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Counterfeit Ticket Warning for U2 Concerts at Slane

Irish Times
"You will not get in" was the stark warning for ticket touts and fans with counterfeit tickets for this year's U2 concerts at Slane Castle from the Garda and Ticketmaster yesterday.

Announcing details of the security operation in place for the concerts over the next two Saturdays (August 25th and September 1st), Chief Supt. Michael Finnegan, of the Louth-Meath Garda division, said special units have been put in place to target ticket touts.

"From an operational point of view we cannot afford to let anybody through with a fake ticket simply because the concerts are sold out and, with crowd control and security concerns, we cannot allow numbers inside in excess of what is legislated and licensed for," he said.

Fans leaving on special buses from Parnell Square in Dublin will not be allowed travel if their tickets are found to be fake, and at checkpoints into Slane village gardaí and Ticketmaster staff will be electronically scanning all tickets to ensure they were bought at genuine outlets.

Recent publicity about the counterfeit tickets and gangs behind the forging operations resulted in the touts going to ground, but in coming days and on the days of the concerts gardaí expect them to reappear and to try to take money from unsuspecting fans.

"We have special units to target ticket touts. I would say to anybody who bought their ticket anywhere other than at a Ticketmaster or legitimate outlet, to check the ticket because on the day of the concert I am quite confident that nobody with a counterfeit ticket will get through our checkpoints," Chief Supt. Finnegan added.

About 80,000 tickets have been sold for each concert through official Ticketmaster outlets.

Yesterday ardaí also issued details of the strict traffic management plan which will see all traffic diverted off the N2 from 8 p.m. the day before each concert. In addition, undercover gardaí will be watching for drug-dealing, and a special court will be in session throughout the day to deal with people arrested.

© Irish Times, 2001. All rights reserved.