Northern Ireland

Casement Park: GAA hopes to start work on Belfast stadium in 2017

A view from inside the old Casement Park stadium Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The GAA's plans to redevelop Casement Park have been dogged by controversy

The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) has said it hopes to start building a new Casement Park stadium next year and play matches at the ground by 2019.

It said it does not intend to demolish any houses to make room for the multi-million-pounds stadium.

Senior official Stephen McGeehan said the GAA is willing to consider a capacity below 38,000, the number of seats in the original redesign plan.

A new community consultation about the proposal was announced on Tuesday.

"The GAA has no intention, and never had, of knocking people's houses down, of purchasing or demolishing anyone's homes," said Mr McGeehan, who is the Casement Park project manager.

Planning permission for the stadium's redevelopment was overturned in 2014 and since then the GAA has been working on a new planning application.

The GAA said it wants to hear feedback from people in west Belfast and further afield about the proposed new stadium and has organised a number of consultation initiatives.

The GAA has laid out a proposed timetable for the stadium:

  • a community consultation on the new stadium design begins in late summer;
  • a new planning application is made before the end of this year;
  • work to start on the new stadium by the end of next year;
  • the stadium completed by the end of 2019;
  • the first Ulster provincial final at the new Casement Park to be played in summer 2020.

The GAA said the redesigned stadium will take into account the fears over the emergency exiting arrangements in the original design.

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