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Arguments over Casement Park stadium legal bid not 'tiresome'

THIS is in reply to Declan Bogue's piece (Sport, November 19) regarding the Mooreland and Owenvarragh Residents' Association (Mora) and our judicial review of the planning permission for a new 38,000-capacity stadium at Casement Park.

As your chief GAA writer, Mr Bogue has, perhaps unsurprisingly, expressed fulsome support for the Casement Park redevelopment.

However, the dismissal of the many residents supporting Mora's case as a "handful of malcontents" is as highly insulting as it is unworthy of your paper.

A judicial review is not lightly undertaken and it is the only means residents have to challenge this planning consent.

It is also clear from the 13 days spent in the High Court that our concerns are real and substantial. These include serious issues concerning traffic and road safety and safe evacuation during capacity events.

Traffic gridlock will hamper emergency vehicle access to hospitals for both local residents and the wider community.

Moreover, evidence received from the PSNI suggests that the proposed stadium design will not remotely meet the good practice requirements set out in the Northern Ireland Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds as to safe evacuation. That is a serious matter for a project set to receive £61.4m of public funds.

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If that is proven to be the case, the Government would end up spending £61.4m, or more, on a stadium that could, or should not, be used for its intended purposes.

Are these the "tiresome" arguments Mr Bogue is referring to?

The issues around Casement Park have been in contention for many months. The court's decision is imminent.

Why then did the Belfast Telegraph choose to publish this tendentious article at this time?


Chairperson, Mooreland and Owenvarragh Residents' Association