“unacceptable to republicans..”

According to Jim Gibney writing in the Irish News [subs req until tomorrow]

The DUP’s attitude to the transfer of policing and justice powers to the executive is unacceptable to republicans as is their attitude to the Commission for Victims and Survivors bill and act na Gaeilge, an Irish language act. Their threat to block plans to end academic selection, to relocate the proposed new stadium from the agreed site at Maze/Long Kesh, their opposition to a bill of rights are all signs that the DUP have only partially bought into sharing power with nationalists and republicans.

Nevermind, Jim. Remember what Northern Ireland’s deputy First Minister said..

, , , , ,

  • fair_deal

    “are all signs that the DUP have only partially bought into sharing power with nationalists and republicans.”

    Power-sharing means republicans get everything on their wishlist. Hmmmm.

  • What Jim says is true enough – of course what he omits to say is that Sinn Féin have been complicit in all of this. The Irish Language community were particularly let down because, now, the Irish language is in a worse position than it was before devolution, due to SF’s refusal to take the Culture, Arts and Leisure portfolio. I wonder what was behind it – was it SF playing footsie with the DUP to get them firmly bedded in, and policing transferred, before doing to them what they previously did to the UUP ie marginalise them from their own community and thus ending their reign as a political force.

    Anyhow, SF are currently in government and nary a grumble from them over the axing of the Irish Language Act and the ending of the Irish Language Broadcast Fund. When pressed they made some complaints but nothing that was vocal enough to be heard and attention paid to it by the powers on high. Jim may articulate that the fault lies with the DUP – the reality is when SF rejected DCAL in favour of Agriculture, they allowed DCAL to be taken over by the DUP and everyone knew what the DUP attitude wrt Irish was likely to be. If you leave a fox in charge of the hen house, you have no one but yourself to blame if the fox behaves like a fox and you’re left with a bloody mess.

  • fair_deal,

    I think its the word “sharing” that republicans are a bit fixated on. As far as I can see, it implies that they get at least some of the things on their wish-list. Since May last year it seeems that all that has happened in that both sides are blocking the other.

    The current set-up seems to be ‘mutual denying’ rather than power-sharing. I think it is within the power of the DUP to change that. Unless, of course, they are out to prove Charlie Haughey’s description of Northern Ireland right.

  • Bigger Picture

    The cheek of SF/IRA do they think they are still in the Trimble days? Heaven Forbid! People voted for the DUP to see an end to concessions for Republicans at the expense of unionists, long may it reign!

  • fair_deal

    Horseman

    “I think it is within the power of the DUP to change that.”

    Power-sharing takes two to tango. It is within SF’s power too. If you want something others dislike then you have to offer something in return. Saying give it to us cause we want it isn’t going to get far.

  • Briso

    It’s not fair!!!

    /Stamps foot impotently…

  • Gregory

    “Anyhow, SF are currently in government and nary a grumble from them over the axing of the Irish Language Act and the ending of the Irish Language Broadcast Fund. When pressed they made some complaints but nothing that was vocal enough to be heard and attention paid to it by the powers on high.”

    The Irish language needs SF as an ally the same way it needs FARC as a travel agent.

  • I recall a conversation with a senior Republican back in February/April 2003, in which we talked about the desireability or otherwise of doing a deal with Trimble or waiting for the DUP to get into a dominant position and thereby ensure any deal struck would be lasting.

    I remember saying to him that if the little I had seen then of the DUP in action they would not know quite what had hit them when the DUP took the field. He just shrugged and said they had a strategy for dealing with them. I recall saying something like, “You’ll be wishing you had Trimble back”.

  • circles

    “The cheek of SF/IRA do they think they are still in the Trimble days? Heaven Forbid! People voted for the DUP to see an end to concessions for Republicans at the expense of unionists, long may it reign!”

    Indeed BP – you can’t beat the prospect of years of social and economic stagnation to make this world a better place! Well done those unionist chaps for saying yes when SF say no, or no when SF say yes. I know it takes 2 to tango – but as a republican at least I find SF a serious let down. To celebrate the childish food fight that passes as politics here as some kind of victory for unionism….the mind boggles BP.

  • You’d have to laugh at the provos what did they think would happen signing up to British rule and maintain partition? Its not like Republicans have been telling them since 1986 where this was headed.

  • George

    The DUP may be scuppering Language Acts, unfeasible stadium projects, crazy bill of rights protocols but they are only responsible for dishing out just 25% of the devolved budget.

    Who needs to be doing the heavy lifting in departments such as health and education when you can play to the gallery rather than looking to effect change?

    As for justice, another fop to the gallery, just like PIRA’s stance on decommissioning.

    The only person who will suffer is Joe Public because to the lack of investment due to the failure to show stablility.

    “Invest in Northern Ireland, your cash is safe even if we can’t be trusted to run our own justice system.”

    The DUP may be getting on Sinn Féin’s wick but that doesn’t automatically mean they are providing the best defence for the union.

  • IJP

    Good point, Fair Deal.

    It is in fact Sinn Féin who are most obviously struggling with the concept of power sharing – i.e. sharing power across the Executive and the Assembly, and debating legislation in open forum.

    They are also struggling with parity of esteem and mutual respect, given their singular failure to respect other parties when they state their views.

    The Victims’ Commissioner is the most obvious example, but there are many others (most topically academic selection).

  • BonarLaw

    George

    I have never, ever heard anyone linking devolution of P&J;to investment. Probably because there is no link.

    Wales doesn’t run P&J;- is that a reason for not investing there?

  • Steve

    except frustrating republicans what have dup accomplished?

  • ulsterfan

    Steve
    For the time being frustrating Republicans is enough.
    The DUP will hold the status quo and it is up to SF to get their approval to change.

  • west belfast

    when are unionists going to realise that they are proving NI is a failed state by their actions. If unionists think they are helping their cause by returning to the days of NO thats fine by me.

    The difference is Republicans now can say no just as loud as unionists – if you want to play these silly games so be it.

    Unionists can comfort themselves by saying they have stopped the ILA etc but the fact remains you are in Govt with Republicans on an equal standing, the British Govt have completely disengaged with you and your future is the all ireland agenda.

    Maybe if you close your eyes and wish hard enough Martin McGuinness will not be dFM and thats deputy with a small d!

  • “People voted for the DUP to see an end to concessions for Republicans at the expense of unionists, long may it reign!”

    And this ‘thing’ was sold to the people of the north as a ‘power sharing government’, I really wonder why the people of the north, both Unionist and nationalist allow themselves to be sold so short.

  • Oilifear

    “Power-sharing means republicans get everything on their wishlist. Hmmmm”

    Why the fascination with wishlists, Fair Deal? Surely it shouldn’t matter who wants what, merely that it be judged fairly on it’s own merits.

  • fair_deal

    Oilifear

    “Why the fascination with wishlists, Fair Deal?”

    Not my fascination but Jim Gibney’s

  • Oilifear

    No doubt he has a wishlist – don’t we all? – that shouldn’t worry you.

  • Bigger Picture

    Circles

    I love your sarcasm. I am for a progressive government that is improving our society and I applaud the work DFP and DETI have done in bringing new tertiary sector jobs to Northern Ireland. Hopefully the economic conference will improve on that. However I do not want to see Republican symolism encroaching in NI. A hungerstriker shrine at the Maze? Sign posts wastefully re-hashed in a dead language? These do not benefit anyone except SF bravado and I am glad that they are not getting their way at Stormont.

    Mick Hall

    A fair deal isn’t neccesarily a good deal for republicans if it is topping their all Ireland aspirations

  • Observer

    The difference is Republicans now can say no just as loud as unionists – if you want to play these silly games so be it. –

    No the difference is that the status quo remains unless Unionists say so.

    Tell me, what is it that Republicans have that Unionists want????

    Exactly.

  • Oilifear

    No the difference is that the status quo remains unless Unionists say so.

    Tell me, what is it that Republicans have that Unionists want????

    Exactly.

    Posted by Observer on Apr 24, 2008 @ 10:39 PM

    A point made with all the sophistication of a four-year old.

  • Observer

    A point made with all the sophistication of a four-year old.
    Posted by Oilifear on Apr 24, 2008 @ 10:46 PM –

    Glad you could understand it.

  • George

    BonarLaw,
    I have never, ever heard anyone linking devolution of P&J;to investment. Probably because there is no link.

    Really? You don’t think foreign investors are interested in hearing that Northern Ireland is truly stable?

    Maybe you should tell your Secretary of State Shaun Woodward that he shouldn’t be linking the two when he’s making his speeches to American audiences, like the one he made only last month in New York, when he said:

    “But no-one should be under any illusion that the completion of devolution is crucial for the long term stability and prosperity of Northern Ireland.

    “When it happens, it will send out a clear signal around the world that Northern Ireland is a sound investment for the future.”

    He’s telling the potential investors what they want and need to hear while the DUP plays to its paupers’ gallery.

    As for your comparing Wales and Northern Ireland, when it comes to stability that is like comparing apples and oranges.

    As I said, it’s Joe Public in Northern Ireland who is paying the price for this charade but the political parties in NI have been out of the real world for so long they don’t even realise the damage they are doing.

  • Steve

    The difference is Republicans now can say no just as loud as unionists – if you want to play these silly games so be it. –

    No the difference is that the status quo remains unless Unionists say so.

    Tell me, what is it that Republicans have that Unionists want????

    Exactly.

    Posted by Observer on Apr 24, 2008 @ 10:39 PM

    So the DUP doesnt want a new stadium? It will go to the Maze or it will not go, and if the republicans were smart they wouldnt make a side deal to improve existing stadiums. Just let the issue die, after all GAA doesnt need a new stadium the rugby and foot ball teams do.

    But all the major sporting organisations have all agreed that the Maze is the only place, so much so that they refused to even entertain the DUP’s attempt to discredit the location.

    The dup have not stopped the ILA thay have just failed to introduce the bill, so its not stopped its just delayed.

    the dup have failed to stop selection, no matter how many private tests are set up.

    The dup has failed to help their own personal developer to take over the giants cause way

    The dup has failed to stop Cate Ruane from expanding the irish medium education system

    The dup has joined the North / South engagement bodies in direct violation of their campaign promises

    The dup is set to join the english/Irish parliamentary committe as soon as they get a little fudge to claim they arent joining the Anglo/Irish agreement even though thats exactly what they are doing

    I forget what were you saying about the status quo again?

  • LURIG

    The current relationship of the DUP & Sinn Fein is akin to that of the organ grinder & the monkey. There’s NO DOUBT the DUP & Unionists are firmly in control of the Assembly and are once again treating it as their own wee fiefdom. The Irish Language Act isn’t; the Maze is about to be torpedoed; Victims are ONLY Unionist; Nationalist areas are allowed to go unpoliced; the Parades Commission is to be scrapped to appease the Orange Order & DUP as the submisive, weak, invertebrate Sinn Fein make Fine Gael look like militant republicans.
    Meanwhile most of us are living at the sword of the thugs, thieves, scumbags & two legged night rats. In addition just getting by on the below inflation wages most of us earn is getting harder. We see the multi national conglomerates raising prices for everything while the powerless Assembly fiddles and does nothing except introduce water charges, higher rates and welcomes low paid, trade union free, call centre jobs. If truth be told direct rule British ministers were better and more effective than this useless greedy shower.

  • BonarLaw

    Steve

    if no stadium is the price of scuppering the planned Provo hagiography at the Maze then well and good.

    As for the rest of your post I think you might want to revisit your bit on selection. In any event academic selection is retained by Westminster statute (loving that status quo) which can only be altered by a cross community vote in the Assembly. Chances of that are, IMHO, slim.

    If you think that no ILA is somehow an example of unionist failure then as with the Maze shrine you misjudge unionism.

    I’m sure the IRA campaign will count as successes worthy of their dead the thwarting of Seymore Sweeny, Irish speaking seven year olds taking public exams in English, Tourism Ireland and the British Irish Inter Parliamentary body.

    BTW the Anglo Irish Agreement has been gone ten years.

  • Tinkerbell

    Do republicans ever say anything other than WAH WAH WAH?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Horseman: “I think its the word “sharing” that republicans are a bit fixated on. As far as I can see, it implies that they get at least some of the things on their wish-list. Since May last year it seeems that all that has happened in that both sides are blocking the other.”

    If both sides are unwilling to share power, then why the complaining? If the pot and the kettle are equally black, where’s the complaint?

    Horseman: “The current set-up seems to be ‘mutual denying’ rather than power-sharing. I think it is within the power of the DUP to change that.”

    And why should the DUP be the first to blink? If both parties want to play chicken, why shouldn’t SF blink first?

    If neither party has the wherewithal to negotiate or forge a compromise, then they will suffer at the polls for their inability to lead.

  • Gregory

    “Tell me, what is it that Republicans have that Unionists want???? ”

    The ability to send Ruane back to central America?

    G.

  • harry

    Tell me, what is it that Republicans have that Unionists want???? “

    The ability to send Ruane back to central America?

    G.

    Posted by Gregory on Apr 25, 2008 @ 04:59 AM

    not only Unionists, Gregory.

  • Gregory

    “The DUP may be getting on Sinn Féin’s wick but that doesn’t automatically mean they are providing the best defence for the union. ”

    When the folks up here react to SF the way the folks down south did, that’s the best mechanism to protect any status quo.

  • fair_deal

    Power-sharing takes two to tango. It is within SF’s power too. If you want something others dislike then you have to offer something in return. Saying give it to us cause we want it isn’t going to get far.

    ulsterfan

    For the time being frustrating Republicans is enough.
    The DUP will hold the status quo and it is up to SF to get their approval to change.

    Is this what the DUP calls a ‘strategy’? Sheesh!

    Out of pure badness they refuse (veto) anything that republicans or nationalists propose, regardless of the obvious dangers of quid pro quo. Meanwhile nothing changes except the demographics of the north, and Britain’s patience. The world moves on, capital is invested elsewhere, and the smart move out.

    Congratulations, DUP. You will succeed in proving that Northern Ireland is a failed entity, and you will contribute directly to its abolition.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Concubar:

    in all of this. The Irish Language community were particularly let down because, now, the Irish language is in a worse position than it was before devolution, due to SF’s refusal to take the Culture, Arts and Leisure portfolio.

    So SF chose to take ministries where they could actually wield some power, rather than a ministry where they’d get to do little more other than decide the opening times of leisure centres and provided sponsored foot massages. You’re surprised ?

    I wonder what was behind it – was it SF playing footsie with the DUP to get them firmly bedded in, and policing transferred, before doing to them what they previously did to the UUP ie marginalise them from their own community and thus ending their reign as a political force.

    Since 95% of SF’s voter base are not fluent in Irish and do not speak it every day, in exactly what way are they alienated from their voter base ?

    Anyhow, SF are currently in government and nary a grumble from them over the axing of the Irish Language Act and the ending of the Irish Language Broadcast Fund.

    Yes, that’s because there is nobody to grumble. Because nobody cares. People want their public services sorted out, they want stability and prosperity. They don’t want money wasted on a language they don’t and won’t speak. God’s sake, most SF members barely even speak it.

  • Comrade Stalin,

    I see where you’re coming from…a backwood somewhere in deepest provincial Pravince…and all I’ll say is this; my post was a response to Jim Gibney’s assertion and Sinn Féin oft repeated refrain that the party is for the Irish language [indeed it has set itself the lofty ambition of becoming a bilingual party in the next 8 years or so] and yet it allows what happened to the Irish language to happen. As senior partners in the Executive, it had to be complicit in it, not merely acquiescent. So when Jim makes the point that it’s the DUP’s fault that the Irish Language Act is being shelved. I say to Jim that SF voters aren’t as thick as he seems to think – they know well that SF have their hands all over this mess and are wondering why.

    I don’t agree with your reasoning, if that’s what it could be called, but I see how a certain primitive section of the community might feel like that.

    It’s often said that the Good Friday Agreement is Sunningdale for slow learners. It appears to me that this current arrangement is ‘Sunningdale and all that followed’ for slow learners….it’s heading nowhere slowly but surely….unionists don’t want to share power with SF no matter how much that party bends and twists its principles to accomodate them….

  • Gregory

    “So SF chose to take ministries where they could actually wield some power, rather than a ministry where they’d get to do little more other than decide the opening times of leisure centres and provided sponsored foot massages. You’re surprised ?”

    The DENI one will explode in sparks before this is over.

    I’ve off to an MLA meeting in a few hours to discuss how best to get Ruane out of DENI and on her way.

    Why that one, why her, were SF completely freakin’ mad or what, why have her in the party at all? She is a liability.

    G.

  • willowfield

    Steve

    But all the major sporting organisations have all agreed that the Maze is the only place, so much so that they refused to even entertain the DUP’s attempt to discredit the location.

    They agreed that the Maze “is the only place” when the Government told them it was the only place that it was prepared to consider. If the Government tells them there are now other places, the sporting bodies (at least the IFA and IRFU) may no longer feel so obliged to back the Maze.

  • Given the pathological reaction of some unionists to Caitriona Ruane and Gregory’s admission that he’s involved in attempts to get rid of her, I have to say that she’s the only SF minister who’s displayed any competence in setting about tacking the agenda for change.

    The reaction says alot about the unwillingness of unionists to accept the necessary changes to make NI a fair society.

    The other SF ministers are unprepared to advance the change agenda in any significant way and so that’s why they’re not achieving what they were elected to bring about.

    Stay, Caitríona, stay. Maith thú!

  • George

    Willowfield,
    “If the Government tells them there are now other places, the sporting bodies (at least the IFA and IRFU) may no longer feel so obliged to back the Maze.”

    What government? The British government isn’t going to get involved so any initiative will have to come from the Assembly. The stadium is dead, the cash isn’t there and neither is the consensus to approve this level of spending.

    The GAA doesn’t need it, the IRFU doesn’t need it (and will need it even less once the Lansdowne cashflow comes on stream) and the IFA doesn’t have a lobby sufficiently strong to push the issue.

    Sinn Féin can survive without a “centre” at the Maze indefinitely.

  • willowfield

    George

    What government?

    The NI government, George.

    The British government isn’t going to get involved so any initiative will have to come from the Assembly.

    Obviously: the matter’s been devolved for nearly a year.

    The stadium is dead, the cash isn’t there and neither is the consensus to approve this level of spending.

    There is some money allocated for sports capital. The Maze stadium is probably dead, but cheaper alternatives are still possible and worth examining – including privately-funded alternatives.

    The GAA doesn’t need it, the IRFU doesn’t need it (and will need it even less once the Lansdowne cashflow comes on stream) and the IFA doesn’t have a lobby sufficiently strong to push the issue.

    I’m sure the GAA and IRFU (Ulster Branch) would gladly accept some funding for their infrastructure as a quid pro quo for anything provided to football. And IRFU (Ulster Branch) may even be interested in a shared stadium with football. (I agree the GAA won’t be interested in a shared stadium anywhere other than Maze.) Football is too important to too many people for the Executive not to give some support either to necessary stadium improvements or to a new-build.

    Sinn Féin can survive without a “centre” at the Maze indefinitely.

    They can indeed.

  • PaddyReilly

    What SF wants is irrelevant. What SF and the SLDP want is something that needs to happen, unless all the other parties are dead against it, and it is something which cannot be accommodated without preventing the plans of the others.

    It is sad is how the DUP present their thwarting (recte, delaying the implementation of) the ILA as one of their achievements to be boasted of to their electors. It seems they have no aims or culture themselves beyond resisting what the other side want. The danger in this is that when the balance of power moves to the other side, the other side will continue this policy.

    Meanwhile nothing changes except the demographics of the north, and Britain’s patience. The world moves on, capital is invested elsewhere, and the smart move out.

    Britain couldn’t care less what happens, as long as it’s not bombs in Britain. About Capital I do not know, I would have though that if there was a chance of making a profit, those with capital would ignore Stormont follies.

    But of course demographic change will cure everything, and one looks forward to the next Assembly, and the balance of power moving to Alliance and the Greens. After all, it needs all of 31 votes to get this going!

    Personally I think the idea of converting the Maze into a stadium is a bad idea. It needs to preserved as a prison camp to hold the worst of the Unionist population when a United Ireland is achieved.

  • George

    Willowfield,
    I would have thought the government sat in Westminster and the Assembly in Stormont.

    “There is some money allocated for sports capital. The Maze stadium is probably dead, but cheaper alternatives are still possible and worth examining – including privately-funded alternatives.”

    Wishful thinking in the extreme but divorced from reality. The total sports capital budget for Northern Ireland for the next 3 years is 111 million.

    That may seem like a lot but it isn’t when you consider it is for the entire sporting infrastructure for all sports.

    For example, 15 million of that is earmarked for the 50m pool in Bangor.

    In comparison, the sports budget for the Irish Republic in 2007 alone was 353 million euros. The pure capital budget, excluding Lansdowne, was close to 180 million euros (140 million pounds).

    This year the budget is 336 million and there is still lots of infrastructure necessary.

    There is no spare money in the Northern Ireland sports capital budget. It’s on a total shoestring as it is.

    As for private capital, that will only make an appearance if it is matched by public cash, which isn’t forthcoming.

    The IFA is collateral damage in this SF/DUP spat and there is no hope of a bail-out.

  • gaelgannaire

    Question : Why would anyone who wants a united Ireland seek to take away the grievances held by nationalists which ensure that they will always hold the ambition for a united Ireland?

  • willowfield

    George

    I would have thought the government sat in Westminster and the Assembly in Stormont.

    In the UK, some government is devolved to the Scottish Parliament, NI Assembly and National Assembly for Wales.

    Wishful thinking in the extreme but divorced from reality.

    It’s not wishful thinking. On the contrary, it is factual to state that “There is some money allocated for sports capital. The Maze stadium is probably dead, but cheaper alternatives are still possible and worth examining – including privately-funded alternatives.”

    The total sports capital budget for Northern Ireland for the next 3 years is 111 million.

    It can always be increased.

    As for private capital, that will only make an appearance if it is matched by public cash, which isn’t forthcoming.

    How do you know it’s not forthcoming?

    The IFA is collateral damage in this SF/DUP spat and there is no hope of a bail-out.

    There certainly is hope and, indeed, expectation that some kind of financial assistance will be provided to sports in lieu of the Maze.

  • Steve

    No willow I expect you will see the vetoe played if that is even attempted

    Like I said Maze or nothing

    No Olympic run ups because the stadium is sub par no new football stadium because I dont think republicans will really care if SF spike the funding instead of spreading it around

  • George

    Willowfield,
    It can always be increased.

    There three-year budget has been set out and there won’t be any unilateral extra funding to bail out the IFA. But keep on hoping.

    Also, half of the 111 million has already been provisionally allocated to other sports who are up to speed on these things so the IFA better get its skates on.

    How far advanced do you think they are on their proposal? Do they even have one?

    How do you know it’s not forthcoming?

    Because that’s how these things work on major sporting infrastructure projects that aren’t guaranteed to make a profit. And the IFA is a non-profit making organisation.

    What can the IFA offer? It’s broke and owns nothing.

    There certainly is hope and, indeed, expectation that some kind of financial assistance will be provided to sports in lieu of the Maze.

    Hope and expectation? Dumb and dumber more like.

    Of course the IFA will get cash but it will have to justify why it should divert the limited cash away from the grass roots towards a non-profit infrastructure project.

  • ulsterfan

    There will be a stadium in Belfast to cater for soccer and rugby(the GAA have ruled themselves out already which is a pity).
    After all Peter Robinson presently holds the purse strings and will exercise more power and influence when he takes over the top post.

  • BonarLaw

    tinkerbell

    “Do republicans ever say anything other than WAH WAH WAH?”

    You have ten minutes to get out?

    Put the money in the bag?

  • BonarLaw

    Paddy Reilly

    “But of course demographic change will cure everything, and one looks forward to the next Assembly, and the balance of power moving to Alliance and the Greens. After all, it needs all of 31 votes to get this going!”

    Actually, no. First of all I don’t accept your forecast but even if designated unionists were to become a minority in the Assembly the need for cross community support would still allow them to veto everything they are currently vetoing. What’s Irish for “Gotcha”?

  • Steve

    Ulsterfan
    He may have lots of power with in the dup but he has no more power than aul Marty McG.

    He can not act unilateraly

  • BonarLaw

    Steve

    “He can not act unilateraly”

    Nor can Ruane. Which is why we still have selection.

  • willowfield

    STEVE

    No willow I expect you will see the vetoe played if that is even attempted

    The word is “veto”.

    If what is ever attempted?

    Like I said Maze or nothing

    That’s what Lugsy Poots has been saying for many years … until recently!

    No Olympic run ups because the stadium is sub par no new football stadium because I dont think republicans will really care if SF spike the funding instead of spreading it around

    No-one cares about “Olympic run-ups” (whatever they are).

    GEORGE

    There [sic] three-year budget has been set out and there won’t be any unilateral extra funding to bail out the IFA. But keep on hoping.

    As I said, budgets can be changed. And there’s no requirement for a stadium to be built within three years.

    Also, half of the 111 million has already been provisionally allocated to other sports who are up to speed on these things so the IFA better get its skates on.

    It’s not up to the IFA. It’s up to the Department, Executive and the Assembly.

    How far advanced do you think they are on their proposal? Do they even have one?

    See above.

    Because that’s how these things work on major sporting infrastructure projects that aren’t guaranteed to make a profit. And the IFA is a non-profit making organisation.

    This makes no sense, sorry. Public funds are provided on a regular basis to projects that aren’t guaranteed to make a profit – and to projects involving non-profit-making (not-for-profit) organisations.

    What can the IFA offer? It’s broke and owns nothing.

    It doesn’t need to “offer” anything. All it needs to do is get political support.

    Hope and expectation? Dumb and dumber more like.

    Would you like a bet? I will bet you that – within the next couple of years – the Government will commit financial assistance for football in the shape of – at least – upgrades to Windsor Park.

  • George

    Ulsterfan,
    Peter doesn’t dictate how much money is available or where the money goes. He is merely the bagman.

    Anyway the money isn’t there. The most the IFA can hope to get out of the current three-year capital grant tranche is somewhere in the region of 1-10 million.

    That is for all football infrastructure across the whole of Northern Ireland for the next three years. That amount would be better used paying for clubhouses and such like rather than a feasibility study into the unfeasible.

    Nothing will happen before 2012 when the issue may or may not be revisited.

  • George

    Willowfield [sic],
    “It’s not up to the IFA. It’s up to the Department, Executive and the Assembly.”

    I would recommend the IFA apply for a stadia safety grant from Sport NI, because they are the ones responsible for the distribution of funding and are allocating capital sporting grants at the moment. Nearly half the 111 million is already provisionally allocated.

    This makes no sense, sorry. Public funds are provided on a regular basis to projects that aren’t guaranteed to make a profit – and to projects involving non-profit-making (not-for-profit) organisations.

    The point was about private funding not public money. Private capital will only make an appearance if it is matched by public cash, which isn’t forthcoming. No public cash, no private cash. The public cash necessary for a major infrastructural project such as a stadium in Belfast is not forthcoming.

    Would you like a bet? I will bet you that – within the next couple of years – the Government will commit financial assistance for football in the shape of – at least – upgrades to Windsor Park.

    I bet you that the only cash the IFA will get between now and the end of 2011 for a stadium will be to keep Windsor open (stadium safety capital grant from Sport NI) and not to upgrade it.

    Bookmark the page.

    By the way, how much financial assistance do you think football will get. Give me a figure.

  • George

    Oh wait a minute, the IFA don’t have a stadium. I would recommend Linfield apply and the IFA hang on their coat-tails.

  • willowfield

    GEORGE

    I would recommend the IFA apply for a stadia safety grant from Sport NI, because they are the ones responsible for the distribution of funding and are allocating capital sporting grants at the moment. Nearly half the 111 million is already provisionally allocated.

    I’m sure they have applied for whatever funding they can. But – as I said – it remains the responsibility of the Department, Executive and Assembly to pursue upgrades and/or a new-build stadium for NI. Sport NI may be involved as a channel for funds after such decisions are made.

    The point was about private funding not public money.

    Well, it still didn’t make sense – because my point was about private AND public funding.

    Private capital will only make an appearance if it is matched by public cash

    Not necessarily, but almost certainly, yes.

    which isn’t forthcoming.

    How do you know? Do you have a crystal ball?

    The public cash necessary for a major infrastructural project such as a stadium in Belfast is not forthcoming.

    How do you know? Do you have a crystal ball?

    I bet you that the only cash the IFA will get between now and the end of 2011 for a stadium will be to keep Windsor open (stadium safety capital grant from Sport NI) and not to upgrade it.

    I said that – within the next couple of years – the Government will commit financial assistance for football in the shape of – at least – upgrades to Windsor Park. Whether or not that money goes to the IFA is irrelevant. Whether or not that any new stadium is owned by the IFA is irrelevant.

    Bookmark the page.

    Not a problem.

    By the way, how much financial assistance do you think football will get. Give me a figure.

    No idea. A few million anyway – and not necessarily “to football”. Football will only ever be a tenant.

  • willowfield

    I bet you that the only cash the IFA will get between now and the end of 2011 for a stadium will be to keep Windsor open (stadium safety capital grant from Sport NI) and not to upgrade it.

    But you concede that more money will be provided after 2011?

  • Steve

    Thanks for the spelling correction

    You are my heroe willowfield

  • PaddyReilly

    First of all I don’t accept your forecast

    Oh sorry. The nationalist vote will not increase by even 31 votes in Strangford nor the Unionist vote decline by the same. How silly of me to think so.

    but even if designated unionists were to become a minority in the Assembly the need for cross community support would still allow them to veto everything they are currently vetoing.

    Dodgy territory this. As I have already said, we only have to look into our history for the answer to the question how to deal with a difficult Unionist minority. There are plenty of occasions when a Unionist majority has successfully seen off the minority rights that were being foisted on them. What is NI Scots for “Ulster Workers Strike”?

  • qubol

    I don’t want to cut into a perfectly good bet here but Willowfield you said:

    George: “I bet you that the only cash the IFA will get between now and the end of 2011 for a stadium will be to keep Windsor open (stadium safety capital grant from Sport NI) and not to upgrade it.”

    I said that – within the next couple of years – the Government will commit financial assistance for football in the shape of – at least – upgrades to Windsor Park.

    You clearly didn’t read what George typed. He said excluding upgrades by which I think he means they’ll get enough cash to get their license and keep the ship afloat. Is that the bet you’re taking?

  • ulsterfan

    The money will be found to build a football/rugby stadium.
    We have not as yet asked Dublin for help.
    Think what is available from that source. No strings attached of course!!!!!

  • Neru

    I could see through Jim Gibney getting a large response to his articles if he could write cohesive, articulate articles. Unfortunately, he can’t. His articles are boring, unimaginative, crass, bullish drivel, slavish to the Provo propaganda line, and contemptuous of other views.

    By the same token it is obvious that the owners of the Irish News only employ Gibney because he appeals to an large intellectual sub-strata i.e the weary-provo readership. I suppose that is good business, and I don’t blame the Irish News for that.

    Unfortunately, it inflicts Gibney on the rest of us, and that is tragic.

    Equally, his

  • Gregory

    “Given the pathological reaction of some unionists to Caitriona Ruane and Gregory’s admission that he’s involved in attempts to get rid of her, I have to say that she’s the only SF minister who’s displayed any competence in setting about tacking the agenda for change. ”

    I want rid of her because she is refusing to ban sex offenders from schools, doesn’t know how many there are, and doesn’t feel it is her responsibility to either care or find out.

    The very least she will get out of my campaign is greater publicity in the USA and possibly Colombia as well if the Catholics in the USA have anything to do with it. Ruane has made herself hostage to fate as Carmel Hanna did over the pedophile Jerome Brennan.

    NEVER take the word of a CS over the evidence of your own eyes or commonsense. Ms Hanna got a free pass because the assembbly collapse, otherwise I’d have been pitching pedophile related AQs into the niassembly. I told EVERBODY I we had a anti-pedophile campaign.

    Otherwise the Americans who were arriving could have shut a strip club in Milwaukee or Gary Indiana, or anywhere.

    The DEL issue ( as a global thing) was about sex slavery and juveniles. It was the same with Mary Harney at the DETE and indeed on the other front of my campaign it was juveniles and quite a few dead people in Canada.

    Conservative Minister Facing Gang Death Threats Thanks to Liberal …
    Lifesite, PA – 24 Apr 2008
    Gregory Carlin, with the Irish Anti-trafficking Coalition, lobbied the Liberals vigorously to bring an end to the exploitive visa program. …

    One of my allies gets a death threat.

    A scandal, if it a 100 percent dog’s breakfast of deception, intel agencies, corrupt cops will go on and on until it clips anybody on the wrong side of it.

    Ruane is in the middle of something just like that and too dumb and arrogant to see the trees for the forest.

    G.

  • George

    Willowfield,
    “But you concede that more money will be provided after 2011?”

    I don’t know what will happen after 2011 but I can’t see there being a turnaround between now and then on the stadium issue.

    Of course a couple of million might be made available to stop Windsor falling down over the ears of its spectators as some sort of desperate stop-gap measure but that is not what I would call a “cheaper alternative”.

    That move is of no use to the IFA in the medium to long term.

    There is a huge difference between handing over 5 million to patch up parts of Windsor and stumping up 240 million to build a stadium that will offer corporate revenue streams going forward.

    The IFA needs to find a decent revenue stream and Windsor doesn’t offer this, even if 5 million was invested to keep it open for internationals.

    I would also fear that any offer of a couple of million would be the clearest evidence that the IFA will never get a decent stadium.

    I see there is already talk of holding any refurbishment of the Brandywell to ransom over this.

    So we can take it as a given that there will be demands for the 5 million Derry City wants to be matched with a similar figure for Windsor.

    Talk about endearing yourself to the locals of the second city.

  • willowfield

    GEORGE

    I don’t know what will happen after 2011

    So you concede that either a new stadium, or a significant Windsor upgrade may still happen – just not before 2011?!

    but I can’t see there being a turnaround between now and then on the stadium issue.

    What do you mean by a turnaround?

    Of course a couple of million might be made available to stop Windsor falling down over the ears of its spectators as some sort of desperate stop-gap measure but that is not what I would call a “cheaper alternative”.

    That’ll be an financial assistance and an upgrade, then! (There’s no danger of it falling down, by the way).

    That move is of no use to the IFA in the medium to long term.

    No-one said it was. It is of short-term use, though.

    There is a huge difference between handing over 5 million to patch up parts of Windsor and stumping up 240 million to build a stadium that will offer corporate revenue streams going forward.

    Of course there is. As I’ve argued all along, £240m for a Maze stadium was a ludicrous sum.

    The IFA needs to find a decent revenue stream and Windsor doesn’t offer this, even if 5 million was invested to keep it open for internationals.

    The Maze wouldn’t have offered it either.

    So we can take it as a given that there will be demands for the 5 million Derry City wants to be matched with a similar figure for Windsor. Talk about endearing yourself to the locals of the second city.

    Not sure what point you’re making. Why would citizens of Derry be annoyed if both the Brandywell and Windsor got £5m?

  • George

    Willowfield,
    So you concede that either a new stadium, or a significant Windsor upgrade may still happen – just not before 2011?!

    I concede a united Ireland might happen but not before 2011. Your point is?

    What I said was that the stadium has been parked indefinitely and that I don’t see this issue being revisited before 2011 at the very earliest.

    This means that any possible upgrade to Windsor, with all prevailing winds behind it, would likely not start until 2015-2016 and be ready by 2018-2019. That’s if the political will is there. It isn’t there now and there is no guarantee it will be there in 2011.

    What do you mean by a turnaround?

    The stadium issue has been parked and by turnaround I mean unparking it.

    That’ll be an financial assistance and an upgrade, then! (There’s no danger of it falling down, by the way).

    No, it’s not an upgrade. An upgrade of Windsor, making it fit for international football along the lines of the other international venues on these islands, would probably cost at least in the region of 100 million. Investing 5 million is not an upgrade. If you want to play semantics and say investing 5 million is an upgrade and a “cheaper alternative” to spending the necessary 100 million or the previously discussed 240 million, off you trot. But you are fooling no one but yourself.

    The Maze wouldn’t have offered it either.

    If the IFA got others to pay for it, of course it would. Also, the major source of revenue for the IFA has to be its international team and corporate interest therein. It needs a stadium for this.

    Not sure what point you’re making. Why would citizens of Derry be annoyed if both the Brandywell and Windsor got £5m?

    They would be annoyed by unionists trying to make one dependent on the other. The Brandywell upgrade should stand on its own merits and not be dragged into any rows about life after the Maze Stadium debacle.

  • willowfield

    George

    So you concede that either a new stadium, or a significant Windsor upgrade may still happen – just not before 2011?!

    The point is just because it won’t happen before 2011 doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. Of course it won’t happen by 2011 – that’s only 2½ years away – it takes years for these things to come to fruition.

    What I said was that the stadium has been parked indefinitely and that I don’t see this issue being revisited before 2011 at the very earliest.

    Hasn’t been parked indefinitely – the Executive hasn’t even discussed it yet. I predict that if the Maze is dumped there will be further discussions/negotiations about what to do instead.

    This means that any possible upgrade to Windsor, with all prevailing winds behind it, would likely not start until 2015-2016 and be ready by 2018-2019. That’s if the political will is there. It isn’t there now and there is no guarantee it will be there in 2011.

    No-one said anything would be started before 2011! I think it’s reasonable to suggest that it might start before 2015, though.

    No, it’s not an upgrade.

    It is by my understanding. If you spend a couple of million “improving” a stadium that’s the same as “upgrading” it!

    An upgrade of Windsor, making it fit for international football along the lines of the other international venues on these islands, would probably cost at least in the region of 100 million.

    Balls.

    (It already is fit for international football, by the way.) All it needs is two replacement stands.

    Investing 5 million is not an upgrade.

    Only by your self-serving definition!

    If the IFA got others to pay for it, of course it would.

    No it wouldn’t. The IFA would still have to pay rent (as they do now), and the income from tickets would be no better than now (perhaps worse) after the initial curiosity surge. The Maze could not achieve increased attendances for football because of its location and size.

    Also, the major source of revenue for the IFA has to be its international team and corporate interest therein. It needs a stadium for this.

    Indeed it does. But one in the right place built to the right design.

    They would be annoyed by unionists trying to make one dependent on the other. The Brandywell upgrade should stand on its own merits and not be dragged into any rows about life after the Maze Stadium debacle.

    That’s not really how politics works!

    Any football upgrades, for example, will not be viewed solely on their own merits, but in relation to funding for GAA and rugby.

    (Interesting that you classify £5m improvement to the Brandywell as an “upgrade”, but not for Windsor!)

  • George

    Willowfield,
    It is by my understanding. If you spend a couple of million “improving” a stadium that’s the same as “upgrading” it!

    I know you love semantics Willowfield but out in the real world 5 million is not comparable with 100 million or the previously hoped for 240 million, even if you use the word “upgrade”.

    (By the way, wasn’t Windsor in line for 3 million anyway four years ago because of the Soccer Strategy? Whatever happened to that cash?)

    (Interesting that you classify £5m improvement to the Brandywell as an “upgrade”, but not for Windsor!)

    Because one is for the semi-professional Eircom League and the other is for international football. There is a difference, you know.

    If you wanted to upgrade the Brandywell to international football standards you would need a lot more than 5 million.

    But, hey, if the IFA is happy with a 5 million investment in the infrastructure for its international team over the next 15 years and is happy to call it an upgrade, who am I to argue?

    All that means is that they won’t have the money to train their young players to the same level as their competitors, and will lose more and more to the better funded FAI, who will be on the pig’s back as result of the revenue streams emanating from the 300-million “upgrade” of Lansdowne Road.

    There’s upgrades and there’s upgrades.

  • willowfield

    GEORGE

    I know you love semantics Willowfield but out in the real world 5 million is not comparable with 100 million or the previously hoped for 240 million, even if you use the word “upgrade”.

    You’re the one getting into semantics by trying to narrow down the meaning of upgrade!

    Funny how 5m at the Brandywell is an upgrade but not at Windsor!

    (By the way, wasn’t Windsor in line for 3 million anyway four years ago because of the Soccer Strategy? Whatever happened to that cash?)

    Never heard about that.

    Because one is for the semi-professional Eircom League and the other is for international football. There is a difference, you know.

    Yeah, right.

    If you wanted to upgrade the Brandywell to international football standards you would need a lot more than 5 million.

    Well you don’t need any money to upgrade Windsor to international standards as it already meets those standards!

    But, hey, if the IFA is happy with a 5 million investment in the infrastructure for its international team over the next 15 years and is happy to call it an upgrade, who am I to argue?

    Who said they’d be happy?

  • George

    Willowfield,
    Funny how 5m at the Brandywell is an upgrade but not at Windsor!

    Just because you repeat something, doesn’t make it any more relevant. I’ll explain it to you again.

    You are not comparing like with like. You seem to be unable to grasp the fact that to upgrade Windsor Park to the necessary level you would need a lot more than 5 million.

    The purposes would be different. One is meant to be the home of the Northern Ireland team, capable of housing at least 15,000 and meeting the stringent requirements of UEFA and FIFA.

    The other is meant to be home for an Eircom League team with a much smaller capacity, including terracing and such like.

    To spend 5 million on Windsor would not be an upgrade as it would not be enough to raise the standard of the stadium to a higher category – the essence of an upgrade.

    By the way, they actually need at least 10 million for the Brandywell and are asking for the other 5 from the Irish government.

    Well you don’t need any money to upgrade Windsor to international standards as it already meets those standards!

    What planet are you on? It was slammed by a safety report last summer. It’s capacity has been reduced to 9,000 because of safety standards.

    Howard Wells has already said international football is “unsustainable” with attendances of less than 13,000 and the organization is looking to play its games in Britain as a result.

    Yeah, right.

    That’s the difference between Eircom League type standards and the international ones that I was talking about. Maybe when you have to travel to the Great Britain to see Northern Ireland play, the penny might finally drop.

    At least the IFA seem to understand the difference.

  • willowfield

    You are not comparing like with like. You seem to be unable to grasp the fact that to upgrade Windsor Park to the necessary level you would need a lot more than 5 million.

    No you wouldn’t – Windsor already meets international standards.

    In any case, it doesn’t matter, whether Windsor gets improved to the tune of 1m, 5m or 500m, it’ll still be an upgrade. Whether Brandywell gets improved to the tune of 1m, 5m or 500m, it’ll still be an upgrade.

    Enough of your semantics!

    To spend 5 million on Windsor would not be an upgrade as it would not be enough to raise the standard of the stadium to a higher category – the essence of an upgrade.

    What higher “category”?

    What planet are you on?

    Earth

    It was slammed by a safety report last summer. It’s capacity has been reduced to 9,000 because of safety standards.

    So if it doesn’t meet the standards how come it’s hosting 5 World Cup qualifiers this year and next?!

    And how come the capacity is NOT being reduced to 9,000?

    Are you saying you believed Wells and Poots about all of that?? You didn’t think perhaps they were “spinning”?

    Howard Wells has already said international football is ”unsustainable” with attendances of less than 13,000 and the organization is looking to play its games in Britain as a result.

    Of course he has – it’s his job to talk up the “crisis” as a lever to get money. The reality is that international football will continue here either with a 13,000 capacity or a bigger capacity.

    The stuff about playing games in GB was hype – Wells is the boy who cried wolf – I wouldn’t believe all he says.

  • Briso

    Posted by willowfield on Apr 28, 2008 @ 12:30 PM

    “So we can take it as a given that there will be demands for the 5 million Derry City wants to be matched with a similar figure for Windsor. Talk about endearing yourself to the locals of the second city.”

    >Not sure what point you’re making. Why would
    >citizens of Derry be annoyed if both the
    >Brandywell and Windsor got £5m?

    I don’t think we would be Willow. I agree with you. In fact, Derry City is a football town. The GAA and Rugby are minority sports and the NI national team is a minority interest as well. Spending the money on Windsor for the benefit of Linfield would actually get more of our support as it is the only ground we actually go to! So go for it. My concern remains this 70m mentioned by Poots. Does it exist or not?

    And. by the way, 15m for a swimming pool in Bangor? Is someone taking the piss?