TEAM Lisburn City Council' has recorded a
score of 30-nil in favour of the proposed national stadium being
constructed at Maze after councillors set aside any party
differences to give the scheme their full backing at the monthly
There is growing speculation the outgoing
Finance Minister Peter Robinson is about to give the the plan
the thumbs down, but his DUP colleagues in Lisburn are still
giving the stadium their wholehearted backing.
Alderman Edwin Poots, who is also the
Culture, Arts and Leisure minister, left no doubt where he
And Mr Poots claimed the construction of the
stadium on the site of the former H blocks was something 'every
member' of Lisburn Council supported.
The Minister was responding to comments by
Alderman Ivan Davis who said he hoped people in power at
Stormont would 'take the right decision.
Mr. Davis also said the council could not be
blamed if the stadium was not ultimately constructed at Maze but
added he felt it was 'fighting a losing battle' on the issue.
"The Council has always supported the Maze
Stadium and we still support the Maze Stadium," he continued.
Mr. Davis praised recent comments by leading
Northern Ireland journalists supporting Maze as the site of the
The Maze is also the location favoured by
Ulster Rugby as well as the Irish Football and Gaelic Athletic
Associations. Comments at the weekend by the Chief Executive of
the IFA suggested Northern Ireland could end up playing their
home football matches outside the Province if the Maze is turned
However, a large number of Belfast
councillors believe the stadium should be constructed in the
city and have suggested a site close to George Best Belfast City
Airport - despite the GAA - who would provide the bulk of the
spectators - repeatedly insisting the Maze was the only site
they would support.
There was widespread cynicism from supporters
of the Maze when it emerged the projected cost of building the
stadium would be substantially higher than its reported £100m
price tag. They believe it was designed to prepare the ground
for a refusal and pointed out the continual delays in giving it
the go-ahead inevitably meant the price would rise.
Mr Robinson has said that if the stadium did not
go ahead, something would be built on the site.
He also said if the stadium was not given the
green light, stadia across Northern Ireland would be improved.
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