SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly has welcomed Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon’s announcement that she has granted planning permission for the Casement Park Stadium.
The Minister confirmed yesterday that final planning approval has been granted and all statutory processes.
As a result, the Ulster Council of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) will be able to build a new 34,578 capacity stadium on their existing site on the Andersonstown Road, Belfast.
The Upper Bann MLA said: "This is a historic day for the GAA, as the SDLP and our Minister delivers the final planning approval for Casement Park. Finally, the GAA will have its home in Ulster.
"This has been a long process for the GAA but since the SDLP went back into Government last year, we were determined to deliver for the GAA family across our island and I am delighted our Minister Nichola Mallon has done just that.
"Players and fans across Ulster and the rest of Ireland will be undoubtedly excited that the project can now proceed and it’s critical now that everything is done to get it built.
"Ahead of the Ulster Final this Sunday, this is some result for the GAA and for fans! The SDLP is proud to have played our part in this historic day."
Announcing the decision, Ms Mallon said, “Last October I announced my intention to grant planning approval and I am delighted that all the statutory processes have now been completed to make that decision official and allow the Ulster Council of the GAA to proceed with their development plans.
“This has been a long and complex process, predating my time as Minister, however we must now move forward and see progress on the ground, progress that will bring many sporting, social and economic benefits not just to West Belfast but right across the city and beyond.
“This will be fantastic news for the GAA family across Ulster and Ireland, particularly with the Ulster Final taking place this Sunday. Here’s to an exciting Ulster final and many memorable games to come in a new state-of-the-art stadium in Casement, now that the GAA is to finally have the home it deserves in Ulster.”