Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Almost £100m investment in sport at risk: McNulty

SDLP MLA Justin McNulty has warned that vital capital investment for both soccer and Gaelic is being delayed due to the lack of a functioning Executive at Stormont. 

Two sports projects, together worth almost £100m – the Sub Regional Stadia Programme for soccer at £36.2m and the redevelopment of Casement Park at £62.5m – are awaiting ministerial approval to commence.  He says it is unacceptable that the ongoing political stalemate is having such an impact on the projects and has called on the Secretary of State Karen Bradley to allow civil servants to rubberstamp the two schemes.

 “A £98.7m investment in our construction industry would provide a major boost to our economy.  More importantly, the Regional Stadia Programme would be huge fillip for local soccer here, and the positive impact of a newly developed 30,000 plus seater GAA stadium in Belfast would be immeasurable in terms of Gaelic games participation and spectatorship in Antrim and across the province.

“The lack of an Executive at Stormont is hitting every part of this community and there seems little chance of progress in the near future.  As there is little sign of an end to the impasse between the two big parties, then the Civil Service must be given the power to push ahead with these projects,” he added.