Tickets.ie, the system utilised by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), has apologised after fans encountered problems when they tried to purchase tickets for Saturday’s Dublin v Mayo All-Ireland Gaelic football semi-final.

The GAA acknowledged that virtual queues of up to 20,000 people formed after tickets went on sale yesterday (Tuesday) morning, with some fans waiting for up to five hours, only to be informed that online sales had ended.

Although some disgruntled supporters claimed that the system had crashed, Tickets.ie posted on Twitter at noon yesterday: “Tickets for both semi-finals are still on sale – retail and online. There are no issues with the listing however there is a queuing system in place to manage the very high volume of traffic on the website. We do apologise for any inconvenience caused and hope you get your tickets.”

Tickets could also be purchased physically at several SuperValue outlets, with the supermarket chain serving as an official sponsor of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship. However, fans reported waiting in queues of 350 people for the whole day, with only 50 or 60 receiving tickets.

Mayo fan Michael Gallagher told RTÉ Sport: “At 4.20pm the system seemed to crash for the third time and I eventually just walked away. I’d say there were about 350 people ahead of me in the queue at the start of the day and maybe 50 or 60 of those got tickets.

“It was good natured at the start and there was even a bit of singing in the line early on, but it began to get a little angry with the whole situation as the time passed – not with the shop or their staff, but with the system.”

The game between Mayo and Dublin is likely to attract a sell-out crowd at the 82,300-capacity Croke Park.

Image: marcoreinke