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High Court blow for the Rugby World Cup bid (but don't worry, all is not lost)

Organisers committed to vision for a world class Casement Park despite today’s ruling.

Casement Park: Project costed at £77 million.
Casement Park: Project costed at £77 million.
Image: Andrew Paton/INPHO

REVISED PLANS FOR the redevelopment of Casement Park will be lodged in the new year after the High Court in Belfast quashed planning permission for the £77 million project.

Today’s decision by Mr Justice Horner will delay work to upgrade the Belfast GAA ground to a 38,000 capacity, which could have a knock-on effect on Ireland’s bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

A redeveloped Casement was expected to form part of the cross-border proposal but, despite this latest setback, organisers remain committed to their vision for a world class stadium.

Tom Daly, chairman of the Casement Park Project Board, said: “Whilst we are disappointed with today’s judgement we are fully committed to transforming Casement Park and building a provincial stadium for Ulster which will provide a longstanding legacy for Gaelic Games as well as significant social and economic benefits.”

We welcome that the judgement found the siting, size and scale of the Casement Park development were not contrary to planning policy.

“There is a strong resolve within the GAA to submit a new planning application in 2015 which will again follow the due process and scrutiny of the Department of the Environment. This is in keeping with the GAA’s Strategic Requirement of developing a fit for purpose, modern provincial stadium for Ulster at Casement Park.”

Daly also welcomed the assurance of Northern Ireland Sports Minister Carál Ni Chuilín who said this week that the £61.4m of government funding would remain in place.

He added: “Ulster GAA strongly welcomes the continued commitment of funding by the Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure and the Executive for the project. We are also grateful for the ongoing commitment and support of the central GAA. ​

“Ulster GAA remains committed to working with the local community to see the completion of a world class stadium which has far reaching benefits for all.”

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Niall Kelly

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