Donegal deny any breach of GAA ticket rules


NEWS:Donegal are adamant that the county did not break GAA rules in the distribution of tickets for September’s All-Ireland final.

County chair PJ McGowan has criticised “unnamed sources in the media” – a reference to a piece in a Sunday newspaper, which quotes an anonymous club official in the county saying that there was a levy on the tickets and an anonymous Croke Park source saying that the county’s explanation was inadequate – and demanded that those making the allegations “put up or shut up”.

Both Donegal and opponents Mayo were asked by the GAA to explain the circumstances of their ticket sales for the final, which saw the greatest demand for tickets in living memory.

But whereas Mayo’s explanation was accepted, Donegal have been requested to attend the next meeting of the association’s management committee.

The allegation is that there was an additional charge of €5 levied on tickets sales in the county, disguised as the price of taking part in a raffle. This is contrary to GAA rule.

“We reject that allegation,” Donegal chair PJ McGowan told the Irish Times yesterday evening. “We forwarded a reply to the initial Croke Park request and we have been asked to explain it further.

“That is the situation but we had several clubs who got All-Ireland tickets and didn’t purchase raffle tickets. Not everyone entered.

“I am somewhat surprised that an article on Sunday should say that our explanation was unacceptable. I find that a strange way of communicating. As an association we seem to end up washing a lot of our linen in public.

“As I’ve said before we had this draw running for a long time before we reached the All-Ireland final but obviously there was a push on at the time of the final to sell extra tickets but we were just looking for a fiver back on a book of three raffle tickets.

“So the club got to keep €10. Maybe the timing of the distribution of both created confusion.

“We accept that rules have to be upheld and we’ll sit down and talk to Croke Park.”

Mayo’s explanation that clubs who made additional contributions to the team’s training fund were entitled to extra tickets was accepted because the scheme didn’t involve a surcharge on individual tickets, as is the nub of the allegation against Donegal.

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