SDLP Sports Spokesperson Justin McNulty has said Ireland and Britain’s successful bid to host Euro 2028 is a huge opportunity for the North and the whole of the island.
He was speaking after the joint bid was confirmed successful on Tuesday.
Mr McNulty said that all relevant parties must commence discussions immediately to agree how the redevelopment of Casement Park will be financed so that work can begin at the first opportunity.
Newry & Armagh MLA Mr McNulty said:
“Confirmation of the successful Euro 2028 bid gives the North and our entire island the chance to showcase its potential as a fantastic host for large-scale sporting events. This tournament will attract fans from all over the world to Belfast and our island, bringing a large boost to our economy and will build a fantastic sporting legacy that everyone can be proud of.
“Our focus must now turn to getting Casement Park built. The Secretary of State has said the British Government will find the money for the redevelopment of the stadium and the Irish Government have offered to help finance the project – the political will is there and we need to get everyone around a table to hammer out the details so that work can commence at Casement without delay.”
SDLP West Belfast councillor Paul Doherty said:
“There is huge excitement locally at confirmation of the successful Euro 2028 bid with Casement Park set to host five games at the tournament. West Belfast is an area badly in need of investment and the rebuilding of Casement and hosting the Euros will give us a platform to show everyone what our community has to offer.
“There is a long way to go to see Casement built, but I am confident it will be finished in time for this tournament. When this project is completed we will have a state-of-the-art stadium in the heart of our community with the potential to host further large-scale events in future. The redevelopment of Casement Park is long overdue and I will be working with the local community and stakeholders in the coming months and years to ensure we make the most of this opportunity.”