Council sets aside party differences to show
support for Maze stadium
How the proposed Maze Stadium would look.
LISBURN City Council has unanimously passed a
motion backing plans for a new sports stadium at the Maze.
At last week's monthly meeting, Alderman Ivan
Davis put forward a motion 'strongly supporting' the development
and regeneration at the Maze site and in particular a national
sports stadium received cross party support.
Mr Davis stressed it not be a Lisburn or Belfast Stadium but "a
national stadium for all the people of Northern Ireland".
And he pointed out that despite talk of other
plans, "no serious alternative has been brought forward".
"The people of Northern Ireland are entitled
to have a National Stadium, which already exists in England
Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland" he said.
"We are staring a gift horse in the mouth. "We
can have one of the most promising projects in Northern
Ireland's sporting history and one that will undoubtedly add to
the province's representation in the 2012 Olympics," he added.
Mr Davis paid tribute to his council colleague Alderman Edwin
Poots for his work as Culture Arts and Leisure minister in
pressing the case for the stadium and agreed with Mr Poot's
recent comments that as Minister he had to ask what was best for
the people of Northern Ireland.
Alderman Jim Dillon requested the Council
should invite the stadium designers to give the presentation to
the council which they had originally been due to present to an
assembly committee. This was scrapped after a row in the
committee over procedure.
This was added to the motion, which was seconded
by Alderman Paul Porter, and passed after a recorded voted
showed all 23 members in attendance in favour.
Mr Porter said: "Mr Davis has been frank and
honest. We could do a lot more to push this further and I do
welcome the motion."
Mr Dillon commented: "If we don't achieve
this it will be one of the biggest losses ever in Northern
Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson also
welcomed the motion. He said: "Future generations will not
forgive us if we don't get this. This is for all of Northern
And Councillor Jonathan Craig added: "We would be insane not
to support it."