Ticket touting legislation fast-tracked by Minister

Fine Gael backbencher Noel Rock expects his legislation to halt ticket touting will “get over the line” before St. Patrick’s Day.

The pace at which his proposed Bill has moved through the Dáil has been “glacial” he told Newstalk Breakfast.

However, the issue has now been fast-tracked by Minister for Business, Enterprise an Innovation Heather Humphreys, he said and will come before the Dáil next Tuesday.

“I’ve been banging on about this for three years. That’s why I wrote the Bill and put it before the Dáil.

"I’m not a Minister, I’m just a backbench TD. This is the first time backbench legislation will get through the House. It all takes time.”

He said there had been a lot of lobbying from commercial interests, but that a poll had indicated 91% support from the public for the legislation, even if job losses result from the change.

Mr Rock explained that legislation like his is dealt with in a raffle.

“It is pot luck, legislation goes into a queue. There are 200 pieces of legislation in that queue.

“Heather took it out of the raffle and put it to the front of the queue.

"She knows that this legislation, like the gift voucher legislation, has meaning in people’s lives.”

He said he would appeal to his party colleagues to “put the shoulder to the wheel” and help pass the legislation.

The issue was back in the headlines this week as it emerged that tickets for Ireland’s Six Nations clash with England with a face value of €150 are now on sale on the secondary ticketing site Viagogo at prices from €590 to €2,700.

A spokesperson for Viagogo said that "the reality is that any tickets listed at silly prices rarely if ever sell".

Adding that it is the sellers who set the prices, Viagogo stated: "Viagogo is a marketplace and does not buy or sell tickets.

"Viagogo provides a platform for third party sellers to sell tickets to event goers."

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