Over several years the proposed development of Casement Park on the Andersonstown Road in West Belfast has been a controversial issue with many local residents questioning not the development itself but the scale of that development. A recent article in the May/June issue of Plan, a bi-monthly journal of architects, states that the current 32,500 seat stadium will be redeveloped into a 38,000 all-seated venue which will become the largest stadium in Ulster and a flagship for the GAA in Ulster and will open in late 2016.
The article gives an architect’s description of the architectural structure of the stadium’s three main components: the plinth, the cloud and finally the truss. The plinth is supposed to represent the solid foundations and the strength of the GAA as a community and volunteer based organisation. The cloud is constructed of light, transparent material and conceptually represents a bright future for the GAA. The truss, from a structural point of view, supports the stadium’s roof, but according to the article it also represents the spanning and bridging opportunities the stadium will deliver across all communities throughout Ireland. As expected all of the articles published images are computer generated thus giving an idyllic and harmonious picture of a finished product.
However, the article fails to mention the enormous parking problems on the Andersonstown Road and surrounding areas that usually incurred when even a minor match is held at Casement, never mind a major event. Being an ex-resident of West Belfast I have not so fond memories of the traffic jams that occur outside Casement Park on Sundays when trying to get to the M1 motorway for a return journey home. As for he noise level from the inferred “non-sporting uses” that can only be left to one’s imagination.
As a non-sporty person I have very little interest in the GAA except for some major matches that are occasionally broadcasted on TV. However, from a political and social perspective I have observed over the past few years something seems to be happening to the GAA as it has gone from a community based organisation into a corporate entity. The recent fiasco of the Garth Brooks concerts when 5 Croke Park unlicensed events were approved by the GAA, despite the fact they exceeded a local agreement between residents and the GAA and the selling off of some GAA sporting fixtures to Murdock’s Sky pay to view sporting channel are just 2 examples.
It's a money making venture for the GAA. It's the same with the pitch fund. Council land, public land -going to private enterprise. I passed the Dunville park yesterday and saw some kids playing football on the gras while the new 3G pitch was all locked up, for use by the drinking club opposite who I imagine have the keys. Kids with no money have to play elsewhere. Not all kids want to play football.ReplyDelete
Sin Fein gave that huge amount of money to the GAA for casement without a thought for the people who live here. Gerry Carrol was helped into council by residents using a protest vote, there's an election in May, it's time for votes to be used the same way again.
the falls park meeting took place tonight , here is a taster of the heated meeting, a community divided by the grab all association (GAA)ReplyDelete
a 1.4million pitch covering most of the upper park, here is a plan of the scale of it.
shouting and rowing, these pitches going up in all of our green spaces are dividing a community, how many pitches are needed?
I've been told by an old comrade and reputable Republican that certain Shinners not only bought houses which will become part of Casements new car park but they did the houses up to increase their value...ReplyDelete