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I’m not the only Limerick supporter annoyed by the allocation of tickets for Sunday’s Munster hurling finals in Páirc Uí Chaoímh.
Limerick, with two teams in the final, were allocated 2,000 more tickets than Cork. So, how was the stadium a sea of red? We are due an explanation from the Munster Council as to where the 10,000-plus tickets went that were allegedly not given to Cork, Limerick or Waterford.
The Munster Council should have played this year’s finals in Thurles, in Semple Stadium, which has a capacity of 50,000. The GAA seems hungry for cash from music performers such as Garth Brooks, while turning its back on the money that 10,000-plus long-serving hurling fans would have paid for a seat at the Munster final. This smacks of the Sky deal and money before people.
We, the Limerick season-ticket holders, were uncomfortably packed-in, close to the corner of the uncovered stand. It was like being asked, as an adult, to sit in primary-school desks. I sat through the game with the knees of a big man behind me stuck into my back. If I dropped anything, I had to stand up to retrieve it. It was nightmarish in the beating heat.
For the money that Croke Park collects from us every year, we are treated badly. I calculate that the Limerick season-ticket-holders give the GAA an €85,000 interest-free loan every December. Multiply this by the number of ticket-holders from other counties and it is a loan of €2m for the GAA every Christmas. A seat in the corner of the uncovered stand, had it been a rainy day, would have been a very poor recognition of the organisation’s most ardent followers. This treatment is not unique to Páirc Uí Chaoímh. Semple Stadium is the honourable exception in providing a good seat.
This is not to take from a good Cork team. They were deserving winners because they were more efficient in possession, but there is still much to play for in this year’s championship. My gripe is with the powers-that-be in the GAA, who have turned their backs on their genuine followers in favour of money.
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