Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has today granted final planning approval for the new stadium at Casement Park.
As a result, the Ulster Council of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) will be able to build a new 34,578 capacity stadium on their existing site on the Andersonstown Road, Belfast.
Minister Mallon said: “This is an historic day for the GAA in Ulster and for Gaels across our island.
“Last October I announced my intention to grant planning approval and I am delighted that all the statutory processes have now been completed to make that decision official and allow the Ulster Council of the GAA to proceed with their development plans.
“This has been a long and complex process, predating my time as Minister, however we must now move forward and see progress on the ground, progress that will bring many sporting, social and economic benefits not just to West Belfast but right across the city and beyond.
“This will be fantastic news for the GAA family across Ulster and Ireland, particularly with the Ulster Final taking place this Sunday. Here’s to an exciting Ulster final and many memorable games to come in a new state-of-the-art stadium in Casement, now that the GAA is to finally have the home it deserves in Ulster.”
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has said her department will be working at pace to deliver a new stadium at Casement Park following the completion of the planning approval process.
The Minister said: “When I first came into office last January, the first visit I made was to Casement Park and I said then that delivering the project was one of my key priorities.
“As someone who played in Casement as a young Gael, I believe it’s been too long from we’ve had games in Casement Park.
“We’ve been waiting on planning to move this project on, I’m glad to say we have now got that decision and I am even more determined to deliver this stadium.
Minister Hargey explained: “A modern, fit-for-purpose Casement Park stadium will support the development of Gaelic games from the grassroots up. The Ulster Council of the GAA, Antrim GAA and the community of west Belfast will not be the only beneficiaries of this significant project; it will have far reaching economic, social and health impact for Belfast and beyond.
“Over the coming weeks I will be working closely with our stadia programme board, the UCGAA, the Department of Finance and the Executive to ensure that the Full Business Case for the redevelopment of Casement Park progresses at pace.
“This investment will be a major boost for Belfast and the wider economy. It will also provide a safe place for children, young people and Gaels to exercise, train and play Gaelic games – which will be crucial for mental health and general physical wellbeing as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It’s time to get Casement Park built!
The project is a commitment in the New Decade, New Approach agreement and its construction will complete the Regional Stadia Programme following the redevelopment in 2013 of Kingspan, home to Ulster Rugby and the Windsor Park Stadium in 2016.