Deeney in favour of Maze stadium…

Kieran Deeney has a letter in today’s Newsletter supporting the Maze bid, arguing that Belfast is not Northern Ireland:

It is now about time that this whole mindset is made redundant ie that “Belfast is Northern Ireland” and that everything, and all, should be built or provided in our city. Of our 1.7 million people, 350,000 approximately reside in Belfast (ie just 20.5 per cent of our population) and, therefore, approximately 1,350,000 (or just less than 80 per cent) live outside Belfast.

  • slug

    What a great guy Kieran Deeny is. And he does make a good point – Belfast is not NI. That said, Belfast is easy to get to for all in NI. Belfast is the hub of a hub and spoke situation. So locating it in Belfast is probably the most convenient spot for all in NI!

  • Realist

    Unfortunately Dr Deeny has his facts wrong, most noteably…

    The opposition to the Maze site amongst members of the Amalgamation of Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs (over 90% against) is not restricted to Belfasties. SC’s throughout the Province has expressed their dissatisfaction with the Maze proposals.

  • iluvni

    Luckily the ‘tunnel visioned’ fans can also see this comment form the esteemed Doctor as a load of bollix too…

    …Why not have alternative Ulster GAA finals and semi-finals in this stadium and – as well as inter-provincial andCeltic League matches – why not host international rugby matches within the six nations or ‘friendly matches’ involving southern hemisphere countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

    The GAA have tentatively suggested possibly an Ulster final reply, maybe.
    Does he know how many go on average to Celtic League rugby matches…and does he have the ear of the IRFU to ensure that the new stadium gets Australia, Sth Africa and New Zealand booked to play.
    Tell you what Doc, you get them games, or 6 nations matches guaranteed to be played out of Dublin, and come back to us!…Romania or Samoa once every 2 years will be the height of it.

  • elfinto

    This culchie should stick to talking about farming issues. He is clearly talking a load of sileage.

  • elfinto

    Sorry, I meant slurry. Bloody culchies. What do they know anyway!?

  • Crataegus

    He should stick to hospitals.

    The proposed site is in fact located in the Greater Belfast Metropolitan Area. (Strategic Land Reserve of Regional Importance) Hardly Dungannon is it?

    Though what makes it strategic other than it is in government ownership is beyond me. It is located on the M1 though the boundary on the motorway is short and I would imagine to gain access and egress would involve vesting adjoining land and very major Road Works. The railway runs further north and is hardly convenient and the surrounding area is uninspiring.

    I have two reservations the first is long term viability and the second is a deep concern surrounding this piecemeal approach to planning. Nearby we see the wonders of Sprucefield and the dire environment that has been created. Is this going to be the sporting equivalent? A sea of car parking with a stadium dropped into the centre.

    The site in itself is good in an Ireland context but integrating it into the surrounding area so that Lisburn and beyond maximises usage is crucial. What spin off benefits, what other developments, what transport links other than cars? If we go there without our cars will we be able to get back at night? (and I’m not joking knowing our public transport and its importance in the scheme of things). Two airports in Belfast and still no rail connections despite there being rail lines close by. I rest my case.

  • Lafcadio

    I’m not sure offhand, but I’d say the 350k figure he quotes is Belfast City, as opposed to Greater Belfast, including Castlereagh, Newtownabbey etc. In any case, if one were to draw a circle with a radius of say 30 miles from the City Hall, I’d say 750-800k , i.e. about 45% of NI’s population live therein.

    (Although I must confess these figures are based on instinct and idle speculation.. but maybe some more diligent soul can supply a more rigourous analysis..)

  • Tony

    What’s the problem? What puts people off going to these matches is that it’s stuck in some loyalist dump with sectarian murials everywhere. Could turn out out to be the best move ever for the Norn Iron team, with increased crowd attendences and a place where you could actually take people. Whether you’re a nationalist or unionist, it’s bad enough making us all appear like muppets to the rest of the UK by not having our own anthem… at least now there’ll be a decent pitch.

  • West Tyrone Voter

    What happened to Kieran Deeney’s promise not to speak on any other subject than health. He has sought election on a single issue ticket and recieved votes specifically on that single issue.

    Why has he suddenly decided to widen his horizons now? Have the political ambitions sprouted beyond health services in West Tyrone?? Tell the people Dr Deeney!

  • Brendan, Belfast

    Well the guy got elected on a single issue which he has now lost. he has to take up the pen on behalf of something – may as well be somehting else he appears to know little about.

    Dr Deeney was hardly a shining light for the apparent mass of ‘sinlge issue candidates’ which were said to preparing to storm the gates of Stormont at one time.

  • Cahal

    Almost every elected politician in the north is ‘single issue’. His just happened to be something useful, so he gets ridiculed.

  • GavBelfast

    Belfast versus The Rest of Northern Ireland.

    Now THAT’S The Big Lie for a start.

  • Sean

    ‘What happened to Kieran Deeney’s promise not to speak on any other subject than health. He has sought election on a single issue ticket and recieved votes specifically on that single issue.

    Why has he suddenly decided to widen his horizons now? Have the political ambitions sprouted beyond health services in West Tyrone?? Tell the people Dr Deeney! ‘

    Indeed, Deeney’s hospital promises have fallen through and he is left scuttling around for an issue. Last week he was writing about bird-flu in the local press, got no reaction, so he moved on to this?
    His letters to the local press about attending George Best’s (RIP) funeral also failed to grab the attention of his constituents who saw it for what it was, ‘a LOOK at me , I’m special,’ cry for attention.
    Denney’s a dodo in the making, thankfully.

  • missfitz

    God I need a life.

    Okay, population of Belfast, 2001 census was 276,459. Greater Belfast area was 800,000. Trust this will help, and certainly makes little of the case for “the rest” of NI being proportionately larger than Belfast

  • Billy Pilgrim

    West Tyrone Voter

    “What happened to Kieran Deeney’s promise not to speak on any other subject than health? He has sought election on a single issue ticket and recieved votes specifically on that single issue.”

    Ah now don’t be coy. We all know what being an independent candidate means – that you won’t align yourself with either the Prod bloc or the Fenian bloc.

  • Realist

    “What puts people off going to these matches is that it’s stuck in some loyalist dump with sectarian murials everywhere”

    Tony,

    Have Antrim County GAA promised to move all their inter county games to the Maze?

    It would be a great development…Could turn out out to be the best move ever for Antrim team, with increased crowd attendences and a place where you could actually take people, Whether you’re a nationalist or unionist….don’t you think?

    “it’s bad enough making us all appear like muppets to the rest of the UK by not having our own anthem”

    I agree. If we developed a Northern Ireland specific sporting anthem, I’m quite sure the other sporting bodies in question would be delighted to adopt it also.

  • Nestor Makhno

    The killer issue here is transport – how easy will it be to get to the new stadium by car, by rail, by bus or by foot from anywhere else in Northern Ireland?

    At the Maze – almost impossible to get there except by car and hired coach. (For example, if I wanted to travel to the Maze by public transport from, say, Mageherafelt – I’ll probably have to get a bus to central elfast and then a currently nonexistent service to the Maze.)

    In Belfast – regular rail and bus routes from everywhere in Northern Ireland; and the site is also likely to be within walking distance for tens of thousands of local people.

    Why are we still having this argument, Minister!?

  • Brendan, Belfast

    Unfortunately the head in the sand Minister is intent on ignoring all popular opinion and getting the stadium to the Maze. it is amazing that the con job as Michael McGimpsey described it in last week’s Sunday World is going unchallenged politically.

    perhaps the courts will have final say – after all can the powers that be claim to have gone through a propoer process at all? it would not stand up to a judicial review, not to mention the Auditor General.

    Realist – much as i hate to be the one to state it but Antrim’s inter county matches attract less than 1,000 people, so poor is the team’s recent track record. i hope that changes in the long term but in the meantime the Saffron’s are not the answer to the question of ‘who will bring people to the Maze?.’

  • IJP

    Lafcadio et al.,

    But if you bring radius into it, in fact more people live within 30 miles of the Maze than live within 30 miles of Belfast City Centre…

  • The Belfast Patriot

    I think it is seriously stupid that this Northern Ireland wide vandetta against Belfast exists. If you look at it away from the stadium issue and more at the economy, the rest of the country outside Belfast wouldnt survive without this National Centre. A capital city is there to be the focus of that nation, think of USA, New York!! and worse internationally London IS England. But the people in these countries dont go out of their way to make sure that the “engine” of their nation loses out to, lets face it, what is just a suburb of the city anyway. Lisburn get over it, the queen made you a city, that doesnt mean you’re in the same league as Belfast!

  • “A capital city is there to be the focus of that nation, think of USA, New York!!”

    That may come as news to Washington.

    And your argument isn’t much better than that of the anti-Belfast brigade.

    There are plenty of reasons why the stadium should be in Belfast (ease of access via 2 motorways being one, a second being the potential for creating a fantastic atmosphere on match days in the city, and available amenities, shops, restaurants and entertainment venues being another). Unfortunately you’ve failed to touch on any of them with a simplistic town vs country debate.

    Just taking the opposing view in a pointless culchie/townie debate doesn’t make your argument any more rational.