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Main losers in Maze wrangle are real sports fans

Anyone who attended the opening rugby match at the new Aviva stadium in Dublin last weekend could not fail to be impressed by its size and modern appearance.

This contrasts with the failed opportunity to have a national stadium capable of accommodating 50,000 people in Northern Ireland due to arguments between DUP and Sinn Fein for the last three years. What we are left with after years of wrangling are separate football, rugby and GAA stadiums which will never compete with the new Aviva stadium in hosting world-class events.

It can only be described as a missed opportunity and the losers are the fans of every sport in Northern Ireland.

When the site was gifted in 2003 to the Northern Ireland Executive there were high hopes that a multi-sports stadium could be completed in time for 2012 London Olympics, but seven years later we still have an empty site.

The recent announcement by OFMDFM is welcome, but long overdue and behind all the smokescreen and spin the main reason for the announcement was, if it was not agreed, then £20m of European Funding would have been lost. The Ulster Unionist Party has been calling for the creation of a Maze Development Corporation for the past two years, but continues to have grave doubts over the construction of a Peace Building and Conflict Resolution facility.

We all want to see the 360-acre site developed with the potential to create thousands of jobs in the construction industry. But why must everything that the DUP/ Sinn Fein are responsible for take years to bring to fruition.

FOOTBALL FAN

Florencecourt, Co Fermanagh

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