Schools may get a half-day for Miller as mayor makes request to minister

Lord Mayor of Cork, Mick Finn

The Lord Mayor of Cork has asked Education Minister Richard Bruton to grant a once-off half-day for city schools on the day of the Liam Miller tribute game.

Councillor Mick Finn’s call came last night following confirmation that some 31,000 tickets for the game, which will be hosted in the 45,000-capacity Páirc Uí Chaoimh on September 25, were sold within hours of going on sale for the new venue yesterday.

Mr Finn said he has written to Mr Bruton asking him to consider his request “in the spirit of bipartisanship and generosity that has permeated the Liam Miller event”.

News that the stands in Páirc Uí Chaoimh have sold out, and the event is on track for a sell-out, is fantastic for the Miller family, Marymount, and all involved. It completely justifies moves to switch the fundraiser from Turner’s Cross to the bigger venue,” he said.

Despite some early difficulties logging onto the website from 10am yesterday and the tweeting of an incorrect link — an error which was corrected quickly — the game organisers reported brisk ticket sales. They apologised for the early technical issues which they blamed on the high volume of people logging on to the site.

By evening, they said about 38,000 tickets had been sold — the figure includes the 7,000 already sold for Turner’s Cross before the switch to Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Stand tickets in the GAA stadium are now sold out. Terrace tickets are still on sale. Tickets are available from selected SuperValu and Centra stores nationwide.

Danny Comerford, manager of SuperValu Grange on the southside of Cork city, said they had “queues in the aisles” for tickets yesterday: “We knew the demand would be strong after tickets for Turner’s Cross went so quickly. Nobody will be working in Cork on the day of the match.”

Fans queued at SuperValu’s Merchants Quay for over an hour to get tickets.

Liam Corcoran, from the Glen, who couldn’t get tickets for Turner’s Cross, said he was delighted to get a ticket in the wheelchair zone for his daughter Amanda.

We just got to the window the last time and it was sold out so we had to wait. This is the second time queuing for us.

Ticketmaster is now contacting fans with tickets for Turner’s Cross informing them that new tickets for the Páirc Uí Chaoimh game will be posted in the coming weeks. They will be allocated seats in Tier 1 and Tier 3 of the south stand. “The organising committee has worked with and Páirc Uí Chaoimh to ensure that the people who bought tickets for Turner’s Cross are allocated good seats in acknowledgement of their support at the outset,” said the spokesperson of the organising committee.

Mr Miller died this year, aged 36, after a battle with cancer. Proceeds from the tribute game will be used to help his wife, Clare, and their three children, rebuild their lives, with Marymount Hospice among the charities also set to benefit.

Meanwhile, Mr Miller’s former club, Ballincollig AFC, will host a memorial football blitz in his honour in Ballincollig on Thursday from 10.30am. Ireland boss Martin O’Neill is set to present his family with his international caps on Friday.

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