Letters to the Editor

GAA monstrosity not the big investment it is portrayed to be

Paddy Heaney's Against the Breeze (March 25) proves the adage that a little knowledge is dangerous. As a 'Nordie' (whatever that is) he declares himself to be prejudiced and he certainly demonstrates this in the rest of his arrogant ramble.

He states that Belfast is not a GAA stronghold but then refers to there being 21 clubs in Belfast. Then he attempts to rubbish the right to exist of the Casement Social Club (perhaps started before Paddy was born). Again Paddy uses strange descriptions like 'Westies', describes west Belfast as a place apart and goes on to refer to De Lorean car company that was located in south not west Belfast. Mackies may have been on the Springfield Road and employed thousands but not many from Andersonstown or most of the rest of west Belfast. Then Paddy refers to an £80m investment project in Andersonstown which is really £61.4m from the public purse (yet to be approved by the EU under state aid laws) as the corporate developers £15m is a sham as being the exaggerated value of the Casement Park site (originally given free by the local community) valued back in the property bubble days of 2007, now only worth a few million pounds but the point is the developer is not contributing a penny, not a washer. So it's not the big investment it's being portrayed to be, it's a disservice to the community and there are a lot more than just some residents that cannot be appeased. There was almost 1,000 planning objectors but Paddy wouldn't know that. Again Paddy feels equipped to cast aspersions but the court actions are entirely the fault of the developer as their attempts to evict and disrupt the Casement Social Club have failed through due process of law and the club kept winning the legal battles because the club is right and the developer is wrong. The new Casement will be debt free but £61.4m from the public purse will make it so. He then quotes financial figures with authority and perhaps it's because he has seen the Business Plan which we would appreciate a copy of as our repeated requests for it have gone unanswered.

Paddy then refers to the false 'rumours' of concerts but perhaps he should study the small print buried within the planning application that states "live music and boxing events" in concert mode (38,000 seats and 18,500 on the pitch).

So, Paddy, to be honest, we in Andersonstown do not want this monstrosity in the middle of our community and so the drink-fuelled songs you dream of can be sung elsewhere.

JOE QUINN

Belfast BT11

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