Broad welcome for Casement Park ruling

 

Broad welcome for Casement Park ruling 

Brian McAvoy, Chief Executive of Ulster GAA, Ciaran McLaughlin, President of Ulster GAA and Tom Daly, Chairman of Casement Park Stadium Development Project Board.

By Damian Mullan

Reporter:

By Damian Mullan

Email:

damianmullan@hotmail.co.uk

Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd has welcomed a ruling by the High Court about planning permission for a new 34,000 seater stadium at Casement Park in west Belfast.

The court ruled against the Mooreland and Owenvarragh Residents' Association, who were attempting to overturn the planning permission granted in 2021.

Speaking following Tuesday's judgement, John O’Dowd said: “I welcome the decision by Mr Justice Humphreys who has upheld the decision to approve the Casement Park redevelopment. I hope today signals a way forward for Casement Park. 

"The redevelopment of this stadium will unlock a brighter future for west Belfast and beyond. It will not only provide the much needed, modern facilities required for Gaelic games in Belfast and for the Ulster GAA family but it will also provide many other economic and social benefits for the local community and local businesses.”  

The decision has also been welcomed by Ulster GAA which described the decision as 'truly momentous' for the Gaels of Antrim and Ulster and the GAA at national level.

"We can now, finally, plan for the delivery of our provincial stadium and the last remaining project within the NI Executive’s Regional Sports Stadia Programme," said a spokesperson.

"We recognise the outstanding work of the Casement Park Project Team, their expertise, professionalism and dedication throughout this long journey. They have worked tirelessly to ensure that the transformational sporting, cultural and economic benefits of this iconic stadium can finally be realised.

"We commend the Department for Infrastructure for their comprehensive approach to the planning process which was vindicated by the decision and our full efforts will now be focused on continuing to work with the Department for the Communities and its Regional Stadia Team, finalising all remaining aspects of the business case, implementing our extensive and far-reaching community engagement and benefits programme as we move towards the construction phase of the project.

"Finally, we thank Gaels and the community of West Belfast for their overwhelming support and strength of voice throughout this process. To those that are opposed to the project I would like to assure them that we will be good neighbours, working closely with everyone throughout construction and when operational to bring positive benefits to the whole community," the spokesperson added.

The Mooreland and Owenvarragh Residents' Association said it was 'very disappointed' with the ruling, adding that they would need to study the judgement in more detail before making any further comment.

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