A LONG-TERM CLARE GAA supporter and former TD has said he is “dismayed” with the current ticketing system incorporated by the GAA for inter-county fixtures.
Tickets had to be purchased online or at Centra or SuperValu stores in advance of Sunday’s Munster SHC clash between Clare and Tipperary in Semple Stadium with the criteria also in place for fixtures in the U20 and minor provincial outings.
Remaining tickets are few and far between for Clare’s home tie with Limerick in the Munster SHC but tickets are still available for Sunday’s fixture against Colm Bonner’s Tipperary.
Difficulty was experienced with the online system when tickets first went on sale a fortnight ago while large queues were reported in Centra and SuperValu, both stores are official sponsors of the GAA.
Official GAA sources have told The Clare Echo that the move away from taking cash at the turnstiles is a security measure.
Speaking to The Clare Echo, Kilnamona native, James Breen who formerly served as an Independent TD for Clare hit out at the system which he felt was preventing genuine supporters from attending games.
Breen stated, “It is ridiculous that clubs and the County Board are accepting this lying down. People that have went to every game all over this country are deprived of getting a ticket for the matches coming up. When club secretaries were working and had to do their business in the GAA distributing tickets in the evening, the club members managed to get their tickets. Provincial council and Central Council delegates haven’t opened their mouths and they won’t, they are ok because they will get their ticket for their families, it is ridiculous, people will have to rebel against this system”.
He continued, “People have served their county and have hurled for Clare but they will be deprived of getting a ticket because they might have missed out online. People that have went to every game for Clare but they’re not going with the big and the bold to get a ticket for the games going forward”.
James said he has been following Clare teams for the past sixty years, he has managed to secure a ticket for Sunday but as it stands he will not be going to their encounter with Limerick. “We have to stand up, people have to stand up and be counted. The officers of the GAA will have their tickets and they will have it for their friends as well”.
At Wednesday’s meeting of the Clare County Board, a discussion ensued on the sale of tickets for the provincial championships. Cooraclare’s P.J. McGuane expressed disappointment that “the concessions for OAP’s and students is no longer available for the under 20 and minor games. This is not about the €5, it’s the principle of the thing”.
Meanwhile Clonlara’s Flan Mullane said, “the sale of tickets online is wide open for touts. I have no ticket for the matches in Ennis. Why are the touts put before us. It’s outrageous. We hear now that there will be a small number of tickets distributed through clubs which will create problems for the clubs”.
In response to a query from Mullane as to the capacity of Cusack Park, board chairman Kieran Keating said it was 18,500.
West Clare board delegate Sean Chambers told the meeting that “one individual walked out of a shop recently with just short of €1,000 worth of tickets, all purchased in one transaction”.
St. Josephs Doora/Barefield delegate Joe McNamara observed “there was no facility for the person working as tickets went on sale at 11am. There must be an incentive to get people to join clubs”, he said.