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Senator: Reverse tout ban to save Irish jobs

Limerick senator Maria Byrne has called for plans to outlaw for-profit ticket resale to be axed, saying hundreds of jobs would be lost if Viagogo relocated

By Jon Chapple on 03 Aug 2018

Maria Byrne

image © Shauna Kennedy/Midwest Job Shop 2016

A member of Ireland’s upper house has urged the Republic’s business minister, Heather Humphreys, to abandon plans for a ban on the resale of tickets above face value, saying it would put hundreds of jobs at risk.

Maria Byrne, a Fine Gael senator from Limerick, has called on Humphrey’s to rethink the government’s support for the bill, which she says could force controversial resale site Viagogo – a major employer in Limerick – out of the county.

Byrne (pictured) tells the Irish Independent she could oppose the passage of the Prohibition of Above-Cost Ticket Touting Bill when it comes before the Senate.

“Viagogo, whose European HQ is based in [Limerick suburb] Castletroy, is an online ticket marketplace for ticket resale and is a massive employer in Limerick, with 150 employees currently on its books [and] plans to grow its staff to around 250,” she comments.

“Viagogo is a massive employer in Limerick”

“I was alarmed to learn that ticket resale sites like the Ticketmaster company Seatwave closed down in Belgium when it introduced similar legislation.”

Noel Rock, the MP who introduced the bill in January 2017, says the legislation is in the national interest.

“The reality is that the majority of the public do not want to see politicians cave into lobbyists’ demands on this one, and would prefer to see matchgoers and concertgoers properly protected, rather than propping up the companies that facilitate this gouging of punters.

“The cabinet have accepted this, and we hope to be in a position to legislate in the months ahead.”

 


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