Belfast Telegraph

Windsor Park at centre of multi-million pound legal challenge, court hears

By Alan Erwin

Major subsidence which forced the demolition of a stand at Northern Ireland's national football stadium is at the centre of multi-million pound legal action, it has emerged.

Writs have been served over engineering work carried out after the structural cracks were discovered at Windsor Park in south Belfast in 2015.

Further proceedings relate to building work at a leisure centre adjacent to the West Stand, which had to be bulldozed and rebuilt.

With the cases now before the High Court in Belfast, a source said claims of up to £3m are involved.

Damage was detected following Northern Ireland's Euro 2016 qualifier against Finland.

Although the rest of Windsor Park had been undergoing government-funded redevelopment at the time, the West Stand was only due for refurbishment.

But because of the cracks a decision was taken to pull it down. A replacement structure has since been completed.

The stadium redevelopment's main contractor, Newry based firm O'Hare and McGovern, is now suing an engineering company over steps taken once the subsidence was discovered.

Lawyers for Brian W Murray Ltd are defending that lawsuit, insisting it was only ever meant to be a temporary design solution.

They have also issued proceedings against infrastructure specialists Aecom, claiming it was the main engineer for the Windsor Park project.

In a separate case, the Irish Football Association is suing Belfast City Council.

Those proceedings centre on any alleged link between upgrade work at the council-owned Olympia Leisure Centre and the old West Stand's demolition.

Both actions were mentioned in front of Mr Justice Burgess, before being adjourned to later in the year.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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