Ormeau Park Stadium report a costly academic exercise
Sinn Fein MLA Barry McElduff, who is Chair of the Assembly's Culture, Arts and Leisure committee, has stated that the main focus any stadium proposlas shoulb be to meet the the strategic requirements of the three sporting bodies, the GAA, IRFU and IFA, who would have been involved in the Multi Sports Stadium at the Long Kesh site.
Speaking following the recommendation from a consultancy group hired by Belfast City Council stating that Ormeau Park would be the preferrable site Mr McElduff said:
“These consultations are superfluous and a waste of money. To spend over £100,000 of Belfast rate payers money to state where Belfast would like to see a multisports stadium located in the city, despite the fact that such a stadium has been ruled out by the previous Culture, Arts and Leisure Minister, is a rather academic exercise.
“It is already known that the sporting bodies that endorsed the stadium at the Long Kesh site, the GAA, IRFU and IFA have made it clear that they now need to see all of their individual strategic requirements met.
“This has now advanced to plans being submitted and some sites for the regeneration of stadia. An example of this is the GAA identifying the basic need for a stadium in the north which will have a spectator capacity in excess of 40,000. Their preferred choice is that this is at Casement Park.
“Similarly the IRFU and IFA will be confirming their strategic priorities to the department and the Minister in the near future.
“Why Belfast City Council is now detailing plans for a multi sports stadium is beyond me. Surely the consultants should have been aware of the developments on this issue and the fact that the vast majority of the residents in that area are opposed to any type of development like this in the park.”