“It is pure frustration that for five years we have been led along with a bit of string.”

As Gonzo noted back in December

IF this contrite statement is anything to go by, DUP Sports Minster Nelson McCausland must have hauled Sport NI chief executive Eamonn McCartan over the coals for listing off on TV reasons why we weren’t attracting Olympic interest. McCartan told the BBC that no Olympic teams had committed to train here for the 2012 Games due to our violent image, the threat from dissidents, geographical location, travel costs and access to Olympics venues.

But as the BBC reports today, the NI Sports Minister, the DUP’s Nelson McCausland’s, draft spending plans have just made the job of attracting any Olympic interest to Northern Ireland all the more difficult, if not impossible.  From the BBC report

Plans to build five state-of-the-art sports centres in NI in the countdown to the 2012 Olympics have been shelved after a £50m government budget cut.

The projects affected are a cycling velodrome at Downpatrick, tennis centre at Hillsborough, sailing facility at Ballyholme, athletics track in Antrim and basketball centre in Lisburn.

Tens of thousands of pounds have gone into developing plans.

But the government said it no longer has the money to build the centres.

BBC NI business correspondent Kevin Magee said the decision was due to significantly reduced funding for the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure in the recent budget.

“This represents a major set back for a host of sporting associations who are now among the first casualties of the spending cuts” he said.

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  • But money being wasted on the Maze site to look back, rather sports facilities to spur the aspirations of future generations of athletes. Whatever happened the ‘for our children and grandchildren’. Seems like jobs for the boys before hope for the next generation.

  • Cynic2

    Look its very simple.

    Gordon Brown buggered up the economy

    Catitonia Ruane has wasted tens of millions in Education

    Michelle Gildrennew has faced us with fines of Hundreds of Millions from the EC

    Murphy is a disaster in DRD

    Wee Sammy is Finance Minister!!!!

    The bottom line is that we cannot afford all these facilities. Even if we could the planned siting of some of them was barking mad – well away from the main population centre and any hope of financial viability

    But bottom line – we cannot afford them

  • A handy reminder that we collectively had such a lucky escape with the dumping of the White Elephant Stadium project, minimum of 400 million and zero chance of any of the supposed financial dividends ever being recovered.

  • chewnicked

    It’s a pity about the veloodrome in Downpatrick. It would have been the nearest that the residents would have got to the ring road that local politicians have been promising for decades.

  • stewart1

    Yet the taxpayer is still expected to spend 30 odd million on the redevelopment Windsor Park, even though its virtually empty every week and will have zero revenue input from the owners of the ground.

    Something is seriously wrong in this place!

  • chewnicked

    What do you expext of the IFA, Stewart? They even made a balls of the balls in the Irish Cup draw!

  • Briso

    This is very sad. Hopefully all these sites East of the Bann will eventually get funding when the upturn comes. I’m just glad that Belfast will get the three new stadium upgrades we all so richly deserve.

  • MichaelMac

    “Look its very simple.

    Gordon Brown buggered up the economy

    Catitonia Ruane has wasted tens of millions in Education

    Michelle Gildrennew has faced us with fines of Hundreds of Millions from the EC

    Murphy is a disaster in DRD”

    The mote in that unionists eye is the size of an oak tree.

  • Cynic2

    Are the facts untrue?

    I can find just as good examples with Poots (RPA shambles), (Stadia and Ulster Scots nonsense).

    What is yourproblem


    Stormont is what happens when the master vacated the house and left the mice and spiders in charge of running the household. Let’s face it, NI parties of flag waving are clearly out of their depth when it comes to the husbandry of running a household. But they’re good at hanging out bunting and translating signage into 3 languages. Pity the fridge is bare and the floors are rotting but hey, we r ruling ourselves.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Actually as I pointed out in December, there is an Olympic team using facilities in Newcastle, Co Down…….Ireland.

  • stewart1

    ‘What do you expext of the IFA, Stewart? They even made a balls of the balls in the Irish Cup draw!’

    No idea what the cup draw is chewnicked but it’s contemptible that one particular sporting organisation is constantly holding out the begging bowl when others manage to contribute to their own sporting stadia and development. The IFA should be told to go and try and create some support or revenue within the community, rather than playing an accordion beside a cash-point looking for free handouts.

  • If they’re playing the accordion, then it’s not a “free” handout is it?

    You’re paying to either recognise the beauty of their music or…telling them to stop it;)

  • MichaelMac

    “What is yourproblem”

    The problem seems to be your. The title and subject of the thread is quite clear, DUP Minister Mc Causland. You have attempted to troll the thread off on a tangent nad a pretty poor effort it was too.

  • Cynic2

    What tangent?

    One of the reasons we cannot afford things like this is the gross waste in what we spend in other areas.

    Ruane’s loss of £87m capital and mismanagement in Education would have paid for these x 2

    The EU fines on Agriculture amount to about the same again – another £100m. Indeed, based on the NAO figures published yesterday NI (3% of uk population) may account for 10% of the fines and penalties!

    Poots and his predecessors failure to implement RPA will probably cost us tens of millions a year for say the next 5 years or until we get a Minister capable of doping it and an Executive that will do it.

    All of this shameful waste and mismanagement is bleeding the money dry. yet all you can seem to do is treat it as some sort of sectarian political attack when it isn’t at all. Indeed, you comment that the object of the thread is McCausland seems to suggest that sort of political agenda for you. My reading of the thread that it was about the cuts and the reasons for them.