Safety first?

The BBC report on the leaked letter from Northern Ireland Sports Minister Gregory Campbell to the Assembly Committee should probably be viewed in light of the option of spending public funds somewhere other than the Maze stadium project. But where’s the argument about spending public funds on safety issues in what are essentially private, rather than public, business interests? And shouldn’t “implemented fully” actually read “enforced fully”? From the BBC report

In the letter Mr Campbell lists venues which he has been told do not meet safety criteria by varying degrees. He said it was every soccer venue in the top two tiers of the Irish League, all six county GAA grounds and also rugby’s Ravenhill. Mr Campbell wrote his letter last month to Stormont’s Culture, Arts and Leisure committee which discussed stadium safety on Thursday.

Assembly members of the committee spent about two hours hearing from government sports officials, asking them why legislation on ground safety introduced here in 2006 still has not been implemented fully. Committee chairman Barry McElduff claimed the government had lacked urgency in dealing with the issue.

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  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Wonder if there is any difference between the safety of the GAA grounds in the North compared to the South. GAA officials must presumably know. Also wonder if this is a technical breech seized upon by the DUP to allow them political cover to spread money around rather than on the Bobby Bowl?


    What happened to the earlier thread by Kathleen on UI – hadnt finished reading my emails on that and some made fecker took it away. Was that you – or the other quarefellah Mick?

  • John East Belfast


    “where’s the argument about spending public funds on safety issues in what are essentially private, rather than public, business interests? ”

    I think it lies in the fact that the national football team of Northern Ireland plays in a venue that has safety problems that the owner thereof has neither the finance nor the need to put right.

    Under those circumstances it is right that the NI Administration step in.

    However that cannot be all one way and the IFA Lease should then be renegotiated with Linfield on both conditions and cost.

    A win win for both parties as well as the NI Football team and ultimately NI itself.

  • niall

    The thing is the NI talking shop has so far proved reassuringly impotent given the collection of eejits in it.

    Moving into sport is a chane to do something and n matter your sport be fearful of these guys. It looks like any money that is forthcoming will have heavy conditions attached which will then be used to undermine the independence of the sports.

    I certainly don’t trust the politicians.

    Of course sports stadiums should be safe, but doesn’t the free market take care of that by way of Insurance requirements?

  • darren

    It’s hard to justify spending tens of Millions of TaxPayers pounds on Sports stadia here, when the sporting organisations are responsible for their upkeep.

    I don’t have a problem with some funding, for example a small percentage grant, to encourage teams to make improvements. But i read recently that the Executive are considering giving £20 million for the upgrade of Windsor Park!

    How can that be justified, when the football association and club have done nothing over the last twenty years to improve the ground.

    I think if we sit back and allow sporting bodies to constantly hold out the ‘Begging Bowl’ without any financial imput from themselves, then we are in trouble.

    And surely attendances at these venues, should also be taken into consideration.If Linfield average two thousand at a home game, why the need to spend a huge ammount of money on its ground. Windsor Park holds roughly 14k for international games, yet the last two internationals have failed to sellout, again why spend millions when the stadium fails to even meet its present capacity.

    I’m sure you could find examples in the other main sporting organisations, the limited use of Casement Park for Championship games & the limits of Ravenhill due to planning issues etc….

  • edward

    Doesn’t anyone see that this is just the outworking of the deal between the DUPers and SF over returning to Storomont.

    I wonder when the ILA will be introduced