Local bus operators are counting the costs of the cancelled five Garth Brooks concerts at Croke Park.
Even though it is not yet clear if the concerts will actually go ahead, a number of local businesses are bracing themselves for a negative outcome to the debacle. .
Matthews Coaches have estimated that they will lose €18,000. Matthews had assigned 20 coaches to carry fans to the gigs and already had 180 people booked on the concert services from Dundalk and Drogheda.
“We had to turn away over €10,000 worth of tours work to facilitate the fleet of buses that we were sending to the Garth Brooks concerts,” said Fleet and Quality Manager Noel Matthews.
“The amount of advance bookings that we took on this concert were phenomenal. We know from experience that we would have been sending up to 20 coaches a night to Croke Park.”
“We had to plan in advance for the numbers looking to use our service on the nights in question, which means turning down a lot of work because we will only schedule tours and corporate work when we have the specially-trained drivers to staff them.”
Meanwhile, Halpenny Travel has started refunded customers who already prebooked seats.
“A lot of customers had pre-booked their seats online,” said Transport Manager John Halpenny.
“When it was confirmed the gigs were cancelled, we started refunded the customers affected.
“We had estimated to carry between 450 and 500 people each day.
“When the concerts were first announced, we had asked that all staff be available.
“All the workers changed their holiday plans based around concerts.
“We wanted to have as much man power as possible. We turned away other business because of this.”
Frankie McRory of Sevens, who organised a bus for fans to sleep in while queueing for tickets, added that it’s a big loss.
“The interest for buses was massive. Groups were looking for private buses.
“It was devastating news. We had buses going everyday and the pre-booking was very good.
“We also turned away other business to concentrate on the gigs.”