Northern Ireland news

Casement Park cost 'cannot be allowed to delay project' says Sinn Féin's Paul Maskey

Casement Park has been closed since 2013. This is what the new one will resemble should the GAA get planning permission
Brendan Hughes

THE Casement Park redevelopment cost rising to £110 million "cannot be allowed to delay the project any further", a Sinn Féin MP has said.

Ulster GAA last week confirmed the west Belfast stadium plan's new projected cost – over 40 per cent more than the £77.5m originally budgeted.

Stormont had pledged £62.5m with the GAA providing £15m, but GAA chiefs now want more public money to help plug the £32.5m funding shortfall.

Civil servants say they cannot allocate more funding without ministerial approval.

This week marks 10 years since Ulster GAA first announced its plan to build a major new stadium, but the troubled project has faced numerous setbacks.

Revised stadium plans submitted in 2017 have yet to receive planning permission.

On Monday SDLP MLA Justin McNulty, a former GAA All-Ireland winner, said they "fully support" awarding more public money "to ensure major Gaelic games can once again be played at this historic venue".

In a statement yesterday, Sinn Féin West Belfast MP Paul Maskey said Casement "must be delivered on".

"Of course, the projected costs have increased in the intervening period. It has been in abeyance for 10 years and higher costs are inescapable given the passage of so much time. But that cannot be allowed to delay the project any further," he said.

Northern Ireland has not had a power-sharing government since the DUP and Sinn Féin-led executive fell apart in 2017.

The DUP was also asked whether Ulster GAA should receive more taxpayer cash for Casement, and if so how much, but the party did not respond.

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