GAA ‘has never done more’ to tackle touts

Online auction sites such as Ebay have been awash with tickets — most of which areselling for sums way over the face value of €80.

The GAA has “never done more” to tackle touts selling tickets at astronomical rates ahead of tomorrow’s All- Ireland football final.

Online auction sites such as eBay have been awash with tickets — most of which are selling for sums way over the face value of €80.

For example, bids for a single Hogan Stand ticket on the site yesterday stood at €870 — more than 10 times the face value price. Other tickets were going from €100 upwards. Earlier this week, a pair of tickets for the clash between Dublin and Kerry went for €2,020.

GAA spokesman Alan Milton said the organisation was having varying degrees of success when engaging with online sites selling tickets. “As an organisation, we have never done more to tackle this problem,” he said.

“We have engaged, both publicly and privately, with sites like eBay and Viagogo on the issue although it hasn’t been totally satisfactory. However, we have had better luck with sites like DoneDeal.ie and Adverts.ie and that’s a huge step in the right direction.”

Earlier this month, DoneDeal.ie decided to remove ads selling tickets for this year’s All-Ireland semi-finals and finals after people were selling tickets for hugely inflated prices. It also asked users to report any user engaging in touting.

“Following a review of the GAA’s ticket rules and from previous consultations with the organisation, DoneDeal has decided to remove ads that are selling tickets for this year’s GAA All Ireland finals and semi-finals and where demand is likely to exceed supply,” DoneDeal said in a statement.

“This decision has been taken in the interests of genuine fans, who are encouraged to source tickets through the official GAA channels and in doing so, minimise the potential for ticket touting and/or the selling of tickets significantly above face value.”

Mr Milton confirmed that a number of tickets had already been cancelled by the organisation but said it was a difficult area to police.

“They are very clever in how they sell tickets online,” he said. “If we have the code number, we can and will cancel tickets that are being sold at these astronomical prices. However, the people selling them are clever and blur the codes. In that case, without having the codes we can’t cancel those tickets.”

Earlier this week it was reported that plain clothes gardaí will patrol the streets outside Croke Park tomorrow as part of a major clampdown on ticket touts.

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