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Not job of Executive to deliver Belfast stadium for soccer

25 July, 2007


Sinn Féin West Tyrone MLA Barry McElduff, who is the chairperson of the Assembly Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee has said that it is not the job of the Executive to deliver a Belfast stadium for soccer supporters.

Mr McElduff said:

"What has been lost in the debate about the new stadium is that we are talking about a multi-sports venue that meets the needs of all three main sporting anchor tenants - Gaelic sports, soccer and rugby.

"It is not the responsibility of the Executive to deliver a Belfast stadium for soccer supporters. It is about delivering a facility that is sustainable and that has excellent transport links for people from across the north.

"However, the development at the Maze/Long Kesh is about much more than just the sports stadium it is also about the International Centre for Conflict Transformation and it is clear that the development of both are interlinked.

"People have attempted to characterise the Centre for Conflict Transformation as a shrine. This is just ignorance. The Centre, that includes the listed parts of the Maze, is not about glorifying the past. It is about increasing understanding of conflict and conflict resolution and perhaps some of the uninformed debate about this issue underlines just why such a centre is valuable." ENDS

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