Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Ticket trouble puts dampener on Queen's party

Like many other people I was really looking forward to the Queen's visit and was lucky enough to get some tickets for the party at Stormont.

However, the allocation of tickets was disastrous. It also came to light that those in receipt of the 10,000 tickets given out to MLAs, political party members and Governmental staff were allowed preferential viewing points over those people who were lucky enough to get one of the other 10,000 tickets through Ticketmaster.

It beggars belief. Why was any one group treated differently to others? Are we not all equal?

Why were we kept at separate ends of the Stormont estate?

I recognise that, given many people lost out on even getting a ticket, that I should be grateful for getting the opportunity to be there. But how ironic is it that a high-profile event aimed at bringing together people from all parts and backgrounds was purposely organised by the NIO to segregate people?

Even families and friends were segregated.

A total disgrace and further evidence to support the view that not a lot of consideration really went into its organisation.

I contacted the NIO to ask the reason for this, but was simply told 'for health and safety'. No further elaboration was given. Surely, in future, these issues can be managed in another way other than segregation?

If it is absolutely unavoidable, then would it not be fairer to allow those who had to run the gauntlet of online ticket allocation to be the group given the better viewing points and better access?

DISAPPOINTED TAXPAYER

Belfast

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