Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Donegal in firing line over price hike for tickets

Paraic Duffy is set to come down hard on Donegal

Donegal GAA is facing a hefty fine over their decision to impose an additional €5 charge on supporters buying All-Ireland SFC final tickets.

In a swift response to the imposition of the controversial ‘tax' on hard-pressed fans, GAA director general Paraic Duffy issued a strong warning to all counties against placing a levy on tickets.

The county board in Donegal imposed the mandatory levy, which is set to bag the county's training fund an extra €60,000 but has pushed the price of a stand ticket up to €85.

And Duffy insists that counties were made well aware that any such move was against Croke Park rules.

“I saw the story in the Irish Independent, that's all I know about it,” Duffy revealed at yesterday's launch of the FBD 7s, which take place in Kilmacud Crokes GAA grounds on Saturday.

“We made it clear to counties some time ago that you cannot impose a levy on ticket prices. We outlawed levies a few years ago. It was a practice of the past and we stopped that.

“This summer we heard whispers of it starting again so we reissued the instruction about six weeks ago telling counties they can't impose a levy.

“I don't want to comment on Donegal until I get the facts, but there was a clear instruction given to the counties.”

Duffy refused to be drawn on what sanctions Donegal might face but hinted there would be some form of punishment.

Sanctions are understood to feature a range of options, including a fine which would cancel out most of the gains made, a cut in grants payable to All-Ireland finalists, or a reduction in All-Ireland ticket allocations in future years.

Duffy said: “If you give an instruction and people ignore it you'll have to take some sort of action. I don't want to pre-judge that. But there was a very clear instruction and if that was breached we have to act on it.”

Duffy also revealed the demand for tickets for Sunday's final surpasses even that of 12 months ago when Dublin and Kerry met in the decider, and he warned that the Association would clamp down on any profiteering on tickets.

“We will withdraw tickets. Every ticket is easily traceable. If people come to say they were offered a ticket at above face value, we'll make sure those (responsible) never get tickets again.”

Duffy also confirmed the score detection technology Hawk-Eye is expected to be in operation for the club finals on St Patrick's Day.

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