Football funding: Minister commits to £36m grounds upgrade and "seeks more money"

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Deirdre Hargey

Q Radio Sport

Deirdre Hargey has said that she will write to her fellow ministers to try to “unlock” funding for a scheme to upgrade football stadia. 

The Communities Minister made the promise amid an ongoing controversy after she announced that she was unable to progress a £36.2 million programme to redevelop local sub-regional football stadia due to the absence of a functioning executive.

In recent days she has batted away accusations of sectarianism, after the DUP heavily criticised a decision to halt the scheme while continuing the redevelopment of the GAA’s Casement Park.

Ms Hargey said she would be writing to her fellow ministers to see if the funding could be released, despite the absence of a fully functioning Northern Ireland Executive.

“The money’s there, the money’s on the table. We need to find a way of unlocking that money without the Executive,” she added.

The Northern Ireland Football League and Irish FA met Ms. Hargey on Thursday and said afterwards they had been assured the funding boost would go ahead - and that the total investment could top £36m.

The BetMcLean Oval - one of many grounds set for a facelift

More good news for NI football on Thursday - the GAWA girls win again:

And here's one of the goals:

NI women off to a winning start on the Costa del Sol




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