madness | 

Crazy hotel prices force Kerry fans to travel up and down to Dublin on same day for final clash

Kerry hurler Maurice O’Connor with the Joe McDonagh Cup. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Colm Keys

Kerry hurlers have to travel up and down to Dublin on the day they contest the Joe McDonagh Cup final because they cannot get accommodation anywhere close to the city, it has emerged.

And the county board must pre-pay around €13,000 for accommodation on the weekend of the All-Ireland football quarter-finals or risk the same problem, even though they haven’t made it that far yet.

The rising accommodation costs and shortage of rooms is hitting counties hard as the climax of the season, which requires more travel, kicks in.

Kerry chairman Patrick O’Sullivan said they could not get accommodation for the hurlers from Adare to Dublin. The same issues are facing Kerry supporters, who may also have to commit to same-day journeys as they are being priced out of staying in Dublin or the surrounding areas.

O’Sullivan said Kerry have used a number of hotels in the Dublin area over the years but all are unavailable, forcing the hurlers to fly up on Saturday week, play Antrim at 5pm and then take a bus back to Kerry that evening.

“From Adare to Dublin we couldn’t find anything available for the party required to be together,” he said.

The footballers play Limerick in tomorrow’s Munster final and if they win, the €13,000 they’ve committed to paying won’t have been in vain as a quarter-final place will be secured.

“There is no guarantee we will be involved that weekend but if we are, it is the only way we can be assured of accommodation for a party of 45.

“It’s working out at twice the price we would be used to paying. If we don’t qualify, we lose that money. In some cases we were being quoted three times the normal price.”

O’Sullivan said he hoped Croke Park could provide assistance for counties facing such accommodation dilemmas.

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