STADIUM: Preliminary work started on Casement Park on Monday. Now the Irish government has pledged €50million to the project

Irish Govt Pledges $54m for Casement Park Rebuild

THE Irish government has pledged $54m million for the redevelopment of Casement Park in Belfast.

The Cabinet met in Dublin on Tuesday morning to sign-off on several cross-border projects including an hourly rail service between Belfast to Dublin ($13 million); the A5 road linking Donegal to Dublin through Derry and Tyrone ($650 million); and the Narrow Water Bridge over Carlingford Lough between counties Down and Louth. In all, the Irish government has committed almost €1billion.

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Casement Park is one of the host venues for the Euro 2028 soccer tournament.

Making the announcement, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “At approximately €1 billion, it is the largest ever package of Government funding for cross-border investments.

"The redevelopment of Casement Park stadium in Belfast will help maximise the benefit for Northern Ireland of hosting games in the UEFA EURO2028 championship which is a major East-West project. 

“This funding is about all-island investment, boosting the all-island economy and improving connections North and South, benefiting both jurisdictions and all communities. It is about understanding that, whatever the constitutional future of Ireland brings, investing in people, in quality of life, in opportunity, and for the generations to come, are all of our responsibilities and a common good we can best progress by working together.”

West Belfast MP Paul Maskey said: “I welcome the announcement from the Irish Government that they will contribute a significant sum of money towards the redevelopment of Casement Park.

“Alongside work to prepare the site beginning yesterday, this is another positive step to ensuring we have a first-class, state-of-the-art sporting facility for Ulster Gaels, and to host major games in the Euros and big events. 

“The construction of Casement Park will help to strengthen our local economy, create jobs, and showcase everything that makes our island and people amazing through the power of sport. 

“Both Governments, the Executive, the GAA and Football Associations must continue working together to ensure this flagship project is delivered quickly and on time.”

The funding for the A5 and the Narrow Water Bridge projects delivers on a long-standing commitment by the Irish Government.

The Government has already allocated almost €250m from the Shared Island Fund, including €44.5m for construction of a new teaching building at Ulster University in Derry and €47m to move forward with the Ulster Canal restoration.