“the development of an integrated society..”

Money may have been “a great balm” in west Belfast but it, or rather the lack of it, looks like scuppering the proposed multi-sports stadium at the Maze prison site. We’ll have to wait to see how accurate the senior sources within the DUP quoted in the UTV report actually are, but for now it’s worth noting the comments

Senior sources within Stormont`s largest party, the Democratic Unionists, have indicated that concerns about the financial feasibility of the project are likely to see it rejected. One source said: “As the business case is unlikely to stack up it is unlikely that the Maze stadium will go ahead.”

Whilst opposition to the Maze development proposal by some within the DUP, and elsewhere, has been known for some time, the sticking point is reportedly the combined cost of the stadium and required infrastructure as detailed in this report [pdf file] – £240million. Adds DCAL minister Edwin Poots has responded to the speculation.
The report is worth considering more carefully.

Because the problem may be not the initial costs so much, as an increasingly isolated Project Aim

Project Aim

4.1 In keeping with the original DCAL Ministerial instruction, the following ‘working’ aim has been given to the Stadium Steering Group for the Multi-Sports Stadium project:

“To provide a Multi-Sports Stadium of international standards that meets the needs of Association Football, Gaelic Games and Rugby Football in a location acceptable to all and which supports the development of an integrated society through the provision of a shared space.” [added emphasis]

With Sinn Féin and, in a Peter Robinson era, the DUP potentially intent on a ‘back to basics’ approach the development of an integrated society may be a secondary consideration to [internal] party politics.

Meanwhile ursine mammals will continue to defecate in forested areas..

Adds From the BBC report

Mr Poots, who is in the United States, said that the Department of Finance and Personnel, is currently examining the economic appraisal.

He said that this would take another month, and then a political decision will be made.

He added that the project has been discussed by senior members of the party but there has been no firm decision.

, , , , ,

  • iluvni

    Hopefully this is the beginning of the end for the whole ludicrous Maze plan.
    What a waste of time and money.

  • anonymous

    Agent Poots,
    Mission accomplished.

  • Crateagus

    For years many of us have been saying that this scheme was unlikely to be a financial success.

    So how much has it now cost to be told the obvious?

    How much money have we wasted?

  • slug

    The SIB and NIO are to blame for pushing this “big idea” on us. Think Millenium Dome.

  • Pete Baker

    Just to note that there are some points ‘below the fold’ which haven’t been touched upon yet.

  • willowfield

    How much money have we wasted?

    Around £10m on consultants.

  • Crataegus

    Around £10m on consultants.

    Quite seriously that is a disgrace and an unnecessary waste of money. What is there to show for it?

  • Belfast Gonzo


    A hole in the rainforest and a Beamer outside the house of every PwC employee in Belfast?

    More seriously, apart from the two departed Paisleys, guess who else wasn’t at the DUP’s recent Lisbon conference of the long knives – Poots. Now the MPs are all home, DUP sources start leaking the story about the party shelving the Maze… while Poots is in America.

    Can anyone else see a pattern emerging here? How long has Junior’s last ally got now?

    Poots will now either do as he’s told, or will be replaced as Sports Minister. Robinson and Dodds will call the shots, and they want a stadium in Belfast, their base.

    What would be really interesting to know is how Lagan Valley MP and MLA Jeffrey Donaldson managed to end up as the new Junior Minister. Isn’t the Maze in his constituency?

    Surely he couldn’t have shafted his fellow Lisburn DUP colleague and turned his back on plans for a prestigious, if slightly tainted, stadium in his own constituency for a measly junior cabinet role? But then, the junior minister’s position is generally regarded as the green room for potential policing or justice ministers…

    Oh, this is gonna be good.

  • GavBelfast

    I would be amazed if Jeffrey Donaldson “shafted” anybody politically.

    Where’s the track record for him doing anything like that.

    I’m not fan of the DUP, but this project has been, is and would always be rotten to the core, and if it’s finally being binned as a result of DUP posturing, so be it.

  • anonymous

    Surely he couldn’t have shafted his fellow Lisburn DUP colleague and turned his back on plans for a prestigious, if slightly tainted, stadium in his own constituency for a measly junior cabinet role?

    Check back over the period Poots been “in office”, anytime there’s been a major development Jeffrey has been conspicuous in his absence.

    If one were one for the conspiracy theories, you’d say that Poots getting the “Culture” job was a monumental stitch up all along; a job he was patently unqualified for that would deal with all those things the DUP voter base just love: the GAA, gays, the Irish language. The Maze fiasco has just been the very tasty icing on the cake; putting Poots “in charge” of choosing the “National” Stadium has had exactly the result expected and desired- the man’s days are numbered.