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At €302 you'll need a celebrity's bank balance to buy IFTAs ticket

THEY'RE hailed as Ireland's answer to the Oscars, but anyone wanting to rub shoulders with A-listers including Jamie Dornan and Saoirse Ronan at the Irish Film and TV Awards (IFTAs) had better have a celebrity-sized bank balance.

Tickets for this year's event cost €302 for non-members. Even members of the academy have to fork out €242 to attend.

All the nominees are invited to the April 5 event in the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Burlington Road, but they can bring only one guest. That means attendees have to buy any additional tickets.

"It's a lot of money to spend once everything is taken into account," said a source.

"These nights are really good for networking, so a lot of the people in the film and TV industry are really keen to attend.

"But the high cost of the night makes it really prohibitive, especially at a time when the whole industry is really cash-strapped."

The cost of the night has come in for criticism before.

Accepting his award for his film on the Corrib gas project, Risteard O'Domhnail joked: "Thank you, IFTA, though at €300 a ticket there'll probably be one for everyone in the audience."

In a statement to the Herald, an IFTA spokesperson said only 25pc of the tickets are made available for purchase each year.

Guests, presenters and their partners make up 75pc of the attendees at the glitzy ceremony.