GAA Football

KIlcoo skipper Conor Laverty calls on Gaels to back Casement Park project

Work has not begun on the redevelopment of Casement Park. Picture Mal McCann.
Andy Watters

ENTHUSIASTIC applause followed Kilcoo skipper Conor Laverty's rallying call for Gaels to support the rebuilding of Casement Park after Sunday's Ulster final.

Shortly after receiving Ulster club football's most prestigious trophy, Laverty encouraged fans of the Down club to get behind the redevelopment of the west Belfast ground that was promised as the new modern home for Gaelic Games in the province.

However, the plans for the development of the Andersonstown Road venue have been gathering dust for almost three years now and there is no sign of work beginning on the proposed 34,000 stadium in the near future.

“We have great facilities here in Omagh but it would be great to see all the Gaels who are here today supporting the Casement Project and trying to get that back up-and-running,” said Laverty at Healy Park last Sunday.

“That would be very important.”

Last week former Armagh skipper and GAA Presidential candidate Jarlath Burns called for to start on the project and his former team-mate Justin McNulty, an All-Ireland winner with the Orchardmen back in 2002, did likewise. Both highlighted the relatively seamless development of Windsor Park, home of the Northern Ireland soccer team, and Ravenhill, now the Kingspan Stadium, the home of Ulster Rugby.

Tom Daly, chairman of the Casement Park Project Board, added: “It is obvious that the provision of modern infrastructure has helped develop the profile and standing of both sports.”

Daly added that he had been in contact with the Department for Infrastructure and expressed his concerns overs delays in the process.

“While we welcome the department's response which recognised our frustration and indicated that the process will soon be drawing to a close, we remain focused on ensuring our members are provided with absolute clarity on when, and by whom, a decision will be made,” he said.

“Thereafter, subject to planning approval and securing the additional investment required to deliver the project, we remain hopeful that work could commence in 2020 at Casement Park.”

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GAA Football