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Duplicate tickets sent out by GAA ticketing partner spark fears

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Tickets.ie have admitted the mistake ahead of Saturday’s Mayo v Dublin All-Ireland football semi-final replay

Edwin McGreal

Mayo and Dublin supporters who bought tickets for Saturday’s eagerly awaited All-Ireland Football Semi-Final replay have been left with huge concerns after some of them received duplicate tickets.
One supporter, who contacted The Mayo News, received 12 tickets in the post today. He had only ordered four and received two identical duplicates of each ticket, with the same serial number.
Aaron Curry, from Breaffy, Castlebar, but living in Dublin, received his tickets this morning and was alarmed to find 12 Hill 16 tickets instead of the four he had ordered and paid for.
He contacted the GAA who told him they were aware of many people receiving duplicates but that he was the first person they heard of receiving three copies of the same ticket.
Mr Curry was told he would still be able to gain access once he keeps all his tickets and just uses four of them.
However, Mr Curry expressed concern about what would happen should duplicates fall into the hands of ticket touts.
“If touts get multiple copies and sell them, not all the people who buy them will get in and they will have no way of knowing because the tickets are real tickets, not fake,” Mr Curry told The Mayo News.
He also said there are concerns if more than one person gets in on duplicates of the one ticket, and possible overcrowding resulting from this. He said the GAA told him this would not be possible as only one ticket with the same serial number will get past the barcode scanning system, a line reiterated by Tickets.ie
Mr Curry said anyone buying tickets from another individual should be aware of the possibility of duplicate tickets being in existence and to tread very carefully.
Tickets.ie, the GAA’s online ticketing partner, sent out a press release to people who bought tickets from them confirming the situation.
“A small number of customers may have received a second copy of their tickets in the post,” they state.
“If you have received a second copy of your tickets please keep one copy in a safe place and use this copy to gain admission to the game. Please destroy the other copy. It does not matter which copy you destroy,” they added.
“Ticket scanning will be in operation for Saturday's match and only one set of tickets can be used to gain entry. Any subsequent attempt to use the duplicate tickets will not be successful and entry will be refused,” they concluded.
A former footballer with Breaffy, Aaron Curry said he found the online system to buy tickets on Sunday night ‘a joke’, waiting two hours before he could complete his purchase and concedes many more were less fortunate, ending up with no tickets despite trying to buy for hours. The general sale tickets sold out on Monday morning, after two batches were released on Sunday evening and Monday morning.
There have been huge concerns expressed by supporters about the handling of the ticket situation ahead of Saturday’s game.
“The whole ticket situation already has an air of chaos about it,” said John Gunnigan on his popular Mayo GAA Blog. “First there was the downright unfairness of releasing tickets for sale online right after the game while our supporters were still on the road home. Then there was the issue about the tickets.ie site crashing repeatedly on Sunday night and again yesterday.
“It wasn’t long yesterday (Monday) either before the first signs of touting appeared, with tickets being sold on Done Deal and elsewhere for well above face value. And now it’s emerged that this low-life behaviour was facilitated directly by the GAA itself with the official Croke Park ticket office on Dorset Street placing no limit on the number of tickets that could be bought over the counter. Little wonder there were queues round the corner yesterday morning,” he said.
Done Deal has subsequently stated it will not allow the selling of tickets on its website above face value, as have Adverts.ie.
Meanwhile Mayo GAA Administrator Michael Commins has sent a statement out to GAA clubs in Mayo outlining that there has been ‘a massive increase’ in demand for tickets from the drawn game, from 7,000 for last Sunday’s game to 10,300 now.
“Most clubs will have seen an increase because of the lack of on-line sales and retail sales over the last few days,” he said.
However, in an email sent out this afternoon he said Mayo GAA will be able to fulfill all orders received by the clubs.
GAA Head of Media Relations Alan Milton told The Mayo News on Monday that there has been ‘unprecedented demand’ for both of these games, describing it as ‘akin’ to an All-Ireland Final.
Sunday’s drawn game was a sell out while Saturday’s replay is certain to be.