Casement redevelopment needs to proceed immediately, says Honeyford, after Euros bid news

The redevelopment of Casement Park needs to proceed immediately, Alliance Sports spokesperson David Honeyford MLA has said.

David Honeyford Sport Casement Park

He was speaking after Turkey withdrew from the bidding process for Euro 2028, leaving the UK and Ireland as sole bidders for the football tournament. The bid will still need approval from UEFA’s executive committee but the unbuilt Casement Park was included from Belfast, a situation Mr Honeyford says now needs resolved.

“This is welcome news and will see the UK and Ireland host one of the biggest sporting events in the world, once confirmed by UEFA,” said the Lagan Valley MLA.

“However, the bid specifies Belfast’s matches would be played at the new Casement Park stadium, which remains unbuilt and no clear way forward at present. We need to look at the bigger picture – hosting Euro 2028 in Belfast would be one of the biggest events to ever happen to this region, with the associated major social and economic benefits along with it.

“We need to see the redevelopment of Casement and we need to see it now. The Departments for Communities and Finance should provide the necessary funds, alongside a contribution from the GAA, with buy-in from the UK and Irish Governments if necessary.

“Unfortunately, the lack of an Executive is making the resolution of this issue even more difficult. I once again urge the DUP to end their boycott, go back into the institutions and allow this stadium to be completed, so we can all enjoy world-class football on our doorstep.”