis Road venue on May 31 but the hurlers will not have a home championship fixture.