Wexford plea for switch to be denied

By Frank Roche

A WEXFORD request to switch the All-Ireland hurling quarter-finals from Thurles to Croke Park is set to fall on deaf ears.

The Wexford county board has made an 11th hour plea because of the relative dearth of stand tickets available for next Sunday's double-header, as ticket frenzy grips the south-east in the wake of their epic qualifier run in recent weeks.

Wexford face Limerick in the opening quarter-final at Semple Stadium (2.0) but their request will have been noted with interest by Dublin, who would far prefer to play the second quarter-final against Tipperary (4.0) in Croker rather than on enemy terrain.

However, in response to a query from The Herald today, Croke Park confirmed that the hurling quarter-finals remain fixed for Thurles.

Ahead of any official confirmation, the Wexford board has suspended ticket sales until tomorrow morning as a precaution.

According to Wexford, they had only received 2,000 stand tickets by last night while they had requests for between 4,500 to 5,000. They estimate there are 22,000 stand tickets in Semple Stadium but believe many have already been sold online or at other ticket outlets.

"What do I say to the people of Wexford?" asked county board chairman Diarmuid Devereux.

"There is an empty stadium up the road that can give everybody a seat who wants to buy a seat. If you want to buy a seat, you can buy a seat in Croke Park for €30.

"I just don't understand the logic. Why make 20,000 people stand when there is no need for it. They're not patrons, they're customers."