Tickets for the Mayo Dublin All Ireland final are scarcer than gold
By Damian Dolan
The race is on for All Ireland SFC final tickets after Mayo and Dublin booked their places in this year’s Croke Park showpiece on 17 September.
For Mayo fans it’s a double-edged sword; the chance to endure more All Ireland final heartache, or the opportunity to ‘be there’ should Mayo finally end their 66-year wait for Sam, and in doing so end the so-called and over-stated ‘curse’ which has hung over the county since they were last crowned champions in 1951.
But it isn’t just from within Mayo itself that the scramble for tickets in on.
One of the strongest supported counties in London, as witnessed every five years when the county team travels to Ruislip to play London in the Connacht Championship, hundreds if not thousands are expected to make the trip to Dublin for the final.
With tickets for the final not available to buy on general sale, there’s sure to be a mad scramble by Mayo supporters to get their hands on them. Tickets are going to be like gold dust.
Mick Feehan of Cáirde Mhiagheo London (London Friends of Mayo), said: “We’re expecting it to go crazy this week with people ringing and looking for tickets. Everyone wants to be there.
“We anticipate huge demand and it will definitely exceed the number of tickets available. It’s going to go crazy and we expect to get phone calls all the time.
“Mayo is a great county with great support and outside of Dublin it’s the best supported county, and Mayo supporters over here are equally as passionate about supporting their county, if not more so.
“It’s an expensive business travelling back to Ireland for finals, but that’s just the way it is. If you support you’re county you’ll do it.”
“I’ll pull in a few favours”
Cáirde Mhiagheo London will be giving people a chance to get their hands on tickets when hold a race night at the Oxford Arms in Camden (date to be announced).
There will be 8-10 tickets available to be won on the night. www.cairdemhaigheolondon.com
The London Friends of Mayo was set up in 2011 to lead Mayo’s GAA fundraising activities in London, and was launched by then Mayo manager James Horan.
St Kiernan’s GAA club manager Chris Byrne, who comes from Belmullet, wasted no time in booking to travel to Dublin for the final, even though he has yet to get his hands on any tickets.
“I booked up on Saturday evening after the semi-final. I’m taking my son and we’ll be flying in on the morning of the final and flying out that evening, as my son has school the next day,” said Byrne. “Where we’ll get tickets from I don’t know, it’s hard to get hold of tickets for any All Ireland. I’m sure we’ll get hold of some somewhere – I’ll pull in a few favours!
“It’ll be a mad scramble for tickets. They’ll be people looking for tickets now because it’s an All Ireland final who wouldn’t go to a game all year.”
Similarly, Anthony Heraty, who is from Greenford and whose parents are both from Westport, was at Croke Park last weekend to see Mayo book their place in the final. He’ll be back there on 17 September having booked his outbound flight to Dublin for the final before Mayo’s semifinal with Kerry, even though he has yet to acquire tickets for the game.
“Now they’re in the final I’ve booked the return flight,” said Heraty, who played for London club Heston Gaels. “I did the same last year. I’m a big Mayo fan, I was at the first final between the sides last year, and I was at Mayo’s previous final as well.
“With Dublin in the final it’s going to be hard to get tickets to the game, so I’ll just have to ask around.
“There’s no point even asking the family in Mayo as they’re all going to be trying to get them themselves, so you’re better off going outside of the county. I’ll get on to a few friends and hope for the best.”
Tickets for both the All- Ireland football and hurling finals are allocated to each county board, with the two competing counties each receiving the largest allocation. In turn, these tickets are then filtered down by the respective boards to the clubs and to the club members.
In the wake of this year’s finalists being decided after last weekend’s semi-final action, the GAA has warned supporters against purchasing tickets from any unofficial sources. The GAA has made a concerted effort in recent years to crack down on the illegal sale of final tickets, and will be cracking down this year on such activity.
A GAA spokesperson, said: “Supporters and members are urged not to buy tickets from unofficial sources for above face value as they risk purchasing tickets that may be cancelled.”
The Irish Mirror reported that tickets for last Sunday’s All-Ireland football semi-final between Dublin and Tyrone has seen tickets with a face value of €45 priced as high as €447.98 on re-sale site Seatwave.
The GAA has responded by cancelling many of the tout tickets being sold as high as ten times their face value.