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Gerry Kelly MLA celebrates 125 years of GAA at Belfast strategy launch

1 May, 2009 - by Gerry Kelly

Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly MLA has stated today at the launch of the GAA’s Belfast Strategy, ‘Ardú Bhéal Feirste’ that, over the 125 years of the organisations existence it has remained at the heart of many local communities bringing vision and energy to those that it reaches, nevermore so than with the ambitious proposal for a new 40,000 plus stadium.

Speaking at the event Mr Kelly said:

“The GAA’s 125th anniversary is being celebrated across the country and events have proven to be at the heart of many communities, as has the GAA itself over its lifetime.

“Key to that energy and vision of the GAA are developments that benefit the communities that it situates itself in. The launch of the Belfast Strategy ‘Ardú Bhéal Feirste’, its commitment to local clubs, and its proposals for  a new stadium is part and parcel of that ethos.

“This is a visionary plan that when developed will transform Casement Park and act as a catalyst for the further development of the GAA across Belfast and Ulster.

“A state of the art 40,000 plus stadium is required to meet the strategic needs of the GAA in Ulster.

“Recently Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson reaffirmed their commitment to meeting the strategic stadium needs of the GAA. These needs can be met through the plans for a new Casement park. We are determined to see this project through to completion.

“Under the leadership of both counties and with the support of the Ulster Council I believe that the GAA will continue to grow and develop across Belfast. I hope that we can play apart in facilitating that development and I look to the future with a renewed sense of optimism.” ENDS

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