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The Belfast Telegraph reported on Monday that DCAL minister Gregory Campbell is about to scrap the Maze stadium plans. Amongst all the boring and spectacularly un-newsworthy talks between the DUP and Sinn Fein, apparently the DUPes and the Sinners have done a deal that will see the Sinners get the terrorist shrine built at the Maze along with housing as well as retail and leisure facilities, but the development will go ahead without the stadium.
Instead, Windsor Park will be upgraded, beginning with a demolition/rebuild of the Railway Stand.
It's win-win to me. While I wouldn't fancy living next to a shrine to Bobby Sands and his suicide cult, if people think they can build and sell houses there then go for it. I can't see it having a positive effect on retail either, but I suppose if there are bargains to be had people will come. As long as I don't have to go anywhere near the f**king abomination I'm happy with getting a stadium in Belfast capable of hosting Northern Ireland football matches.
Lagan Valley UUP representative Basil McCrea's a funny guy. He has the cheek of accusing the DUP of "shabby double dealing" with Sinn Fein over the "conflict transformation centre".
"The DUP has sold sport down the river. They have destroyed the national stadium dream at the same time effectively backing a shrine to terrorism."
Basil McCrea, UUP
Let's recap. It was the Lisburn/Lagan Valley reps (that means you Basil) that signed up to the terrorist shrine with their Sinn Fein buddies in agreeing the original white elephant plans for the Maze. The fact that you lost the stadium (and dream is such an apt word for it) doesn't mean you can shift the blame for the terror shrine. Nice try but FAIL! And as for "selling sport down the river" - see what the fans think.