CORK GAA clubs have hit out at the decision to sell the bulk of tickets for next weekend’s Munster hurling final through private sales.
The move has resulted in many club members missing out in the general sale, with tickets for the Cork v Clare match in Thurles now like gold dust.
In previous years, an allocation of tickets was issued by the GAA to County Boards to distribute among clubs, with the remaining tickets sold through general sale.
This year, though, clubs were advised to try their luck in the general sale on Tickets.ie and in SuperValu and Centra shops, with many missing out as a result.
Munster GAA have claimed that it would be impossible to meet demand for next week’s game and said that using this system last year saw ‘no issues’ raised by supporters.
Sinn Féin councillor Thomas Gould, who is the chairperson of St Vincent’s Hurling and Football Club, said that it was a disappointing move which has resulted in huge numbers of grassroots members missing out on tickets.
“There have always been allocations for clubs throughout the County Boards,” he said.
“That didn’t happen this year and there were queues outside the shops for tickets on the morning.”
Mr Gould added: “The people who work all year round maintaining pitches and washing kits and everything else; these people were out of the loop. I have no issue with general sale tickets as everyone should have a chance to go but I am concerned that it is a step away from the community, voluntary ethos that the GAA has always encouraged.”
A spokesperson for Munster GAA said that there is huge demand for tickets for the final, which is to be held in the 45,600 capacity Semple Stadium.
“There are 75,000 registered members in both counties combined. There are also thousands of people who support the games, but would not be members of clubs. Therefore, there simply isn’t supply of tickets to meet the demand,” a spokesperson said.
“The same distribution system was used by Munster GAA for this year’s final as was used for last years Cork v Clare final, and there were no issues raised from supporters in Cork.” Munster GAA also noted that they still offer ‘unrestricted’ €5 tickets for juveniles as ‘it would be unfair to shut juveniles out of the final.’