Hanna: Euro 2028 can deliver lasting legacy

claire hanna Casement Park Euro 2028

SDLP South Belfast MP Claire Hanna has said that Euro 2028 can deliver a lasting legacy for sport in Northern Ireland.

She was speaking after attending a meeting alongside SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood with the Irish Football Association (IFA) at Windsor Park on Monday.

South Belfast MP Ms Hanna said:

“Our engagement with the IFA today was very productive and I’d like to put on record our thanks for their support for the redevelopment of Casement Park. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to bring one of the world's biggest football tournaments to Belfast and to establish a legacy for sport and local communities across Northern Ireland that we can all be proud of.

“There are a number of important measures that can be put in place to ensure that grassroots sport benefits directly from hosting the Euros and key to that will be ensuring that local football clubs finally get the sub-regional stadium funding that they were promised well over a decade ago. I can think of no greater legacy than using this tournament as a catalyst to ensure that a number of clubs can establish modern stadiums that allow them to develop and grow.

“We must also use the benefits that come from the tournament to create more opportunities for young people to get involved in sport, and creating better facilities will be a big part of that. Alongside health benefits, the past has shown us that involvement in sport can be hugely important in bringing people together and that’s something that can help us heal our divided society.

“The benefits that come from Euro 2028 will leave an indelible mark on this place, it will bring millions to our economy and visitors from around the world, a redeveloped Casement Park will lead to new jobs and investment in Belfast and change the football community in this place for the better. While acknowledging the challenges that still have to be overcome, the SDLP are hugely positive about the benefits of bringing this tournament to Northern Ireland and that’s the message we took to the IFA today.”

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