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Monday 23 April 2018

'I've always got GAA tickets before', whines FG senator

Senator Catherine Noone complained to colleagues Picture: Damien Eagers
Senator Catherine Noone complained to colleagues Picture: Damien Eagers
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

A Fine Gael politician who complained about being denied tickets by the GAA for tomorrow's All Ireland football final says her request was accommodated "any other time I asked".

Senator Catherine Noone sparked outrage after it emerged she wrote to GAA Ard Stiúrthóir Páraic Duffy to express her anger after being refused tickets for Dublin's clash with Mayo.

Her colleague Michelle Mulherin sent a similar letter, claiming the fact that TDs are provided with tickets - but not senators - represents "defamation".

Both politicians have been subjected to a backlash on social media as a result of them making their views publicly known.

But Ms Noone yesterday took to an internal Fine Gael 'What's App' group in a bid to justify her position to party colleagues.

"The fact is they (the GAA) provided two tickets any other time I asked and I think it's fair enough to question that," Ms Noone wrote.

"I was a bit taken aback and wrote a short email, that's the extent of it. I just looked for a ticket some place else. This kind of publicity is embarrassing and I didn't seek it."

Ms Noone said she "did not seek this to be in the papers" - despite contacting this newspaper directly to express her annoyance at the GAA.

"I could (do) without this rubbish. And I'm sorry about it," she added.

Ms Noone has previously raised eyebrows among colleagues after describing the "persistent use of chimes" by ice cream vans as "aggressive".

She also sought to ban the Ultimate Fighting Championship - which stars Conor McGregor - from coming to Dublin, describing Mixed Martial Arts as a "vile so-called sport". She later backtracked on those claims.

The GAA is to review its policy of handing out tickets to TDs and senators for Croke Park games in light of the controversy.

Irish Independent

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