Friday 18 October 2019

'Absolute joke' - Dublin fans left seething after GAA homecoming event snapped up in an hour

14 September 2019; The teams parade prior to the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final Replay match between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
14 September 2019; The teams parade prior to the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final Replay match between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

Thousands of Dublin GAA supporters have been left frustrated after failing to secure a ticket for the homecoming of their All-Ireland heroes.

About 3,500 general release tickets for Sunday’s event in Merrion Square were snapped up within an hour of being made available yesterday morning.

The remaining 11,000 tickets have been allocated to the Dublin County Board and Dublin Ladies Gaelic Football Association.

In a statement, the city council said the decision to make it all-ticket was made on health and safety grounds.

City councillor Christy Burke
City councillor Christy Burke

“The event was moved from its traditional location in Smithfield as Merrion Square has over twice the audience capacity of Smithfield and a decision was taken to ticket the event on health and safety advice.

“Dublin City Council and both County Boards strongly urge fans to contact their local club to get tickets for The Homecoming,” the statement read.

City Cllr Christy Burke said he believes that the capacity at Merrion Square isn’t big enough for the All-Ireland homecoming and is calling on DCC and Lord Mayor Paul McAuliffe to review the decision.

“Over 100,000 people would turn up to cheer on the men who completed the drive-for-five and the ladies who won three-in-a-row,” he said.

“To the genuine fans I am sorry you did not get tickets. Maybe Councillors who don’t attend Dubling games might consider passing tickets to the genuine supporters

“I have called on the Lord Mayor to stop this event and the ticket system. Do what’s best for the fans, the team and staff.”

Dublin Lord Mayor, Paul McAuliffe said that the decision to move away from Smithfield was to increase the number of fans who can attend.

“Merrion Square is the largest venue Dublin City has which does not involve a closure of the Luas line. 

Lord Mayor of Dublin Paul McAuliffe at the Mansion House. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Lord Mayor of Dublin Paul McAuliffe at the Mansion House. Photo: Caroline Quinn

“College Green would not hold as many and the great Dublin Bike Ride is taking place in the Pheonix Park that day. 

“There was approximately 6,000 people last year in Smithfield and we have a much greater capacity at 15,000 this year.

“The decision to ticket the event was on the advice of the event controller in consultation with the Gardai for the safety of those attending.

“Obviously some people may be disappointed but every length has been taken to ensure the maximum number of Genuine fans are accommodated,” he said.

There were a lot of unhappy fans making their displeasure known on the Dublin GAA Facebook page. "Sold out in ten minutes! Absolute joke!!! Have it in the Phoenix park!! No chance of being sold out!!," said one fan. Another said: "Absolutely disgraceful. Some people, especially older, don't use online services. Having a ticket event to celebrate the homecoming was a very bad decision."

The homecoming will feature performances from Keywest, Eoin Thomas and The Rising Sons with gates opening at 1.30pm.

These acts will be followed by interviews with former Dublin football stars hosted by Marty Morrissey and a video of Dublin wins from 1891 to 2018 as well as highlights from both the men’s and women’s matches.

RTE broadcaster Marty Morrissey
RTE broadcaster Marty Morrissey

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