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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 10 December, 2019
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Supporters left unimpressed after mad dash and long queues for Galway-Clare replay tickets

Rather than distribute through clubs, the GAA sold tickets for the replay through tickets.ie, Centra and SuperValu.

Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

CLARE COUNTY BOARD chairman Joe Cooney is among those to have labelled the ticketing system for The Banner’s All-Ireland semi-final replay with Galway “a joke” after the GAA decided not to distribute tickets through clubs, instead selling them via official shop outlets throughout the country as well as on tickets.ie.

All three ticketing avenues experienced severe congestion from early this afternoon, with some users reporting backlogs of up to two hours online, while queues in Centra and SuperValu stores in Clare in particular spilt well outside their respective doors.

“We found out this morning at about half-10 in an email from Croke Park,” Cooney told RTÉ regarding the release of tickets for Sunday’s Thurles replay.

It is a joke, there are a lot of genuine supporters out there especially elderly people who can’t go online to order their tickets. I believe there are big queues [at official outlets like Centra], I was talking to a man who had to wait two hours online before his turn came around.

The capacity at Semple Stadium is in the region of 46,000, while the attendance at Galway and Clare’s original clash at Croke Park last Saturday was about 8,000 higher.

Stand tickets for Sunday’s replay reportedly sold out around lunchtime, while tickets.ie’s allocation – for all stands – is completely sold out.

Croke Park was unavailable to host the all-western small-ball clash due to the Dublin footballers’ Super-8s dead rubber with Roscommon, which throws in at 3:30 – an hour and a half after Galway-Clare gets underway in Thurles.

Fans were left frustrated by the mad scramble to get tickets which was caused, in part, by the lack of prior notice. One woman told Clare FM from a shop queue:

You just wonder what club membership is about when we’re standing in the rain with, probably, people who aren’t members of clubs.

The GAA’s decision not to distribute the tickets through local clubs was due to the short turnaround between each game, and in part because the Galway footballers are also in action on Saturday.

They also told Clare FM that, because next Monday is not a Bank Holiday in Northern Ireland, the replay couldn’t be fixed for Croke Park on that day.

Some supporters, however – many of whom were in attendance last Saturday but this afternoon had a battle on their hands to get to Thurles, and many of who were working today – were less than impressed by today’s arrangement.

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