Fears over Limerick jobs as TDs seek clarity on proposed ticket re-selling laws

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

 Deputy Maurice Quinlivan

Deputy Maurice Quinlivan

A CLAUSE in the government’s new ticket touting legislation allowing stubs to be sold for a small mark-up would protect Limerick jobs.

That’s according to Sinn Fein TD Maurice Quinlivan, who is fearful proposed new laws could spell the end for the 275 staff working in viagogo in Castletroy.

The ticket re-selling web site had set up its European headquarters in Limerick back in 2015. But now, with the government set to ban the resale of tickets above face-value, there are now huge concerns hundreds of jobs are at risk, with Labour TD Jan O’Sullivan urging Jobs Minister Heather Humphreys to provide some clarity as to how the local positions will be protected.

“All Parties want ticket-touting dealt with: that’s not the issue. But the Minister has a responsibility to protect jobs throughout the country. The minister did say that she is getting the advice of the Attorney General and she did indicate that she will bring amendments to the bill,” Ms O’Sullivan said.

Mr Quinlivan said his own rejected legislation purposely included a provision to allow tickets to be resold for a profit of up to 10% over their face value.

“This would ensure that ticket reselling websites, such as Viagogo, could continue to sell second hand tickets with a small profit, but it would also place a cap on ticket prices to ensure consumers are protected,” he explained.

However, he feels the bill needs amending, pointing out at present, it would only apply to venues with a capacity over 1,000 –meaning local places like the Lime Tree Theatre, with its 511 seats, would not be subject to the legislation.

Senator Maria Byrne has been vocal on the issue and has lobbied the government over the legislation. She said last year that she had informed the minister that she would “find it difficult” to support legislation that would jeopardise jobs in Limerick.