SDLP Sports Spokesperson Justin McNulty has said that construction work must begin at Casement Park as soon as possible.
He was speaking after Turkey dropped out of bidding to host Euro 2028, leaving Britain and Ireland as the sole contenders to host the tournament.
Casement Park has been designated as one of the host stadiums for the tournament.
Newry & Armagh MLA Mr McNulty said:
“News that the British and Irish bid to host Euro 2028 looks set to be successful is fantastic news that will bring joy to sports fans across these islands. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to host a tournament of this magnitude and it’s imperative that every part of this island has the chance to take part, hosting games with all the benefits that will bring to the local area.
“Today’s news must focus minds around the development of Casement Park. Euro 2028 must be the catalyst to green light Casement and get it built. We need the stadium ready for the 2028 tournament and for that we need to see construction work begin as soon as possible. Casement has been left dormant for too long, this stadium will be a game changer and a fitting state of the art new home for Ulster GAA. I hope that everyone will come together and do whatever’s necessary to make this happen.”
SDLP West Belfast councillor Paul Doherty said:
“This is incredibly exciting news for this area with the potential to host European Championship games at a redeveloped Casement Park in the heart of West Belfast. The redevelopment of Casement Park has been an important issue for people here locally who have been left in limbo by the constant delays to this much needed project.
“A modern stadium of this magnitude will be utterly transformational for West Belfast, creating jobs, attracting investment and allowing us to host major sporting events like the Euros and concerts alongside the GAA calendar. I will be working with everyone involved in this project and local residents to ensure that any concerns are addressed and that the finished Casement is a huge success for this area.”