Fine Gael Senator Regina Doherty is calling on the GAA to reverse a recent decision to remove the Group Seating facility for single account season ticket holders. This new change will particularly affect women and elderly people at GAA matches in Croke Park and other large stadiums.
Senator Doherty said, “’Previously, a single account season ticket holder could group their seats in a block with friends or family in order to watch the hurling, football, or camogie match in company. The decision to remove this group seating option is not fair on the people who purchase Season Tickets.
“Many GAA fans season ticket holders who bring an elderly parent, aunt, or uncle to the big days out in the GAA’s calendar, need to be seated with that person in case they fall ill, especially with the hustle and bustle after a game to get out of the stadium.
“This mostly applies to Croke Park where there is preassigned seating.
“On All-Ireland final day with over 80,000 people around you, I know myself I would feel much safer and content with a friend or family member beside me. Most people have a positive experience at our national games in Croke Park or elsewhere, but from time to time there are incidents where women have felt frightened and uncomfortable because of people around them in the stands. The GAA’s decision to change the grouping mechanism will mean less women and even some men attending the matches because they do not want to be alone.
‘”I have written to the President of the GAA, Larry McCarthy and Ard Stiúrthóir, Tom Ryan, about my concerns relating to this change in policy around season tickets and I am calling on them to reverse this decision.
‘”There’s nothing better than a day in Croke Park supporting the local team and soaking up the atmosphere, so we must ensure people feel safe, whether it is an elderly person, women or even younger people who would much prefer to be seated with friends and family”, concluded Senator Doherty.