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SLANE RANGERS!

But the final decision as to whether the band are allowed to play a second gig at Slane Castle in the summer rests with the local authorities...

U2 look set to push ahead with a second summer show at the 80,000 capacity SLANE CASTLE thanks to the intervention of Irish Prime Minister BERTIE AHERN.

The Irish leader decided yesterday (March 13) to fast track changes in national planning laws that would allow the massive show to go ahead.

On Saturday morning (March 10) tickets for the Slane show of August 25 sold out in less than 45 minutes. On Sunday U2 frontman Bono had called on Mr Ahern to step in and help the band meet the massive public clamour for an unprecedented second show. Currently, Slane Castle, just north of Dublin, only has planning permission for one concert each year. Under the current system, planning permission for concerts in Ireland must be sought nine months in advance. This nine-month requirement was due to change in September and it is this change that Mr Ahern has brought forward.

However, according to the Irish Examiner (www.examiner.ie), the final decision as to whether or not to go ahead with the show, planned for September 1, rests with Meath County Council, under whose jurisdiction Slane falls. The local residents will have a major role to play in the outcome of the council's decision and it may be their vote that finally decides whether or not the show goes ahead.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Coldplay, Kelis and JJ72 are among the acts already confirmed as support for the August 25 show.

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