Mother of Irish Olympian forced to buy tickets from Norway after Pro 10 told her they had none left
Published 23/08/2016 | 02:30
The mother of an Irish Olympian has told how she had to source tickets for the Rio Games through Norway because none were available from the authorised Irish ticket seller Pro 10.
Grainne Adams, the mother of sailor Finn Lynch (20), described how she made a number of unsuccessful attempts to purchase tickets from Pro 10, the organisation currently involved in the alleged ticket-touting scandal.
Finn's late and unexpected qualification for the Rio Games meant that Grainne was left scrambling to get tickets to see her son at the Opening Ceremony on August 5. "Finn qualified quite late for the Olympics, his trials were in May and he was actually training towards Tokyo 2020 when he qualified.
"So it was all hands on deck trying to book flights, accommodation and get tickets and we were basically told by Pro 10 that the tickets were all sold out in January of this year," Ms Adams told RTÉ Radio.
"Then it was really just a big scramble to look at sites online where people could sell on their tickets. They were very expensive so it was very desperate trying to get tickets to go."
The Olympian's mother was then forced to turn to a Norwegian site as the official ticket seller for Ireland claimed that they had sold all of their tickets.
"I suppose what I genuinely believed was that it was just unfortunate that he (Finn) had qualified so late and that they were all sold-out; that's the way I took it at the time.
"In the end, I secured tickets from a Norwegian who had bought the tickets but decided not to go, so they sold the tickets on for face value. We got seats at the Opening Ceremony," Ms Adams said.
Ms Adams also explained how her understanding was that parents of Irish Olympians who bought tickets for the Rio Olympics would be reimbursed.
However, this was not the case as people who had a son or daughter competing in the Rio Games would only be reimbursed if they bought a ticket for the event itself - as opposed to the Opening Ceremony where Ms Adams felt she would have the best chance of seeing her son.
Subsequently, an Irishman was arrested in Rio de Janeiro for holding over 800 tickets on behalf of Pro 10.
Kevin Mallon was arrested on suspicion of ticket touting over two weeks ago.
The THG employee was holding the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI)-allocated tickets on behalf of Pro 10, who have stated that they had no representative in the Brazilian city.