David Bowie will be the fifth concert held at Slane Castle. What are the pros and cons of these events for the town of Slane?
Concerts at Slane Castle began in 1983 with The Rolling Stones, followed by Bob Dylan in 1984, Bruce Springsteen in 1985 and Queen in 1986. However, ever since the Bob Dylan concert, controversy has surrounded the event after riots broke out, the local Garda Station was attacked and considerable damage was done to the town. Despite the controversy, the concerts have continued and the stage is now being set for David Bowie, the act Lord Henry Mountcharles has had his heart set on for nearly six years.
Lord Henry Mountcharles spoke to RTÉ News about the possibility of a repeat of the violence at the Bob Dylan concert. Mountcharles says that the Dylan concert should never have been held on a Sunday as events of this nature are more easily controlled on a Saturday as it gives less "build-up time". He also points out that the organisers hold extensive discussions with Gardaí in an effort to avoid any repetition. Mountcharles also points out that every penny he makes from the concerts is recycled back into Slane Castle Estate providing substantial employment to the local area.
It seems to me sometimes ironic that Dylan, who's the man of peace, it was at his concert that we had problems.
Local residents and traders have mixed views on the annual concerts at the castle.
It is estimated that the town makes a million pounds out of each concert.
One local resident Mr Maloney, who is opposed to the concert going ahead, spoke to RTÉ News. Mr Maloney says that the idea that the town makes money from the concert is a myth. He comments,
The only thing that will stop a concert in my view will be if people don't turn up and I think if two bananas appeared in Slane Castle, they would have a crowd here. Bad weather is what I would look for this year.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 2 June 1987. The reporter is Mary Fanning.