Ryan not expecting Casement spending increase

By Niall McCoy

GAA DIRECTOR general Tom Ryan has poured cold water on any suggestions that the association will significantly increase its financial contribution to the Casement Park project.

Speaking at Croke Park at the launch of his 2023 financial report, Ryan gave a lukewarm response when asked if they’d up their £15 million contribution given the expected increased costs when the new business plan is recast.

The Belfast ground has been chosen as a host venue for the EURO 2028 soccer tournament and Ryan remains confident that the project can be completed by the summer of 2027, but he warned that additional funding would more likely have to be sourced through government support from Ireland and the UK.

“Where it is at the moment, the business case has to be recast so a new cost is going to emerge,” he said.

“At the time we made that commitment that was a significant burden and I think it was only last year that we finally reached full provision (in our finances) and that was 10 years later.

“There’s not a whole lot of scope for something in excess of what has been committed to Casement.

“Even leaving Casement aside, there are almost 20 counties that have significant ambition to do other stuff.”

Ryan also said that there was a certain irony that it may take a non-GAA influence to get the project over the line with the last game played at the venue in 2013.

“The one thing that hasn’t wavered all along with this thing was our part of it; we’re still there, we’re still backing it, we’ve still made a financial commitment to it.

“The other thing that can’t change really is that we can’t control all the factors and variables in that. We’ll absolutely play our part to make sure that it happens.

“I think it was a positive that it was designated as a venue for Euro 2028, undoubtedly. There’s a small bit of irony that that might be the catalyst that delivers it but so be it if that’s the way it’s going to be.

“Things have changed significantly in our favour since we sat here last year and I think the fact that the executive (of Northern Ireland) has been restored as well is a positive

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