Former Lord Mayor of Dublin accuses FG Senator Catherine Noone of 'abusing her position' over All-Ireland final tickets
A FORMER Lord Mayor of Dublin has accused Fine Gael senator Catherine Noone of “abusing her position” after she complained to the GAA over its refusal to provide her with tickets to Sunday’s All Ireland final.
Independent councillor Christy Burke said he felt compelled to speak out today after meeting Dublin fans “in tears” over not being able to secure a ticket for the showdown with Mayo.
“I was at Parnell Park this morning where people are queuing up desperate for tickets. I've had people contact me in tears who would give their left arm for a ticket,” Mr Burke told Independent.ie.
“Senator Noone is abusing her position as a senator. In all my years as a politician, I’ve never see anyone carrying on like this.
“There is a seat for Senator Noone ready for her - it’s in Smithfield in front of the big screen where so many others will be to cheer on the Dubs.”
Ms Noone and her party colleague Michelle Mulherin sparked a furore after complaining to GAA boss Paraic Duffy.
As revealed by Independent.ie today, Ms Noone later took to an internal Fine Gael ‘What’s App’ group - made up of ministers, TDs, and senators - to justify her position.
"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.