Northern Ireland

Casement Park funding announcement after election

The redevelopment of Casement Park has been delayed
The redevelopment of Casement Park has been delayed (Liam McBurney/PA)

Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris has said that an announcement on funding for west Belfast’s Casement Park will be made after the July 4 General Election.

Mr Heaton-Harris was speaking after a meeting of the British Irish Council in the Isle of Man today.

Asked about whether the British government was reneging on its commitment to fund the redevelopment of the sports stadium, Mr Heaton-Harris said: “I think you’ll find that there’ll be an announcement almost certainly by the new government on this in the future, which will suggest the premise of your question might not be correct.”

Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly said: “There have been a number of discussions and, as indicated, it is likely that this issue will be touched on again after the General Election, but we’re not anticipating any news prior to the General Election certainly on it.

“I’m privy to some of those discussions with the UK government, Chris Heaton-Harris would be more privy to some of that than I would be.”

Earlier this week Taoiseach Simon Harris said Dublin government funding for Casement Park is guaranteed regardless of whether the stadium hosts games during Euro 2028.

Mr Harris said the €50 million commitment was not dependent on the west Belfast venue being part of the joint UK/Irish hosting of the showpiece football tournament.

His comments come amid mounting speculation that the stadium is set to be axed as a venue for 2028.

The derelict west Belfast ground has been earmarked to play host to five Euro 2028 matches.