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Calls for GAA to scrap cashless policy after Cork GAA seeks to reintroduce cash

Calls have been issued for the GAA to scrap its cashless ticketing policy across all County Boards after it emerged that Cork GAA is seeking to facilitate payments in cash for fans.

As reported by The Irish Examiner late last week that Cork GAA are now “exploring” a means of facilitating turnstile payments, with the paper reporting that discussions around the issue of allowing cash payments have started at county board executive level. It was, however, decided not to air any early proposals at the county board meeting the previous week.

It is understood that a facility to accept cash or card could return for GAA games in Cork following backlash in the county over the GAA’s cashless directive. Back in February, Cork delegates slammed the cashless ticketing system – which they said directly took control away from clubs. Opponents of the system also said it resulted in taking away the independence of those who have supported the association through “thick and thin” for the last 70 years. 

The GAA’s first cashless set of fixtures (where tickets could not be purchased at turnstiles or nearby kiosks) took place in February, as the association sought to enforce the policy across the country, causing widespread alienation.

Following backlash from political party Aontú, along with the circulation of a 12,000-strong petition launched by Nodlaig Ni Bhrollaigh, sister of GAA pundit Joe Brolly, a cash turnstile could return for this year’s Cork County GAA championship games. 

Cork County Board say they will continue to abide by the GAA’s cashless ticketing policy, however proposals are being drawn up to assist those who have had difficulty pre-purchasing a ticket online.

It is not yet known whether a cash turnstile or a credit \ debit card system will be put in place over the summer months.


Welcoming the development, Aontú Leader Peadar Tóibín, who raised the issue in the Dáil, said that he was glad to see the campaign “gathering steam” with political parties and community organisations following suit. The Meath West TD said it has become clear that stopping cash payments was having “a negative impact on older people and people without internet or smart phone access”.

“Aontú was the first to raise this issue in the Dáil and to solicit support from the Taoiseach on this issue,” he said, continuing:

 “The GAA is a wonderful organisation. It is the most successful community organisation in the country. That’s why it was so disappointing to see this policy introduced. This policy is an exclusionist policy”.

The TD called on the GAA to reverse its cashless policy, pointing to the advocacy of organisations including Age NI on the issue.

“It’s hitting those who were isolated the most during the covid crisis the hardest. It has meant that many people, especially older people who cannot buy GAA tickets online or use technology are effectively banned from matches,” he said.

“I know of older people who have gone to matches. They have not been able to procure a ticket and they have had to go home. These are the people that built clubs in their local areas over the decades and now they are being turned away from matches. Age Action NI has recently come out publicly against this on the basis that it hurt older people the most. AIB was forced to reverse its cashless policy when they sought to get rid of cash in their branches in regional towns and I strongly believe the GAA should do likewise”.

“Aontú will continue our campaigning north and south for the reintroduction of cash in at  least one turnstile at each match. We urge wise heads in the GAA to do the right thing in each of the 32 counties”. 

In February, Gript interviewed Age NI in Belfast, with the charity for older people adding its voice to calls for the GAA to end its cashless digital ticketing system. Director Paschal McKeown told us that she feared the policy could lead to isolation and discrimination against older people in particular.

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