GAA officials came under fire at Monday night’s Donegal county committee meeting for not having a strategy in place for the distribution of All-Ireland tickets.
The criticism came after county chairman P.J. McGowan informed the committee that they hadn’t a ticket allocation system in place and that it would be Wednesday night before it would be finalised.
The chairman also informed the committee that they were also still awaiting their allocation from Croke Park, though he did state that they had unofficially been informed the allocation would be in the region of 14,000 to 14,500, give or take 500 tickets.
He also assured the committee that the tickets would be distributed as fairly as was possible to do.
However, this did not go down well with a number of delegates who stated that they were expecting to be informed at the meeting how the board planned to distribute the tickets and the allocation each club was to receive.
“We accept that you have not been given the exact allocation, but given that you have been given the ballpark figure of 14,000, you could use that as a basis for distribution and give us some idea of what we are to receive,” said Carndonagh delegate Elizabeth Doherty.
Ms Doherty also went on to say that she had come to the meeting expecting to be given a rough guide at least of the club’s ticket allocation.
This sentiment was echoed by a number of other delegates including Liam Ward, Glenfin; Terence McGinley, Naomh Ultan and Brendan Kelly, Convoy, while James Dowds, Naomh Colmcille, wanted to know if the system was going to be transparent and would the committee be furnished with a list of who received tickets afterwards.
Danny Dowds, Burt, also queried had any consideration been give to the system used in 1992, where the allocations were according to club status, senior, intermediate and junior. This system, it was claimed by Brendan Kelly, did not work in 1992, because it was very unfair on junior clubs.
John Travers, Aodh Ruadh, also queried if any provision had been given to giving members of the county committee (the representatives of the clubs on county committee) an allocation.
While in a response to a query from Danny Dowds, county secretary Aodh Mairtin O’Fearraigh stated that a request for an extra allocation on the back of Donegal being one of the best supported counties fell on deaf ears in Croke Park.
A proposal to have a special meeting to discuss the distribution system once it was finalised by the officials was turned down by the chairman.
He insisted that the proposed distribution system would go before the county officer board/executive on Wednesday night, and once it was agreed the clubs would be immediately informed, and that they did not have the time to have another county committee meeting on the matter.
Meanwhile, Paul Carr, St, Eunan’s, and Sean Dunnion, Four Masters, the two county committee members appointed to oversee the distribution of the tickets, said that they had been working on a system with the treasurer Grace Boyle for a number of days and that they had the system almost complete.
Paul Carr and Sean Dunnion were selected by the treasurer and received the unanimous support of the committee at Monday night’s meeting.