IFA back Maze Stadium

Although the IFA has approved the plans for a new stadium to be built at the site of the Maze Prison, the backers of a rival bid to have one built in Belfast have argued that their bid is still live. There is some political resistence to the move in Belfast City Council.

  • Tragic, absolutely tragic decision – “in principle”. Only 2 days after the Amalgamation of NI Supporters Clubs produced a 30 page document providing great detail on why the Maze is such a bad idea.

    More here for anyone who wants it.

    The IFA have just signed the death warrant “in principle” of Northern Irish football, and regardless of what Jim Boyce says, they’ve betrayed the fans.

  • Outside of the 10 or 11,000 diehards who follow N.Ireland this is proving to be a monster bore for the rest of us. Most grass-roots members of the GAA are extremely sceptical about the whole idea and the Ulster Rugby council and fans are luke warm to say the least. The big fear among both sports is that Northern Ireland football fans seem to be already looking upon this stadium as their own personal property. Unfortunately for them the world does not revolve entirely around their preference for where the stadium is situated. They are simply one-third of the bodies who will be using it.

  • bog warrior

    Is there any genuine supporter out there from any of the three codes that genuinely is licking his or her lips at the thought of driving to a green field site ten miles outside of Belfast where there will be little atmosphere and to drink shite beer in some soulless toilet (along the lines of the Odyssey) before the game. Part of any big match day be it gaa, soccer or rugby is about the stroll to the stadium, the calling in for a few looseners on the way and the general banter with other supporters. Obviously this is another brainwave from the NIO Sports spinmeisters who brought us the Belfast Giants and the phenomenon of ice hockey that’s sweeping the six counties. Have any of these tossers ever been to a live match of any type? This idiocy has to be stopped and if the ruling bodies of the 3 sports concerned haven’t the balls to tell the government to get to fuck then their members need to make their presence felt especially within the gaa where the structures exist for grass roots opinion to be heard (can’t speak for soccer or rugby as i wouldn’t be too clued in to how the grass roots influence the associations).

  • Alan

    The idea of building it at Ormeau is a non starter. The traffic and parking problems alone would be emense, not to mention the loss of yet more green space in the city.

  • Donnie

    This is a joke. There must be an ulterior motive/brown envelopes at work here as no sane person can really believe that the Maze is preferable to sites in or near Belfast city centre. Yes the Maze has decent links to the M1 but as has been stated ad nauseum is the fact that it will become a soulless monstrosity stuck out in the sticks.

    It needs to be part of the city and somewhere were people from outside Belfast can come to make a night of it. Have a few pints and a bit of craic before the match, dander to the match and maybe head out for a meal and/or a night on the drink afterwards!

    Part of any big sporting occassion is the craic before the match – see Dublin, Edinburgh, Seville etc.

  • bog warrior

    Alan

    Agree totally. The gaa doesn’t need yet another stadium Clones can hold c.40,000, Casement Park can hold c. 28,000 any other matches that draw a bigger crowd than this, in reality this will only be the Ulster football Final (once a year)can be accomodated in Croke Park.
    Ravenhill and Windsor can both be renovated at their current sites, probably the option most current rugby and soccer supporters would want. There’s no need to blow 50-100M on a stadium that will only be filled once or twice a year when the health service is creaking like a 20 year old Ford Escort.

  • blandy

    Macswiney

    If you read the news you can see that NI fans do not look at it as their own personal property – they are, if anything more sceptical than GAA or Rugby fans. Most of our objections (location, infrastructure etc) are valid whatever the sport.

  • I understand your point Blandy but the Ormeau Park option is surely a dead duck. Some security sources have been quoted as saying privately that the prospect of thousands of Northern Ireland fans heading through the Lower Ormeau and Markets for matches would be a logistical and security nightmare. The same might apply to GAA fans who would be perilously close to the loyalist areas close to the Ormeau Park. The whole notion of infastructure in the city is a red herring im afraid. The Government are’nt going to allow the stadium there under ANY circumstances. The Maze venue is much easier to control from a security aspect and that consideration will win the day.

  • *…will be little atmosphere and to drink shite beer in some soulless toilet (along the lines of the Odyssey) before the game. Part of any big match day be it gaa, soccer or rugby is about the stroll to the stadium, the calling in for a few looseners on the way and the general banter with other supporters….

    Posted by bog warrior on Jan 20, 2006 @ 12:37 PM *

    …careful you don’t let that beer glass get in the way of watching the game. Try watching the game (ie. the one which includes the ball) rather than using the occassion to get sloshed and mouth off, bothering others.

    As a project, try and watch a game without being drunk; listen to the pure shite and bile shouted, for all to hear, that comes from some supporters. Why do I sometimes cringe while trying to watch sport (hint review your behaviour).

    You should be able to enjoy the occassion if it were played on a green field on the moon. If you’re dependant on an arena / stadium to create an atmosphere, then you lack soul and love of the game.

  • iluvni

    Pure trash from Niall there.
    I fully agree with Bog Warriors comments on this thread.

    The IFA have sold Northern Ireland football down the river with this decision. Shame on them.

    Jim Boyce and those who voted ‘yes’ have betrayed the fans.

  • GavBelfast

    Sports stadia not in or right beside urban/sub-urban areas do not work elsewhere in these islands or in Europe.

    Why be so arrogant as to think it would be any diffrent here?

    Unless, of course, there was a different agenda to the needs of sport and maxmising economic spin-offs all along, with a pre-determined outcome from the outset.

    Ah, yes, that would be it ….

    I’d still be amazed if it is ever built mind.

  • bog warrior

    Niall

    Never been sloshed at a match, have always watched the match and have never been drunk at a match and have not bothered other people with my mouthing off (except the referee). On the other hand have usually had two or three pints beforehand and a couple afterwards (if i’m not driving). I take it the point your trying to make is something to do with drink leading to loutish behaviour by some supporters at matches. Undoubtedly that is the case for some people. i would argue that most people who attend matches and have a few beers before and after are merely being sociable and its part of the day and helps the atmosphere. I take it you don’t indulge in the devil’s buttermilk yourself?

  • “The big fear among both sports is that Northern Ireland football fans seem to be already looking upon this stadium as their own personal property.”

    This couldn’t be further from the truth!!

    There’s nothing I’d love to see more than action from the Rugby or GAA boys on this but I don’t believe that will happen.

    Ulster rugby fans are no happier than football fans are BUT they’re ok – Ulster will continue to play at Ravenhill, not the Maze (they have agreed to play Heineken Cup matches there IF they qualify, which has happened once in about 8 years! Since the final is at a neutral venue, their commitment amounts to one match every 8 years on current performance!)

    GAA fans won’t make a noise, (and this is just the impression I get) even the ones who aren’t happy with the plan, because they just don’t care – the fact is that they have 2 alternative grounds in Casement and Clones, the latter of which will apparently be upgraded to 50k capacity by the Monaghan county board – rendering the Maze useless (the GAA will need to fit 60,000 people into the 42,500 capacity stadium at the Maze just to match the money they’d make with a full house of 50k at Clones because of the VAT exemption).

    So Rugby have an alternative in Ravenhill – they’re happy.
    GAA have 2 alternatives in Clones and Casement (and as mentioned, Croke Park!) so they’re ok.

    Football will have no alternative. When the IFA vacate Windsor Park, Linfield will likely have to do the same as they won’t be able to afford the upkeep without NI ticket sales. The land will be sold and probably developed leaving the football team with nowhere to go back to (except possibly a rumoured 8k seater Danny Blanchflower stadium at Sydenham – great!)

    That’s why football fans are being so vocal – they have to be.

  • bog warrior

    Beano agree with your comments. The gaa doesn’t need another stadium but ordinary gaa supporters (like me) should be sqealing the place down because the funding a Maze stadium is going to mop up could be spent a lot better elsewhere. The problem is the Ulster Council (i believe) haven’t been up front in saying this because they don’t want to be slated by the government and media when the whole farce collapses.
    To me the best option is to leave the gaa to their own devices, they’re sorted for stadia. Re-develop both Windsor and Ravenhill to their current capacities and everyone’s happy execpt for a few top civil servants who don’t get the kudos a stadium project would bring and a few property developer/business types who don’t get to make a killing.
    BTW Niall are you in favour of the Maze stadium, your post didn’t say.

  • “The problem is the Ulster Council (i believe) haven’t been up front in saying this because they don’t want to be slated by the government and media when the whole farce collapses.”

    The government have managed to part-blackmail part-bribe the GAA – First they tell everyone the stadium won’t go ahead if all 3 sports don’t sign up, leaving the GAA to either agree or be seen as spoilers for ‘the rest of us’, however they sweeten the deal by finding an extra £35m to build 12,500 seats, despite telling us previously there was no more money to buy land in Belfast.

    Don’t you just love this government?

  • bog warrior

    Will be interesting to see if the gaa stay on board after this stage and if the thing ever gets built (which i doubt but i’ve learned not to underestimate New Labour’s ability to plough on with projects they like but which ordinary people hate or don’t give a damn about) how many top gaa matches will be played there per year. I’ll be very surprised if government manage to get a firm commitment from the Ulster Council to play inter county ulster championship games there. The Vat exemption is also a huge consideration for the Ulster Council (although they will never admit it).

  • roger

    I have to agree that the issue is a bore to the majority of sports fans here.

    10 or 12 thousand supporters throwing ‘the dummy in the corner’ because they haven’t the support to fill the ground.

    I’m just amazed that the media bothers to give it so much publicity.

  • iluvni

    Yeah, super commentary there, Roger.
    Idiot.

  • * .. I take it you don’t indulge in the devil’s buttermilk yourself?
    Posted by bog warrior on Jan 20, 2006 @ 04:13 PM *

    oh how wrong can you be ..?!?! but I believe there’s a time a place for everything. I find it frustrating that some consider sporting occassions an episode just to get drunk.

    I was in Healy Park for the Dubs vs Tyrone last year and some of the shite spoken was very, very irritating – not friendly banter but blathering by gobshites designed to rouse tempers. One of my worst memories of watching Irel play was because of alchos and I’ll never forget the Welsh rugby fan pissing down his own leg in Landsdowne

    Thanks for your mannerly comeback unlike the other who wrote of my posting.

  • Brendan, Belfast

    One day the truth of this matter will dawn on Northern Ireland society – a pipe dream from the NIO will end up leaving us with a £100m + stadium (when do these projects ever come in under budget?) that no -one has a desire to play in.

    Never mind the white elephant parallel – no-one is bothering to point out the elephant in the corner – this deal is being driven / accomodated because the DUP and SF has finally agreed on something and the government want to make it stick. A stadium for a shrine (or an International Centre for Conflict TRansformation!)

    the sports bodies have been encouraged in public and blackmailed in private to sign up by some political bullying and the two main NI parties are complicit.

    That Belfast put up such a poor show is to the shame of our elected representatives.

    This is a sordid deal.

  • GavBelfast

    Much as I am a regular visitor to this site, I can’t help but feel frustrated that some of the dearly felt and well articulated views above are merely to each other here, when they could have been – and still can be – aired widely in public and to these same politicans.

    That said, the role of the media on this issue to date has been risible – a mixture of going along with a ‘happy-clappy’ story, and in some cases a feeling that they have actually bought-into the project.

    And not a single piece of critical analysis or forensic exposition of the project that I can think of.

    A woeful effort if you could even call it that.

  • Bretagne

    GavBelfast –

    Spot on – because its free it must be good – and I saw an article in the Belfast Telegragh by Adrian Logan that the IFA must say yes to the Maze – he must have written the article on a square square of loo roll.

    Now the real benefit to the IFA and Ulster Branch woudd be to go along with this and work to get something which will be of more significant benefit to local sport.

    And that is VAT savings on ticket sales – The GAA are laughing here – they can support the stadium in the knowledge that any large Ulster game will go to Clones as they do not have to pay the VAT on gate receipts down south.
    Add VAT savings to any ground hire fees – and the Maze will not be used by the GAA.

    But if the GAA can ring the VAT concession (by working with the other sports) out of the English Rule ministers, then the GAA retain the option of using the Maze – if Casement/Clones are not suitable.

    Not to mix threads here – but of course – you can’t have different tax regimes in different parts of the Kingdom?

    The good news for Ulster Branch and IFA that they can use the GAA’s strength to drive the bargain they should want – and that is not necessarily a ground ( – but a 17.5% increase in revenue – and the GAA would see a kicker in club and county receipts.

  • Cynic

    It is obvious that there is a pro-Belfast / anti-anything outside Belfast bias among those against this proposal. The proposed Maze site is more than OK. It’s only 8 or 9 miles from the Belfast end of the M1. (Of course 8 or 9 miles travelling in the other direction towards Belfast is shorter.)

    It’s also a large site;
    just off the M1;
    in close proximity to our main airport and so has good connections to all parts of the province;
    parking and travelling through congested traffic is always an issue nowadays. (A lot of prospective fans are put off by difficult travelling);
    If you forget about the sites past history – it’s also a relatively politically neutral area.;
    It’s easier to manage security.

    The large out of town stadia in England, e.g. The Reebok stadium, don’t seem to suffer from a lack of atmosphere and the drinkers among fans have always found a way to have a few jars on the way to matches!

    With some positive thinking it could develop into an ‘all-round’ site for concerts, exhibitions, sports coaching and training.

  • GavBelfast

    Cynic, on the whole that was riddled with holes and inaccuacies.

    You are suiting your own agenda to suggest that this is a Belfast v The Rest argument when it is nothing of the sort. Compared to Belfast, Maze would be harder to get to for most in Northern Ireland except those close to it. It would most likely also make travelling extremely difficult for those of limited means.

    The Reebok Stadium is IN Bolton, albeit on the out-skirts. It has a train station a few minutes walk away. Will the Maze?

    “If you forget about the sites past history – it’s also a relatively politically neutral area.”

    That is well down my list of concerns, but your premise makes very little sense and IS a major obstacle for an awful lot of people. Leave the past behind, we are told, a new stadium is part of a new start, but there’s going to be an ugly big reminder of our sordid past right beside it. Aye right.

    Apart from a minority of pretty selfish people who live near it and unquestioning but useful fools, I see little support for this project from genuine sports fans who it will rely upon to sustain it.

    I am willing the Belfast proposals, especially the Ormeau one, and wider common-sense to save us from the toadies and overlords who have a grandiose political agenda but couldn’t give a fig about sport or the economic spin-offs that can flow from doing this properly – in Belfast.

  • IJP

    Sorry, there simply is nowhere in Belfast to put a stadium.

    Besides, why should it be in central Belfast? Belfast’s main cemetry isn’t in Belfast, the Department of Education isn’t in Belfast, even Stormont isn’t exactly central.

    Stadiums ‘out in the sticks’ have hosted the last three World Cup Finals, so they’re not all bad!

    Bearing this all in mind, consider that we have two options – leave it as is (with Windsor Park’s capacity greatly reduced in 15 months), or support the vision for a stadium at Maze.

    The latter is not ideal, but it’s better than the former.

  • NORTHERN FF

    IJP, you say- “Sorry, there simply is nowhere in Belfast to put a stadium.”

    Sorry, but you’re simply wrong. There are sites at Maysfield & North Foreshore (both owned by the city council who would hand over the land) and at Titanic Quarter / H&W.

    There are no compelling arguments for the Maze – which is why I am tempted to agree with earlier post by Brendan Belfast – it all comes back to the H-Block shrine.

    The NIO increassingly makes me sick.

  • Bretagne

    I suppose moving the dead to th Maze is totally out of the question?

  • Brendan, Belfast

    IJP wrote
    “Bearing this all in mind, consider that we have two options – leave it as is or support the vision for a stadium at Maze. The latter is not ideal, but it’s better than the former.”

    Why only two option? if there are emerging prooposals from Belfast why not stall the pro Maze juggernaut and give Maysfield and Ormeau time to develop full plans? what would be lost,a couple of months? Big deal, except….

    it doesn;t meet Tony Blairs diary committmentes. He is sue here mid February and lick arse Hanson wants to deliver a stadium on a plate so Tony can give a great speech. Expect it to feature some, if not all of the following phrases:

    “..a peace dividend”, “shared space”, “winners all round” and even, God forbid, “swords into ploughshares”

    why only two options IJP? Whose timetable? whose agenda?

  • Bretagne

    I suppose moving the dead to the Maze is totally out of the
    question

  • IJP

    Brendan

    … which is why the IFA was entirely right to state ‘in principle’. If Maysfield and Ormeau are both turned down (as is likely), the Maze becomes the only option if we’re serious about a stadium for 2012.

    Mind, I still don’t see how Maysfield or Ormeau are exactly an improvement. Neither is exactly ‘central’, except to the residents nearby who’ll face resultant mayhem…

  • GavBelfast

    IJP, read the proposals – the Ormeau one is online.

    Shouldn’t politicians be briefed or brief themselves on their subject before spouting – as you have just done?

    😉

  • Doctor Who

    The IFA have their hands tied, so they had no option but to agree in priciple…but the feeling is they would rather see any new stadium built in the city.
    The worrying aspect to all this is the uncompromising attitude of the Government who are insisting that there is no plan b.
    The Maze will prove to be controversial, no doubt Sinn Fein insisting that any developmemnt includes a shrine to their “fallen heroes” that died there during the hunger strikes.

  • “Stadiums ‘out in the sticks’ have hosted the last three World Cup Finals, so they’re not all bad!”

    One also hosted last year’s European Cup final – spoken to anyone who was there have you?

    Distance from Belfast is not the problem. The fact that the stadium will be out on its own in a field (NOT in Lisburn as people seem to be suggesting) is a major stumbling block.

    There was talk of the Maze being near the main airport thus it has good transport links. WHAT?

    Belfast has its own airport (and port) as well as having a motorway out for the first half of the journey to Aldergrove.

  • Doctor Who

    Hey Beano, every scouser I speak to say they where at the European Cup Final last year.

    A bit like the 50,000 Ulstermen at Windsor Park on September 7th.

  • Brendan, Belfast

    IJP

    The IFA said yes ‘in principle’ because that is all they were asked to say at this stage. with a bit of backbone they would have said – ‘no decision yet, more options appear to be coming forward.’

    And what is the big deal about having it ready for 2012? a couple of olympic football tournament matches – do you even know what makes for Olympic football? Under 23 footballers. So we get USA v China Under 23 or somthing of that calibre. Pathetic.

    IJP – whose agenda are we operating to on this issue? whose timetable?

    Doctor Who – the Shinners have already sought – and got agreement to a H-Bloclk shrine. that is what the ICCT is all about. stadium for a shrine thats the deal that the DUP and SF have delivered.

  • John East Belfast

    Doctor Who

    “The Maze will prove to be controversial, no doubt Sinn Fein insisting that any developmemnt includes a shrine to their “fallen heroes” that died there during the hunger strikes.”

    I agree entirely and the fact is that rather than it becoming potentially a source of unity and common purpose here its history will drive a wedge amongst us.

    There will be a least a clamour for some kind of sculpture to the Hunger Strikers which will be balanced by some kind of memorial to their murdered victims.
    We will then have the Bobby Sand Stand or Avenue and so it will go on.

    Infact the notion of the a Stand at site of the H Blocks in Northern Ireland is so pea brained I didnt take the story seriously until I realised it was being driven cart and horses through us.

    The reason is supposedly economic – ie there simply isnt the cash available to buy sufficient land for a stadium in Belfast. However to my knowledge they wont publish the cost benefit analysis of the Maze Site.

    ie how much are they going to spend on the infrastructure around the Maze ? How much are they going to re-create in terms of bars, hotels and restaurants, which already exist in Belfast, and which will only be filled a few times a year ?
    It will undoubetedly be Belfast’s Millenium Dome.

    The IFA should throw its lot in with Linfield and Glentoran FC and Ulster Rugby who should all sell their existing grounds at Windsor, Oval and Ravenhill for housing development and take the money to a shared ground on the other side of the city – Belfast Council has land at the Harbour and those 11000 + fans plus corporate sponsor ship could chip in also for life time tickets. The Govt could then throw in some of what it intends squandering at the Maze and give a few million to the GAA to develop Casement Park.

    It just requires imaginative thinking by people who have NI/Ulster/Six County sport at heart as well as the prosperity and development of the capital city as opposed to some ludicrous agenda for the Maze.

  • Doctor Who

    Do you think there will be Hamburgers for sale at the Bobby Sands memorial stand.

  • IJP just to correct something – the new stadium will NOT host Olympic football in the finals. What it may receive is a couple of pre-olympics qualifying games.

    The Amalgamation of NISCs have done some research and a 50,000 capacity is required for Olympic finals matches. As you can see from
    section 9 of the report the UEFA cup finals is also a red herring.

    This is the sort of bulls**t propaganda we have to contend with, and unfortunately it doesn’t end there.

  • Oh and the full position paper from the amalgamation is available for download here (when the site’s not down at least!) Section 9 begins on page 27.

    If you want a copy and can’t download it due to site problems, feel free to contact me.

  • George

    The piper pays the tune Beano and while I agree the Northern Ireland fans are the ones to suffer most from this scheme they are the ones with the least options.

    The GAA couldn’t be arsed and have lots of other options but aren’t going to say no and be seen as the ones “holding back progress”.

    The IRFU will have Lansdowne and Ravenhill and won’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

    The IFA are renting Linfield’s ground for Christ’s sake. This 125 years after coming into existence

    If they don’t get government money, their only option is a reduced capacity Windsor.

    But they are the same standard of muppet as the FAI blazers and will probably get a cash windfall into their pockets out of the Maze.

    To think that any kind of campaign will make the IFA think in football’s interests is naive.

  • Mark

    I have been a backer of a stadium in Belfast and am still prepared to be if the Government insists on building one for the three sports but I am increasingly coming to the conclusion that the money should just be split three ways. Rugby and football at Croker is a lovely story and all that, but at the end of the day that is a temporary arrangement. In the long run, a gaelic pitch is too big to double up as a gootball pitch without having a detrimental impact on the atmosphere and rugby matches will not do the playing surface any favours. On top of that, as has been pointed out before, football and rugby will never fill a 42,000 capacity venue (unless the Old Firm play a (un)friendly there) and the only gaelic matches that might fill it will be played South of the border anyway. I have never been to a game at Casement Park but get the impression that a few quid for improvements would be welcome. The standard of facilities at Ravenhill (apart from the bar, which is welcome) is laughable, but there is enough room there for a new stand and a new covered terrace. Two sides of Windsor are Premiership standard, the other two are in urgent need of replacement – again, there is plenty of room for a larger, modern stand at the Railway End and a slightly bigger South stand.

  • james

    Are n.i supporters against the stadium for political reasons ??

    http://ourweecountry.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=11418&st=0

  • IJP

    Brendan

    The stadium should be operational for 2012 – which means planning for it to be open by the end of the decade, given inevitable overruns (cf. Wembley).

    I note that even the Ulster Unionist Leader now agrees with me (reported on UTV today) that there simply isn’t going to be anywhere in Belfast to build a stadium.

    So let’s get on with it, eh?

    Unless… Mark raises the legitimate counterview, which is accepting more or less the status quo. The problem there, Mark, is that 15 months from now Windsor’s capacity will be further drastically reduced – NI v. England in front of 8,000 anyone? Didn’t think so.

  • Brendan, Belfast

    IJP – what is the rush towards a stadium by 2012? if there is an emerging option for Belfast, where a stadium could be built with the capacity for 28,000 / 30,000 or indeed 42,500, don’t you accept that should receive consideration?

    so what if the stadium opens in 2013? whose timetable are we operating to here? whose agenda?

    i would’nt take too much comfort in SRE agreeing with you IJP – usually a sign you are on the wrong track!

  • GavBelfast

    IJP, sure just ignore ANY points put to you and waffle on to your own agenda.

    Politicians, eh ….

  • Mike

    James –

    So despite having read the OWC site and all the reasoned arguments against the Maze site and the 42,500 capacity, you decide to completely ignore these and home in on ‘political’ reasons.

    YOUR agenda is clear.

  • Realist

    “Are n.i supporters against the stadium for political reasons ??”

    James,

    This one unashamedly is for sure…The proposed location of the Stadium is for political reasons, so I have no problem opposing it for same.

    I do support the concept of a multi purpose sports stadium.

    I do not support it being linked in any shape or form with a terrorist justification centre.

    Outwith it’s location, there are othe major issues to be addressed, not least the size of the stadium.

    IJP,

    “15 months from now Windsor’s capacity will be further drastically reduced – NI v. England in front of 8,000 anyone? Didn’t think so.”

    Lies.

  • Those who quoted political interference in the process are right but for the wrong reasons.

    Firstly security sources wont allow stadiums at either Maysfield or Ormeau Park for the most obvious reasons for some (bizarre) reasons have yet to be touched.

    1. Maysfield – Is situated directly between Short Strand and The Markets. The potential for public disorder with thousands of flag waving NI fans passing by and through these areas is enormous. Quite simply it’s a 100% non starter. It’s all very well talking about new dispensations etc… but the potential for violence would be very high.

    2. Ormeau Park. Similar issues abound there. There will be many fans either going through or past The Markets, Holyland and Lower Ormeau areas. Like wise GAA fans visiting the proposed site would be very close to some surrounding Loyalist areas.

    There is no way the Govt are going to CREATE another potential sectarian abyss in the city. You can forget infastructure, tourism issues and all the superficial arguments. There will be no shared stadium in the city because (despite all the hype) the clock stopped here a long long time ago.

  • james

    “do not support it being linked in any shape or form with a terrorist justification centre.”

    Sure you’ll still be able to sing ‘gstq’ and if you shout the ‘no surrender’ add on loud enough, they might be able to hear you.

  • Realist

    James,

    “Sure you’ll still be able to sing ‘gstq’ and if you shout the ‘no surrender’ add on loud enough, they might be able to hear you.”

    Whilst my preference would be for not singing GSTQ at all at Northern Ireland games, I would certainly never bastardise the National Anthem of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland.

    We have been told to leave politics at the turnstiles…now the Government wants to place politics at the turnstiles.

    Unacceptable.

  • IJP

    You all know as well as I do that if there’s no deadline, nothing will happen – or have you not been following NI politics since December 2004? 🙂

    2012 for several reasons – Olympic soccer tying in with the Titanic centenary being the main one.

    Wouldn’t want to miss the boat, now, would we…

    (People are ignoring my points, rather than the other way around: why Belfast City (when even the cemetry isn’t within the Council boundary)? what’s so ‘central’ about the suggested sites within the City area? why wait?)

  • Mike

    IJP –

    “2012 for several reasons – Olympic soccer tying in with the Titanic centenary being the main one.”

    What do you make of the sectionAmalgamation report which states that the finals of the Olympic football tournamnet could NOT be held at the Maze?

    I hope the Titanic reference was a joke…