Is this an interesting switchplay in the offing. Mairtin O’Muilleoir is apparently coming out against (though not for a two sport stadium in Belfast) the placing of an international stadium at the former site of the Maze Prison, just outside Belfast. In some respects Mairtin is simply echoing concerns expressed elsewhere that the investment would make poor returns in terms of regeneration benefits. If it were to be built in Belfast it will likely be sited in Ormeau Park: on the front end, facing into a mixed residential area of Ormeau Road.
The two codes that have agreed in principle are soccer and rugby. The code which has so far refused is the GAA. It cites concerns that the presence of GAA supporters in Belfast might create a substantial security risk. Whether it actually does not, seems to be secondary to its determination to keep Casement Park as the focus for its big games in Belfast.
O Mulleoir is no longer involved in politics, but he does retain an important opinion forming role within the Republican community. Without the GAA on board (which it tentatively is for the Maze site), is this an early indcation that the plan for a single stadium (anywhere) is about to unravel? In which case are we facing yet another case of separate (though possibly more sustainable) futures for all?
Definately one to keep an eye on for the future.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty