College has settled a High Court action taken against it by the firm that runs the ticketing system for the Book of Kells, the Sunday Times has reported.
This comes after Future Ticketing, who have run the ticketing operation for the exhibition since 2016, alleged that the new four-year contract to run the ticketing system was wrongly awarded to a rival firm Ticketsolve.
Future Ticketing alleged that the reasoning for the award of the tender was “ambiguous or discriminatory” and that Ticketsolve had no track record running similar services.
The legal action taken by Future Ticketing led to the suspension of the €620,000 contract award. However, it is understood that the case was settled on Monday last week when Future Ticketing agreed to withdraw the case after reaching a financial settlement with College over the case’s legal costs.
Trinity said it would not comment on “a confidential agreement”. It added that the Book of Kells – which has been closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic – is expected to open from mid-August to “a limited number of visitors”.
College also said that its contract with Authenticity Tours, the campus tour company that also sells tickets to the Book of Kells, would end on December 31st, 2020.
Earlier this year, the Sunday Times reported that Joseph O’Gorman, an officer in Trinity’s Central Societies Committee and a Trinity Seanad candidate, had given himself and his partner around €1.3 million in the last four years through the tour company he runs on campus.
The company, which operates under the name Trinity Tours, charges €6 for a tour of campus, or €15 for a ticket including admission to the Book of Kells exhibition.
Its annual accounts reportedly show that it paid directors’ remuneration to O’Gorman and Nangle – who own 65 per cent and 35 per cent of the company respectively – of €192,000 in 2015, €230,000 in 2016, €268,000 in 2017 and €302,000 in 2018.
In 2017, The University Times reported that the College was cracking down on unofficial campus tours. Only tours led by Authenticity Tours are now allowed on campus.