\"Strange

Strange summer sightings as Garth Brooks concerts fall apart. Photo by: Getty Images

Why Irish took to the streets for Garth Brooks but not the recession

\"Strange

Strange summer sightings as Garth Brooks concerts fall apart. Photo by: Getty Images

I often wondered during the height of the recession what would bring the Irish people out on the streets.

While protests raged in other countries (remember Occupy Wall Street and Spanish and Greek mass demonstrations) Ireland seemed uniquely aloof, its long suffering citizens accepting their faith.

It was an example of stoic behavior that would have made that old stoic philosopher Seneca proud.

There might be 400,000 leaving the country, 15 percent unemployment, massive new taxes, water charges, hospital closures, but the Irish people took it on the chin.

Until Garth Brooks.

Last Saturday 50, perhaps 100, loyal Brooks brothers and sisters met on Dublin’s Wood Quay and took to the streets in high dudgeon.

They held their banners high, “We Want Five Concerts” read one. They chanted Brooks songs; they demanded action. Alas, their appeals fell on deaf ears.

I’m surprised they didn’t turn left at the GPO like in 1916 and start a revolution.

Even Gerry Adams got in the act on radio singing a few bars of a Brooks hit that amounted to a definite criminal act, according to those who heard it .

The twitter-verse reacted. One young woman with two and a half months left on her Australian visa admitted she had come home early for the concerts.

Another confessed to delaying her emigration to wait for the concerts.

The major reshuffle in the Irish government, the passion of the World Cup final faded in comparison to the anger at the cancelation of the Brooks five show bonanza.

His appeal to the 400,000 Irish who bought tickets to his show, one in 16 on the island, remains a “knotted mystery,” as the Irish Times remarked.

And there it shall stay, the great mystery of the summer of 2014.

What brought the Irish people out hurling the “little streets upon the great,” to quote Yeats, was not revolution but revelations about a singer named Garth from Oklahoma, a troubadour and man of no little substance it appears.

Summer madness indeed.

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