FOOTBALL AND THE NORTHERN IRELAND ECONOMY

Northern Ireland’s minister for Sport Nelson Mc Causland has taken umbrage with the football authorities and the Ulster Scots Agency over their handing of finances.

In the case of the Football authorities he has spoken of a lack of justification for an alleged waste of £.5m.

It is appropriate that Mr Mc Causland shows himself to be vigilant when it comes to how money particularly public money is spent.

What is worrying however is Mr Mc Causland’s failure to challenge even more serious abuses of public money.

What of the millions of pounds squandered on business plans for the Maze which was supposed to be a multi purpose stadium embracing all sports?

What of the monies spent by Belfast city hall in coming up with alternative plans?

The waste of public money didn’t stop the DUP taking out ‘the forty foot pole’ to sink the Maze project.

Millions were spent on plans to cull councils across Northern Ireland, the goal being we were told, to save millions through streamlining, procurement etc.

What did the DUP do with this plan after a multi million pounds splurge which ridiculously included potential payoff deals of up to £30.000 for long serving councillors not seeking re-election?

They drove a horse and cart through the project despite a deal having been done with Sinn Fein two years ago to cut the number of councils from 26 to 11.

The latest evidence of indecision making by the DUP emerged over Assembly expenses and resettlement payments.

The substance of this was agreed across the board in the Assembly Commission and yet the DUP ‘pulled’ this much to the chagrin of Speaker Hay with just hours to go before it was to come before the Assembly.

Add water charges to this. Finance Minister Sammy Wilson has decided in his head this will have to happen. He has incurred the wrath of his boss Peter Robinson for his openness on this subject at the Executive table. I have been told by a DUP insider the First minister has made his feelings known to Mr Wilson on this matter which could prove very controversial for the DUP in the run up to the Assembly election.

Sources close to the Executive were told to tell the media the financial crisis is much worse than the public realise.

Should the public be surprised if monies are spent as if they are going out of fashion with nothing to show for this?

Finally, what of that quality control grouping proposed by Peter Robinson many moons ago the purpose of which was to monitor departmental spending and to act as the custodian of joined up good value government?

Eamonn Mallie

  • lover not a fighter

    Nelson should urge the IFA to ask for use of the new Landsdowne road stadium as a cost cutting device rather that spending large amounts of money on trying to save old Windsor Park.

  • iluvni

    Maybe McCausland should look a little deeper into the ‘suspected fraud’ with public money by Ulster Camogie Council related to payments made received from the Sports Council.

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0707/camogie.html

  • PJ_Maybe

    That “.” in front of the 5 makes all the difference doesn’t Eamonn? Odd way to put it all the same. Decimals are usually expressed with an integer to the left of the decimal separator. Or has this mathematical convention just momentarily escaped your attention. I mean, and god forbid this happened, someone might accuse you of being wilfully misleading by contorting the figures in the way you have.

  • Alan Maskey

    Iluvni, Well done for bringing up a Fenian venial sin. I hope you read the rest of the RTE article you cite.
    More to the point perhaps: NI is a failed state that is keep in peace process clover for political reasons. If it is a part of the UK, then axes should fall.
    There are many threads here trying out economic ideas. But the economics of all major parties in NI is the Keynesian begging bowl.

  • stewart1

    I can’t see how the executive can justify handing out £110 million quid to jazz up a few sports grounds at this time.

    I don’t see how the improvements are required urgently. Both the GAA & rugby authorities have spents millions on Casement & Ravenhill in recent years and in fairness have raised a lot of the finance themselves. The fact that Windsor Park is in need of some remedial improvement is the fault of the football authorities and i’m not sure that we should be continually bailing out an organisation that spends its whole time with its hands outstretched, holding a begging bowl.

    If the IFA need a new stand they should get off their fat arses and raise the money themselves. Every other sporting organisation in the country does it.

  • Jean Meslier

    iluvni

    I wonder does Nelson have a wee impulse or notion for Shinty?
    After all it is different to Camogie/Hurling. Plus it predates the Fenians and indeed Christianity — Oops!
    Bang goes an ancient games section beside the Ulster-Scots corner in the Ulster Musuem then?

  • so vote Tory then

  • even a cursory glance at the figures says your assertion on who is quickest with the begging bowl is completely bogus.

    And in any case, it’s the only sport of the three that’s a genuine world game and cross community at all levels. Honestly – too right it should be given more funding

  • iluvni

    Whats wrong Mr Maskey, is it ‘unhelpful’ for this sort of stuff to come to light, best swept under the carpet?

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Good that Windsor Park will be getting a much needed revamp – a lick o’ paint (red white and blue) and a few more new seats. Far better than wasting all that English tax payers money on a ‘national’ stadium for NI. Sure Windsor Park suffices as a provincial ground of the UK.

    Oh BTW….http://www.avivastadium.ie/

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    In anyway, £18,000 is sweet f*ck all today, FFS! Some loose change. When you get into hundreds of thousands and indeed millions of pounds, then you are in the big boys league of fraud and embezzlememt!