Hurling and camogie

Aogán Ó Fearghail confident Casement Park redevelopment will go ahead

The Ulster Council has opened a Casement Park office at 135 Andersonstown road. Pictured are Ulster GAA president Michael Hasson and Collie Donnelly, chairman of Antrim county board, at the opening of the office, which is opposite Andersonstown leisure centre. The aim is to support the ongoing consultation on the proposed new stadium design. Information booklets and feedback forms regarding the proposed design are available from Picture by Press Eye
Kenny Archer in Dubai

GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghail has expressed confidence the Casement Park redevelopment project will go ahead.

The Cavan man has called the new proposals “sensible” and argued that the stadium will be “good for the whole northern-half of Ireland": “I think the new Casement will happen,” he said, on the GAA/ GPA Football Allstars tour in Dubai.

“I would have said to you six months ago that I hoped it happens, but I'm saying to you now I think it will happen.”

The recently announced plans for a smaller scale stadium still received objections from some local residents but O Fearghail insists he took that in his stride, saying:

“I'm never surprised when there's an objection about anything we do in the GAA. I'd be absolutely amazed if we proposed something in the GAA and there was no objection or no surprise. Unfortunately that's the way I see it…

“I think there are still residents that have concerns but they're being met and they're being visited. There's been public notices. I've been at them. They're being welcomed into the halls of the area, the proposals have been displayed, the architects have been brought, there's huge consultation taking place. There have been changes.

“The current proposal is for a good, sensible mid-30,000, 35,000 stadium. A lot of the residents now accept this will be good for Belfast, good for the whole northern-half of Ireland.

“There's going to be some objections and I can't predict what any court, north, south, east or west will come up with. I just can't but I would be more hopeful than I've been before that we're making slow, this is very slow, but I think we're making progress on it.”

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Hurling and camogie