TG4’s documentary An Pháirc affords an `insider view' into the rebuilding of Páirc Uí Chaoimh and among its contributors is Oliver Barry, the promoter who brought Michael Jackson and Prince to perform at the legendary GAA grounds.
Jackson's two concerts in Cork over the August bank holiday weekend of 1988 garnered £2 million in ticket sales. The singer's band and assistants stayed at Jury’s Hotel in Cork, reportedly occupying an entire floor of the hotel which featured a temporary dance-floor to allow Jackson and his dancers practice their stunning routines.
Two years later, on Saturday, July 7, 1990, an estimated 60,000 turned out to see Prince.The Cork Examiner reported that the iconic denizen of Paisley Park spent six hours in a suite - also in Jury’s Hotel - on the day of the concert "listening to CDs of Stevie Wonder and Anita Baker."
Páirc Uí Chaoimh has hosted epic sporting battles for well over a hundred years, with performances by legendary musical acts, from Don McLean to Jackson and Prince part of its more recent history. Now as the famous stadium has completed its refurbishment, TG4’s film, An Pháirc looks back on some of the biggest stories and events that are the heritage of its hallowed Leeside grounds.
The documentary also follows the story of the demolition and reconstruction of the new stadium, with behind-the-scenes footage filmed over two years all the way to opening day.
Guests include GAA heroes Billy Morgan, Jack O’Shea, Paul Flynn, Seán Óg Ó hAilpín and Barney Rock, as well as legendary broadcaster Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh and the aforementioned Oliver Barry.
An Pháirc will air on TG4 on Wednesday 27 September at 9. 30pm.