The Ulster Council of the GAA have rejected claims that their decision to have no concessionary rates for U-16’s wanting to watch Sunday’s Ulster final from the St. Tiernach’s Park Hill is purely for financial reason.
The claim was made by former Donegal All-Star full-forward, Tony Boyle, who is incensed by the decision to charge the full adult rate of €15 for U-16’s to the famous Clonesas Hill.
Boyle is particularly annoyed after taking his daughter to the Hill free of charge for the Ulster semi-final meeting of Donegal and Tyrone two weeks ago. However, the provincial body through their PRO Oliver Galligan, have rejected the accusation and insisted that nothing could be further from the case.
“It strikes me that it is nothing other than a money making exercise by the Ulster Council and they are putting money and finance before supporters,” Boyle fumed when contacted by the Donegal Democrat. Responding to the former All-Ireland winning forward and ex-Donegal assistant manager’s claim, Ulster PRO said that the Ulster Council were family friendly and had a number of different concession packages for U-16’s and other groups.
“First of all, on the day, we expect up to 16,000 on the Hill. We don’t think that the Hill with that type of crowd is not family friendly and is not a safe place for U-16s. That is why we do not have a concession for the area, purely for safety reasons and no other,” Galligan insisted yesterday afternoon.
“To compensate for that we have a family concession rate of €25 per adult accompanied by any number of children at €5 per child (U-16) in the open seating area. This allows an adult and a person U-16 into the seated open stand for €30, the same as it would cost to go to the Hill. So why would you want to stand in the Hill when you can sit in the stand for the same charge and much less if you have more than one child?” he asked.
The PRO also went on to state that they also had a number of special concessionary rates including the ‘50-4-50’ package where 50 children accompanied by four adults are allowed in for a €1 each.
Meanwhile, Donegal officials are expecting in the region of 8000, supporters to leave the county on Sunday morning for what is the county’s first Ulster senior final in five season.
And that figure is expected to swell to close on 10,000 with green and gold followers travelling from all parts of the country and from abroad.
Sunday’s final is a repeat of the 1998 decider also in Clones won by Derry with a late Joe Brolly goal. It is also the first Ulster final that will not involve Armagh or Tyrone since 1998.