Tuesday 6 December 2016

'Grossly unfair and ill-informed' - GAA strongly hit back over All Ireland touting claim

Published 16/09/2016 | 08:29

A general view of Croke Park during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Dublin and Kerry
A general view of Croke Park during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Dublin and Kerry

THE GAA has strongly rejected criticisms by the Consumers’ Association of Ireland over All-Ireland tickets, insisting that efforts to prevent touting are as robust as they possibly can be.

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Dermott Jewell, CAI policy advisor, alleged this week that “the GAA’s eye is off the ball when it comes to touting”.

Alan Milton, GAA head of communications hit back, described Jewell’s comments as “grossly unfair and ill-informed”.

“Perhaps Mr Jewell would be better advised to lobby for the introduction of legislation on ticket touting, rather than attacking the GAA over something that annoys us as much as him. It would be more useful in the long run,” he said.

“We do everything we can to stop touting but it’s impossible to control everything. We don’t sell a single ticket directly to the public.

“They are all distributed through our clubs, county boards and various other units and while we repeatedly stress the need to be careful about where they go from there, we can’t monitor over 82,000 tickets from the moment they are sent out.”

With tickets for Sunday’s football final being advertised on websites for up to €750 (face value €80), Jewell claimed that the GAA’s efforts to stop touting “are not working”.

Milton said that the GAA takes every precaution to prevent touting, including cancelling tickets they know were sold on the black market.

“We have already cancelled some tickets for Sunday and will do the same with any others that come to our attention. We greatly resent any suggestion that we’re not doing our best to stop touting but, no more than any other organisation, we can’t do it on our own,” he said.

“That’s why legislation is needed. Maybe Mr Jewell would care to take his attention in that direction. He can hardly believe that the GAA is happy to see our own supporters being fleeced.

“And to suggest we’re not doing enough to prevent it is not just unfair, it’s downright wrong.”

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