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Ball now in Fianna Fáil’s court over ticket touting legislation – Quinlivan

12 May, 2017 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Speaking after the second stage debate on his Bill to address the problem of ticket touting in Ireland, Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan has said that due to the Government’s eleventh hour attempt to kick this legislation down the road for nine months, the decision of proceeding ahead with regulation in this area now lies with Fianna Fáil. 

Teachta Quinlivan said; 

“Last night, the Government put down a last minute amendment to delay my Sale of Tickets (Sporting and Cultural Events) Bill 2017 by nine months, due to internal Fine Gael party quarrelling. I am disappointed at this development, and it is a far cry from the era of ‘new politics’ that the 32nd Dáil was supposed to represent. 

“It has become clear that Noel Rock TD, who drafted a similar, but flawed Bill on the issue which has not moved from first stage, was upset with the decision that the Government was to facilitate this Sinn Féin Bill to address ticket touting, and so an amendment was aimed at appeasing him and delaying the progress of my Bill. 

“It’s worth noting that Deputy Rock has gone out of his way to try and discredit the legislation over the past couple of days in the media, yet he made no personal contribution to the debate on the matter last night. 

“The ball is now firmly in Fianna Fáil’s court. They can decide if public concern and consumer interests trump that of petty Fine Gael party politics. 

“It is increasingly unlikely that this Government will be in office in nine months’ time, and therefore if we do not press ahead with reform of this area now, the problem of overpriced tickets and ticket touting will persist for the foreseeable future. 

“One particular concern I have is Ireland’s bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Ireland is competing with South Africa and France to host the tournament that will see 2,000,000 tickets sold by the host rugby union. Delaying reform of this area could give out the wrong message to World Rugby officials about Ireland’s ability to tackle this problem. 

“It was clear from the debate last night that all sides recognise we need to address this problem, so the issue of whose name is on the Bill, or what deputy is throwing their toys out of the pram, should not get in the way of progress. 

“I have previously stated that I will welcome extensive engagement with all stakeholders at committee stage, where this Bill will be fully scrutinised and all issues can be discussed and addressed. If other parties have constructive amendments to improve the Bill, these too will also be welcomed. However, shelving the Bill will have no benefits, and it will be consumers who lose out. 

“The decision on progress in this area now lies with Fianna Fáil and should they vote with the government next week on this delaying tactic, the blame for the continued upset and anger caused by ticket touting will lie at their door.” 

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