Antrim Forum

The Casement Debate

(Oldest Posts First)

Listening to the dire narrative since the Tyrone game about Antrim's plight, you'd think this was a new thing to groan about. The truth is that for at least 30 years, Antrim has been on the decline and despite the odd victory there has been nothing to really sing about. Yes, even the 89 and 09 final, two senior finals in how many attempts?? It's just not enough. All I have heard since moving from Armagh is how unfortunate Antrim are and yet the club teams in the county can rival any other in Ireland. So the talent must be there. As an outsider looking in, I am seriously confused by the amount of clubs crammed into west Belfast, and the obvious lack of GAA clubs in other areas of the city. Vast communites that any rural club would take your arm off for access to the population.
The problem is not in the ability of players that Antrim can call upon, it's in the blueprint of where the clubs are located, who are they representing and how do they expand. If Antrim county are serious about rebuilding the saffron dream, then they need to start seriously looking at which clubs are active and productive in Belfast. Re-design the catchment areas for existing clubs and invest GAA sports into secondary schools and not the ones that already have a strong GAA identity.

Rules_man (Armagh) - Posts: 152 - 29/05/2019 15:20:03    2188860

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Replying To Rules_man:  "Listening to the dire narrative since the Tyrone game about Antrim's plight, you'd think this was a new thing to groan about. The truth is that for at least 30 years, Antrim has been on the decline and despite the odd victory there has been nothing to really sing about. Yes, even the 89 and 09 final, two senior finals in how many attempts?? It's just not enough. All I have heard since moving from Armagh is how unfortunate Antrim are and yet the club teams in the county can rival any other in Ireland. So the talent must be there. As an outsider looking in, I am seriously confused by the amount of clubs crammed into west Belfast, and the obvious lack of GAA clubs in other areas of the city. Vast communites that any rural club would take your arm off for access to the population.
The problem is not in the ability of players that Antrim can call upon, it's in the blueprint of where the clubs are located, who are they representing and how do they expand. If Antrim county are serious about rebuilding the saffron dream, then they need to start seriously looking at which clubs are active and productive in Belfast. Re-design the catchment areas for existing clubs and invest GAA sports into secondary schools and not the ones that already have a strong GAA identity."
Where in the city do you feel should have more clubs? Half the city is in county Down which is hardly an Antrim problem. The other half (west/north) is a very divided area politically. As you mentioned, the west is well populated. The north city have a couple of clubs too but that particular area has a far greater unionist population than the west. This type of thing applies in rural Antrim too. Most nationalist areas I can think of have a GAA club there or nearby. Maybe you could be a bit more specific in the areas that should have clubs.

SaffronDon (Antrim) - Posts: 1920 - 30/05/2019 18:34:07    2189193

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A sound letter in today's 'Irish News' about the viability and feasibility of developing Casement Park as the major GAA stadium in Ulster. The writer correctly points out that not all of the reasons given for the proposed development are entirely for the benefit of Gaelic Games.
The location is wrong to begin with. It's in a very built up area with little parking space and poor road structure. For example there is only one road (Stewartstown Road) just outside the main entrance, which must take all spectator traffic going and coming from the facility. Imagine the crush at peak times. Regarding parking, some may remember the Ulster final involving Monaghan a few years ago when utter chaos ensued. The M1 motorway was queued up for miles and people actually parked on the hard shoulder causing serious health and safety problems.
The local residents still have a considerable influence to bear on this issue. The development would overshadow their homes and make living conditions intolerable. The 'Irish News' scribe advocates an out of town site at 'Giant's Park' on the foreshore of Belfast Lough. It's an option but not the only one. Develop an alternative site out of the city and use Casement as a nursery type facility as suggested by the writer. Anyway most of us will be dead before Antrim and Ulster GAA sort this one out.

hairyhorses (Fermanagh) - Posts: 7 - 10/02/2020 15:36:24    2266829

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