Thurles not Model venue for Devereux

Wexford chairman Diarmuid Devereux claims the decision to stick with Thurles for Sunday’s All-Ireland hurling quarter-finals is further proof the county ‘will never get any help from Croke Park’.

Devereux said Wexford have been forced to grudgingly accept the decision to reject the Model County’s request for a venue change this weekend from Thurles to the more spacious Croke Park.

Wexford made the request on Monday night following an emergency meeting to discuss their official allocation of 2,000 stand tickets for the tie against Limerick.

According to Devereux, they have a demand for well in excess of 5,000 stand tickets and with Croke Park empty this weekend, they requested the game be moved to GAA headquarters.

But the GAA’s Central Competitions Control Committee, as expected, rejected the 11th hour plea and GAA Head of Games Administration Feargal McGill pointed out that 20,000 tickets still remain available on general sale.

“Wexford put in that request and the CCCC have rejected it, partly on the grounds that many thousands of tickets for the game have already been sold, and supporters, players and management teams have put their plans in place for Thurles,” said McGill. “Also, my understanding at this point in time is that there are still 20,000 tickets available for the game. We’re not expecting it to sell-out though it may get close. From a practical perspective, it was felt that Thurles is a suitable venue.”

Devereux responded by claiming that terrace tickets are all that remain on general sale and that this will not suit families who will also have to travel for several hours to get to the Tipperary venue.

“The bottom line is that the support of the committed Wexford GAA people and the support of the club people will certainly be down,” said Devereux. “I understand that several thousand tickets have sold online in the county. I don’t know who bought those tickets but they’re not part of any official allocation through Wexford GAA, to the people whose demand we wanted to meet.

“Wexford GAA sold over 5,000 tickets for the game against Waterford in Kilkenny the other night. Now we’re given an allocation thousands down on that for a bigger game again. I just find the whole thing bizarre.”

Devereux said Wexford have no alternative but to accept the situation.

“What I accept is that we were not going to be listened to in the first place,” he claimed. “That’s the history that I have experienced since I’ve been elected Wexford chairman. Nobody (from Croke Park) ever consults me or communicates with me or explains decisions like this to me. And that hasn’t changed this time. We have said it before in Wexford — any progress we make will have to be done the hard way. We will never get any help from Croke Park. We will have to dig ourselves inch by inch back to the top because quite certainly nobody is going to help us out.”

And he vowed: ‘I will not be using my Ard Comhairle tickets. I will be handing them over to someone who deserves them and is unable to stand on the terrace.

“I will be taking my place on the terrace with the greatest supporters in the country.

“Despite what has happened the county is building up a siege mentality for Sunday. We have settled on the fact we are getting no more tickets and moving on.”


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