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Garth Brooks Irish comeback shows canceled over local objection

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Two of American country singer Garth Brooks five sold-out comeback concerts at Dublin's Croke Park stadium this month were canceled on Thursday after objections were raised by local residents.

Brooks, who retired from recording new music and touring in 2001, chose Dublin for his five-night "Comeback Special Event", selling a record 400,000 tickets, equivalent to almost 10 percent of the population, ahead of a wider tour later in 2014.

However residents of the densely populated area surrounding the 82,000-seat Gaelic sports stadium objected to the holding of five successive shows and the local council refused permission for the concerts scheduled for July 28 and July 29.

"The cumulative effect on residents and on some businesses would lead to an unacceptable level of disruption to their lives and livelihoods," Dublin City Council said in a statement.

Brooks, who has sold more than 125 million albums and is best known for hits such as "The Thunder Rolls" and "Friends in Low Places", has played the occasional one-city run of shows and benefit concerts during his retirement but has never toured.

No act, including Ireland's U2, has ever played five shows in a row at Croke Park, the country's largest venue, and concert promoters had said some 70,000 of the 400,000 tickets sold were bought by people living abroad.

Ticket holders took to social media and the national airwaves to voice their disappointment.

"I queued for two days and two nights for these tickets. I'm so annoyed, it's just terrible," Carol McDonald, who had bought a ticket for the July 29 date, told a popular phone-in show on national broadcaster RTE.

"It's making a show of Ireland, he (Garth Brooks) is probably over in America saying what the hell's going on."

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

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