Country megastar Garth Brooks is dusting off the cobwebs and coming out of retirement for a new tour – and his first stop will be his beloved Croke Park in Dublin in July.

Brooks took himself out of the public eye back in 2001 to help raise his children with fellow country crooner Trisha Yearwood. Now that the youngest is graduating high school in the spring Mom and Dad are ready to hit the road again.  

Brooks is absolutely beloved by the Irish, and the feeling is mutual.  He jetted to the Irish capital on Monday morning to personally announce his Irish shows on July 25 and 26 – the only confirmed dates on his tour that will take him all over America starting this fall.

“Before we go back on tour in the fall of 2014, I want to challenge myself, the band and crew. In ‘97, we were lucky enough to play Croke Park, the stadium was under construction. 130,000-plus of some of the greatest fans in the world,” Brooks told reporters on Monday.

“I was quoted then as saying, ‘When this stadium is finished, I would love to come back and try to fill it again . . . this time to the brink,‘ . . . and we’re back to do just that.”

Brooks easily jammed the place in 1997, and will surely do the same in July too given that he’s been absent from the scene for so long.

He loved the 1997 shows so much that he released them as a DVD which was a huge seller.  This time around he’s promising to debut some of his new music which will eventually be released as an album that will only add to the 150 million he’s sold throughout the world.

 “I’m not getting any younger. I have to get myself in shape. When I come back here I don’t want to recreate what I did before. I want people to say, ‘Wow,’” Brooks said.

Loads of his Irish diehards got wind that he was coming to Croker, so they were there to greet him when he arrived.  The Country Music Hall of Famer did several Irish interviews too which will be released this week – and in one, he said he’s hoping to score an invite to Bono’s pad for some tea.

For those of you who might be in Ireland in July, tix for the two shows go on sale on Thursday, January 30 from  They’re priced at around $100 a pop, pretty reasonable for a star of Brooks’ stature.