National Forum

Casement Park

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Replying To Ulsterman:  "I believe that first and foremost culturally, politically and symbolically the new stadium must be in Belfast. Unionism has Windsor and Ravenhill. The Irish Nationalist community must be equally represented in the city. There are 2 motorways leading into Belfast, access in and out of big games should be easier maybe apart from Donegal folk. Facilities wise the new Casement will be able to cater better for the fans, players and media needs (when Covid hopefully passes). Undoubtedly eventually concerts and other events will be held in the new ground which will bring income into Ulster too. Having said all this there ARE GAA people within the province who are inherently and vehemently anti Belfast. They come out with dismissive and arrogant bulls**t about the city and Antrim 'not being Gaelic Games places'. Finally I get well pi**ed off listening to the anti Belfast crowd GAA crowd within Ulster who have flocked into Belfast for decades for their well paid public sector and teaching jobs YET who aren't prepared to give Belfast anything back."
I think you should probably change your name to Belfastman, Ulster doesn't seem to be your thing.

I was one of those folk who 'flocked' into Belfast to get work, I was brought up in Portadown and the chances of work in town was basically zero. I worked in Belfast for 20 years, paying for travel, lunches, socialising etc but I'm still not sure what i owe Belfast. A lot of those 'culchies' had no choice but to travel to Belfast yet you think we owe you something, what exactly?

As I've said already I'm pleased approval has finally been given, just enjoy it fella.

sean og (Armagh) - Posts: 1036 - 13/10/2020 18:50:40    2297355

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Replying To Breezy:  "2 questions for people here who know alot more than me about Ulster GAA.

Even taking in the sectarian divide in Antrim why are attendances so low that people on here think 10k would be enough for such a big county ? Is it about lack of success ?

What is the current state of Clones for use as Ulster's flagship stadium ? I've never been but it looks pretty shabby on TV and pictures"
Clones, no lights, no catch nets with small children half killed during warm up,broken plank seats, poor toilets,I could go on. Can't wait to see Casement on Ulster final day whether Tyrone are in it or not.

Saynothing (Tyrone) - Posts: 1018 - 13/10/2020 20:09:16    2297374

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It's about time. No other county in Ulster would have tolerated having no proper home Championship venue for seven years.

M Lyster (Antrim) - Posts: 452 - 13/10/2020 20:23:03    2297380

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Replying To sean og:  "I think you should probably change your name to Belfastman, Ulster doesn't seem to be your thing.

I was one of those folk who 'flocked' into Belfast to get work, I was brought up in Portadown and the chances of work in town was basically zero. I worked in Belfast for 20 years, paying for travel, lunches, socialising etc but I'm still not sure what i owe Belfast. A lot of those 'culchies' had no choice but to travel to Belfast yet you think we owe you something, what exactly?

As I've said already I'm pleased approval has finally been given, just enjoy it fella."
OK Sean hands up. I was probably hasty in stereotyping people and know it doesn't apply to all. I also recognise the circumstances of people like yourself and accept it totally. However sometimes I get a bit riled at the hostility shown to Belfast from rural folk. They say "Youse get everything". My reply is "Correct.....including the highest poverty, unemployment and suicide rates". Throw in places like North Belfast where a quarter of ALL the Troubles victims were killed. All I say is give the city and the Gaels there a break. The stadium will be for everybody and it's every one of us who will make it work.

Ulsterman (Antrim) - Posts: 9428 - 13/10/2020 21:50:36    2297403

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I've plenty of friends in Antrim and 100% delighted for them to have a proper stadium again. It was disgraceful that they have been treated so poorly since Casement closed.

I stand by my feelings that the redevelopment of Casement as a provincial stadium was taken with more finance in mind than GAA sentiment and this saddens me. I quote from my fellow county man Tom Daly

"We firmly welcome the Minister's support and recognition of this decision as a significant step and one which will provide a major economic boost to Belfast. The Casement Park project will support the economic recovery, representing a long-term investment in the future of west Belfast, bringing with it many direct and indirect jobs along with increased revenues for local businesses and the regeneration of the area"

I don't deny anything he said is untrue and although he did mention the GAA people who have supported this plan I think this decision was made purely from a financial perspective.

Now that it has got the go ahead however I fully hope that the stadium will be all that we hope and the details regarding parking etc. will be ironed out. I have no doubt that the people of Belfast and Antrim in general will be more than welcoming as they are steeped in GAA. I know the atmosphere of Clones on Ulster Final day is fantastic so I'll keep enjoying those until Casement is ready and then the pressure will be on Belfast to replicate. Best of luck to all involved and now it's time for everyone to get behind it even though we'll need two packed lunches from Donegal!!

Tir Conaill Abu (Donegal) - Posts: 1663 - 13/10/2020 22:15:56    2297406

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Replying To Ulsterman:  "OK Sean hands up. I was probably hasty in stereotyping people and know it doesn't apply to all. I also recognise the circumstances of people like yourself and accept it totally. However sometimes I get a bit riled at the hostility shown to Belfast from rural folk. They say "Youse get everything". My reply is "Correct.....including the highest poverty, unemployment and suicide rates". Throw in places like North Belfast where a quarter of ALL the Troubles victims were killed. All I say is give the city and the Gaels there a break. The stadium will be for everybody and it's every one of us who will make it work."
Belfast is the correct place for this stadium, agree wholeheartedly.

I also sympathize with the comments you make about hostility shown to Belfast folk from some rural folk, dont worry about that, its mostly Tyronies, sure they dont like anyone......

sean og (Armagh) - Posts: 1036 - 14/10/2020 08:23:52    2297434

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Let's be honest. Clones can be a great day out but it's not fit for purpose. It's out of the way geographically for majority of the province's population. If the GAA is to be a forward-looking and forward-thinking organisation, a solid base in the most populated area in Ulster (Belfast) is essential. Decent public transport links to Belfast from many towns across Ulster. Clones has almost none. The plans for Casement would make it arguably the finest gaelic games stadium on the island. This is very exciting.

OGarmaile (Tyrone) - Posts: 245 - 14/10/2020 09:35:28    2297446

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Replying To sean og:  "Belfast is the correct place for this stadium, agree wholeheartedly.

I also sympathize with the comments you make about hostility shown to Belfast folk from some rural folk, dont worry about that, its mostly Tyronies, sure they dont like anyone......"
Sean,Sean,Sean,Sean, don't lower yourself to the level of our friend Royal from the midlands. Can't wait for Casement and if it's on a par with the Athletic Grounds win win. One of best grounds in country.

Saynothing (Tyrone) - Posts: 1018 - 14/10/2020 12:32:29    2297509

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Replying To Saynothing:  "Sean,Sean,Sean,Sean, don't lower yourself to the level of our friend Royal from the midlands. Can't wait for Casement and if it's on a par with the Athletic Grounds win win. One of best grounds in country."
Im only winding chief.

sean og (Armagh) - Posts: 1036 - 14/10/2020 12:58:47    2297517

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Replying To OGarmaile:  "Let's be honest. Clones can be a great day out but it's not fit for purpose. It's out of the way geographically for majority of the province's population. If the GAA is to be a forward-looking and forward-thinking organisation, a solid base in the most populated area in Ulster (Belfast) is essential. Decent public transport links to Belfast from many towns across Ulster. Clones has almost none. The plans for Casement would make it arguably the finest gaelic games stadium on the island. This is very exciting."
If Cavan were to meet Derry, Tyrone or Donegal in a championship game (apart from Ulster final), I'd still like to see it held in Clones.

cavanman47 (Cavan) - Posts: 4561 - 14/10/2020 14:39:47    2297568

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Perhaps it has already been discussed but I know Kingspan was redeveloped its capacity is still only 18K do you lads see big Rugby games being played in Casement? it was part of the world cup plan but now thats gone big Ulster games? mind you they would have to be very big.

zinny (Wexford) - Posts: 1320 - 14/10/2020 17:31:51    2297601

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Replying To sean og:  "Im only winding chief."
That's alright then. Great to see youngsters kicking about at halftime in Armagh unlike other grounds including our own where you think it was a crime for young ones to enjoy themselves.

Saynothing (Tyrone) - Posts: 1018 - 14/10/2020 19:23:12    2297631

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They need Antrim to have a decent team to go along with it. An Antrim team In a Ulster football final in Casement should be the aim
Easier said then done obviously, but it might inspire the youth around Belfast and Antrim that they could in a quality stadium.

FoolsGold (Cavan) - Posts: 2413 - 14/10/2020 22:23:01    2297667

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Regarding Clones, there is no town in which I've enjoyed attending games more than Clones. The craic in the town before matches is second to none, and that's a massive part of the reason I travel to games. Sure wouldn't you see as much of the match itself on the telly?

I can't imagine anything in Belfast to match the buzz out the back of the Roost Bar at noon on Ulster Final day, or the smell of burgers being fried as you walk past the Creighton, with neighbours and second cousins holding plastic beer glasses everywhere you look. Clones was good to Ulster Final goers and Ulster Final goers were good to Clones. And I've been blessed with quite a few of them in the last decade as a Donegal man. It's a town that seems to be struggling financially, and the businesses of Clones will feel a big hit when they no longer have tens of thousands flocking there every summer.

Although moving the finals to Casement is logical and sensible, I'm too sentimental to be any way happy about it! Ulster Final days just won't be the same in West Belfast, or anywhere other than that wee border town for that matter.

DL_Man (Donegal) - Posts: 144 - 14/10/2020 23:21:41    2297681

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Replying To Tir Conaill Abu:  "I've plenty of friends in Antrim and 100% delighted for them to have a proper stadium again. It was disgraceful that they have been treated so poorly since Casement closed.

I stand by my feelings that the redevelopment of Casement as a provincial stadium was taken with more finance in mind than GAA sentiment and this saddens me. I quote from my fellow county man Tom Daly

"We firmly welcome the Minister's support and recognition of this decision as a significant step and one which will provide a major economic boost to Belfast. The Casement Park project will support the economic recovery, representing a long-term investment in the future of west Belfast, bringing with it many direct and indirect jobs along with increased revenues for local businesses and the regeneration of the area"

I don't deny anything he said is untrue and although he did mention the GAA people who have supported this plan I think this decision was made purely from a financial perspective.

Now that it has got the go ahead however I fully hope that the stadium will be all that we hope and the details regarding parking etc. will be ironed out. I have no doubt that the people of Belfast and Antrim in general will be more than welcoming as they are steeped in GAA. I know the atmosphere of Clones on Ulster Final day is fantastic so I'll keep enjoying those until Casement is ready and then the pressure will be on Belfast to replicate. Best of luck to all involved and now it's time for everyone to get behind it even though we'll need two packed lunches from Donegal!!"
Of course finances are a big part of this but I don't think you should underestimate the significant symbolism in this move. Having the biggest GAA provincial football final every summer in West Belfast, with all the colour and atmosphere and celebration it brings, will be a huge step for the city in my opinion and an important one on the road to reconciliation overall.

JoeSoap (Donegal) - Posts: 1230 - 15/10/2020 09:35:53    2297699

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Replying To cavanman47:  "If Cavan were to meet Derry, Tyrone or Donegal in a championship game (apart from Ulster final), I'd still like to see it held in Clones."
Clones will probably still get one Ulster semi a year. I think players will prefer playing in a modern state of the art stadium. It will be different. Time moves on. Clones had its time.

OGarmaile (Tyrone) - Posts: 245 - 15/10/2020 10:26:12    2297714

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The solution to the GAA finding extra money or not to funding expected over-runs on the project.

1. Re-Tender Project.
Due to Covid19 and downturn in the economy the contracts should be re-tendered. Delay due to time will allow the GAA and Public Purse get real value for money on this project. Remember 2008 Credit Crunch, we are seeing same now therefore prices that go up can come down ?

2. Levy/Tax Ulster Clubs.
If it's not to be re-tendered then Ulster GAA members should cough up the extra cost via a levy / tax on membership fees paid at club levy and passed over to HQ. Over the period of construction Therefore the hard earned cash raised at fund raising, instead of being diverted to under the counter managers wages, tax free, should be passed on to cover these real costs.

Thus all real GAA fans can claim ownership of the new stadium.

Value for money, open and transparent.

IssacBall (Derry) - Posts: 51 - 31/10/2020 13:05:18    2303304

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Looks like the planning for Casement has been granted by Nichola Mallon, so at least this can start and Belfast (and Antrim) can get back to having a stadium. Great news, but ways to go just yet

Loughduff Lad (Cavan) - Posts: 1176 - 28/07/2021 14:20:57    2365095

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Replying To IssacBall:  "The solution to the GAA finding extra money or not to funding expected over-runs on the project.

1. Re-Tender Project.
Due to Covid19 and downturn in the economy the contracts should be re-tendered. Delay due to time will allow the GAA and Public Purse get real value for money on this project. Remember 2008 Credit Crunch, we are seeing same now therefore prices that go up can come down ?

2. Levy/Tax Ulster Clubs.
If it's not to be re-tendered then Ulster GAA members should cough up the extra cost via a levy / tax on membership fees paid at club levy and passed over to HQ. Over the period of construction Therefore the hard earned cash raised at fund raising, instead of being diverted to under the counter managers wages, tax free, should be passed on to cover these real costs.

Thus all real GAA fans can claim ownership of the new stadium.

Value for money, open and transparent."
After the credit crunch there were tens of thousands of construction workers on the dole. The cost of labour fell through the floor. Are you involved in the building game? Materials have gone through the roof due to Brexit and other international factors. There is an acute labour shortage since the covid restrictions have eased as many building projects that were suspended are now proceeding. Cost of labour is therefore rising too. If you re-tender the project you will find prices will be higher not lower. I'd be hoping the GAA as a whole would help fund any cost over runs as they did in Cork.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 3443 - 28/07/2021 14:56:46    2365118

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Great news. Belfast needs this new stadium as much as a political/cultural statement as well as sport. It is recognition that Gaelic Games in the North is held in the same esteem and granted the same respect as other sports. Of course you are going to get the serial moaners, mostly from within Ulster, but they resent Belfast getting anything even though a lot of them travel to Belfast for their well paid Civil Service, Health Service, teaching jobs etc. They want to take, take, take from Belfast all the time but give nothing back in return.

Ulsterman (Antrim) - Posts: 9428 - 28/07/2021 15:07:36    2365126

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