Communities Minister should stop playing politics with sport

Foyle DUP MLA Gary Middleton has said the Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey needs to stop playing politics with funding for football stadia in Northern Ireland.

By Gary Middleton MLA


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He said, "Deirdre Hargey has been in office for two years but has failed to deliver on an NDNA agreement to advance funding for football stadiums across Northern Ireland. There is an Executive commitment on sub-regional stadia funding. That could have been delivered upon at any time during the last two years, and it still should be delivered today.

For two years she has dithered, telling everyone that a result was just around the corner, but still today nothing has been delivered. In August she said progress would be made "in the coming weeks". In September she said the programme would be rolled out "in the short time ahead". What we have seen however is a Minister playing politics with sports and with funding for our football clubs.

Football is a sport which brings people together from all backgrounds and it should not be used as a pawn to advance other issues. The decision by Sinn Fein Ministers to link this to the development of Casement Park was telling. Casement Park is a casualty of Sinn Fein's shambolic handling, but other sports grounds should not be held back because of that."

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