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Hogan's legal tweak may revive hopes of 2012 Slane concert

Lord Henry Mountcharles says a 2012 gig is “unlikely” – but the law’s been changed to reduce the minimum notice period.

Coldplay's Chris Martin: the band may yet have a chance to play Slane 2012, thanks to a legal tweak by Phil Hogan.
Coldplay's Chris Martin: the band may yet have a chance to play Slane 2012, thanks to a legal tweak by Phil Hogan.
Image: Matt Crossick/EMPICS Entertainment

A LEGAL CHANGE pushed through last week by environment minister Phil Hogan may yet rescue the prospect of a 2012 gig at Slane Castle.

Castle owner and gig organiser Lord Henry Mountcharles had said a concert for this year was unlikely, telling today’s Irish Sun that he was not willing to book a headline act for this year’s gig unless he was confident they were the “the right choice”.

“But in this case time is running out,” he said, adding that the deadline for applying to Meath County Council for a licence to hold the annual gig – traditionally held in late August – was running out.

In the last few days, however, Phil Hogan has signed a statutory instrument which amends planning laws originally introduced in 2001.

The previous law required organisers to apply for a licence for an outdoor event 16 weeks before it was due to take place – but Hogan’s amendment means only 10 weeks’ notice is now needed.

Without the change, if a concert was to be organised for Saturday 25 August, an application would need to be lodged with the council by Friday 27 April – just over a fortnight from now.

Under the new rules, however, organisers will have an extra six weeks to seek an event licence, and will have two months – until Friday 8 June – to apply to the council for permission to hold an event at Slane, if 25 August was their chosen date.

Coldplay are among the acts rumoured to be in contention for this year’s gig; the British four-piece have no gigs booked for either August 25 or September 1, during the European leg of a world tour which currently does not include any Irish dates.

WATCH: Kings of Leon rock 80,000 people at Slane Castle

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Gavan Reilly

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