Ex-security man at Croke Park avoids jail over tickets theft

Suspended sentence for John Gibson (45) who never made profit from offence

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. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

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. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

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 he was working there with Brinks Allied.

He has since resigned his position.

Each booklet had 33 tickets allowing admission into each game at Croke Park for the 2014 GAA season. The seven booklets had a 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 of the booklets from Croke Park 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.

Considerable remorse

He said he believed Gibson had already suffered through his loss of employment and accepted he had shown considerable remorse.

Det Garda Fergal Flynn told Cormac Quinn BL, prosecuting, that the GAA spotted the tickets for sale on a website and immediately cancelled them.

Garda Flynn said Gibson was arrested on March 24th last and made full admissions.

He said he still had four booklets at his home. He had given two booklets to his ex-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 as a gift “to impress him”.

Gibson also gave two booklets to his ex-partner because he said he wanted to give her something to allow her to bring the children on holidays.

Garda Flynn confirmed all the booklets were rendered useless and that only two tickets were actually used for a Dublin vs Mayo game.

He agreed with Laurence Masterson BL, defending, that Gibson was immediately remorseful and confirmed again he had not profited in any way.

Garda Flynn further accepted Gibson’s actions were “instinctive and impulsive and he did so because his son was under pressure with a debt”.