Saturday 24 August 2019

Harbinson hits out at Casement delay

Antrim football manager Lenny Harbinson has labelled the ongoing inertia around the crumbling Casement Park stadium an 'absolute disgrace'. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Antrim football manager Lenny Harbinson has labelled the ongoing inertia around the crumbling Casement Park stadium an 'absolute disgrace'. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Antrim football manager Lenny Harbinson has labelled the ongoing inertia around the crumbling Casement Park stadium an 'absolute disgrace' after his side's defeat to Tyrone in the Ulster Championship quarter-final on Saturday.

The game was played at Armagh's Athletic Grounds as the Saffrons have no home venue capable of hosting such a fixture, although the low attendance of 5,409 could actually have comfortably been housed at Ballycastle or Dunloy.

On the morning of the game, Harbinson's side assembled at Casement Park on the Andersonstown Road before continuing their journey.

Harbinson, who famously managed his own club St Gall's to an All-Ireland Club title in 2010, explained: "We met at Casement. We went in to see the Casement Social Club. Casement has been very good to Antrim down through the years, and continues to be very good and supportive of Bob Murray and the committee there. So we were delighted to get in there.

"But it's an absolute disgrace that since 2012 - when Casement closed down - we haven't had a home pitch. Yes, it's been well documented, it's gone back and forth through the courts, but it's gone on for far too long."

It has emerged that a redeveloped Casement Park would be the only Northern Ireland venue included in the UK and Irish bid to host the Fifa soccer World Cup in 2030.

The Department for Communities (DfC) has indicated that it will form part of the planned bid for the tournament.

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