Security man who stole GAA season tickets avoids jail

A former deputy head of security at Croke Park who stole seven booklets of premium GAA season tickets in an effort to pay off his son’s debt has avoided jail.

John Gibson, 45, had access to all areas at the stadium while working with Brinks Allied. Based at the security desk at the Hogan Stand, he has since resigned.

Each booklet had a total of 33 tickets allowing admission into each game at Croke Park for the 2014 season. The seven booklets had a total value of €9,313.

The court heard there is no entitlement to sell off tickets individually so the booklets were effectively worthless and Gibson never made a profit from them.

Gibson of St Catherine’s Gate, Rush, Co Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to theft on dates between January and March 2014. He had no previous convictions.

Judge Martin Nolan sentenced Gibson to 18 months in prison which he suspended in full. The judge said Gibson had already suffered through his loss of employment and accepted he had shown remorse.

“He is a decent man who made a serious mistake on the day in question,” said Judge Nolan, adding it was “painfully obvious” he didn’t deserve a jail sentence.

Detective Garda Fergal Flynn told Cormac Quinn BL, prosecuting, the GAA spotted the tickets for sale on a website and immediately cancelled them. A member of the public later informed officials that their partner had received two season tickets from Gibson.

He was arrested on March 24, 2014, and made full admissions. He still had four booklets at home, had given two booklets to his partner, two to his boss at Brinks and two tickets to a barman.

He told gardaí he saw the booklets in the ticket office and just took them. He gave two to his boss “to impress him”. He also gave two booklets to his ex-partner because he wanted to give her something to bring the children on holidays.

Gibson admitted advertising the tickets on a website but took down the advert the following day.

Garda Flynn said all the booklets were rendered useless with only two tickets were actually used at a Dublin versus Mayo game.

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