Tuesday 12 December 2017

Bid for glory and tickets as two tribes go to war

But fans risk being turned back if they buy from touts

All dressed up in Tralee for the All-Ireland were
Dublin fan Rebecca O'Carroll, baby Brooklyn Conway,
and Kerry supporter Aideen Feeley.
All dressed up in Tralee for the All-Ireland were Dublin fan Rebecca O'Carroll, baby Brooklyn Conway, and Kerry supporter Aideen Feeley.
Padraig O Suillebhain – a teacher at St Benildus College, Kilmacud, Dublin – wearing his Kerry shirt alongside the school's Dublin fans.

Majella O'Sullivan and Allison Bray

IT will be a disappointment almost as crushing as a defeat.

But some football fans will be in for a shock tomorrow when they arrive at Croke Park to discover their tickets are invalid.

The GAA has warned that it has already cancelled, or is in the process of voiding, numerous tickets bought from touts -- despite a frenzy of online bidding yesterday.

A pair of premium tickets on the Upper Hogan stand sold for €820 on eBay, while bids for a single ticket for Hill 16 had reached €185 as the auction remained open for business.

However, some fans have criticised the GAA for turning a blind eye to other instances where tickets were sold on for profit.

For example, at a golf tournament organised by Kerry County Board at Killarney Golf Course last week to raise cash for the players' holiday fund, a Dublin man received six All-Ireland tickets -- with the option to buy six more -- after paying €3,000 to enter three teams.

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Meanwhile, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the GAA appealed to fans driving to the All-Ireland finals tomorrow to slow down, allow plenty of time, not drink and drive and take breaks or naps if tired en route.

GAA president Christy Cooney echoed this advice.

"Whether you're on the winning or losing side, celebrating or commiserating, remember to act responsibly on the roads and arrive alive," he said.

More than 82,000 spectators are expected to attend the final, and Irish Rail is adding special intercity and commuter trains today and tomorrow.

An estimated 6,000 Kerry fans are expected to travel by rail tomorrow with thousands more Dublin fans taking commuter and DART trains into the city centre.

Irish Rail is also advising passengers using DART, Northern Commuter, Belfast Enterprise and Sligo and Rosslare intercity trains to expect delays of between 15 to 25 minutes due to the large number of passengers between 11am and 7pm.

More information is available on the Irish Rail website, irishrail.ie.

Dublin Bus and Luas will also be adding extra services as needed.

Parking spaces near to Croke Park and the north city centre were expected to fill up early.

And although there are no disabled parking bays around the stadium, there are such spaces available at O'Connell's School on North Richmond Street and Clonliffe College on Drumcondra Road.

Hotel rooms in the city centre and around Croke Park are also going at a premium.

The Croke Park Hotel -- which is booked out -- had been charging between €299 and €350 for two people.

Irish Independent

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