Northern Ireland news

Casement Park: The story so far

The Casement Park site in Andersonstown, west Belfast. Picture by Mal McCann
Brendan Hughes

2006: Plans are unveiled to build a new 42,500-seater stadium for soccer, rugby, and Gaelic games at the site of the former Maze prison, with the provisional backing of the GAA.

January 2009: DUP sports minister Gregory Campbell scraps the Maze plan in favour of the three sports' ruling bodies developing their own stadium proposals.

March 2009: Ulster GAA proposes Casement Park is upgraded to become its premier GAA facility, accommodating 40,000 fans.

March 2011: Stormont executive agrees funding for major upgrades to three Belfast sports grounds – Casement, Ravenhill and Windsor.

December 2013: SDLP environment minister Mark H Durkan grants planning approval for 38,000-capacity Casement Park stadium project.

December 2014: High Court quashes Casement planning approval after residents' legal challenge. A judge rules the impact of bigger crowds had not been properly examined.

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April 2015: A safety expert tells a Stormont committee he faced "undue pressure" to approve the plans and accuses departmental officials of bullying. The GAA denied the claim.

August 2015: A Cabinet Office report describes "broken" relationships behind the scenes of the Casement redevelopment plans, and makes a series of recommendations on reviving the project.

January 2017: Sinn Féin infrastructure minister Chris Hazzard instructs officials to 'call in' any new Casement Park planning application so that a decision is made by the department rather than Belfast City Council.

February 2017: Ulster GAA submits its revised Casement Park planning application with a reduced capacity of around 34,000. It hopes to finish construction in 2019.

May 2018: High Court rules a senior civil servant did not have legal power to approve a new £240m waste incinerator without ministerial approval. Department for Infrastucture officials say that following the ruling they will not make any further decisions on major planning applications in the absence of ministers.

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