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Future Ticketing launches High Court action over Book of Kells tender process

Irish company Future Ticketing claims the tender process used to award tourist attraction Book of Kells’ ticketing contract was illegal and has launched High Court action.

The Irish Times newspaper reports that Future has “grave concerns” over the tender process, which took place last year and saw it replaced by Ticketsolve. Future has been supplying the attraction’s ticketing system for several years and claims the new firm “has no track record” operating similar systems.

Future has launched legal action seeking a judicial review of Trinity College Dublin’s decision, in a case that was due before the High Court on Monday. The firm is asking the High Court to rule that the process was flawed on a number of grounds, including “errors” in assessing Ticketsolve’s bid and that the scoring was “ambiguous or discriminatory”.

Trinity has defended the awarding of the tender in legal correspondence and also in affidavits filed with the court, the Irish Times reports.

The Book of Kells was the fourth most popular fee-charging tourist attraction in Ireland in 2018, with almost 1.1 million visitors, which was surpassed only by the Guinness Storehouse, the Cliffs of Moher visitor experience, and Dublin Zoo.

The tender for the attraction’s ticketing system was issued last June, and it listed the value of the “visitor attraction management system” contract at €620,000 over four years, with an option to extend for a further two.

In the tender, Trinity said the new system had to support the Book of Kells and “ambitious redevelopment plans” involving other attractions on its campus. It wanted “an integrated system to capture and report on all visitor engagement with Trinity’s attractions”.

Image: Bro. Jeffrey Pioquinto, SJ