The conversion of an ‘underused’ soccer field into a GAA pitch in eastern Belfast has been halted in recent days due to “concerns about some social media posts that appear to be work-related”.
According to Belfast councilor Seamus Defoeit, work on the ‘reconstruction’ of a site in the city’s Victoria Park has been put on hold for the time being.
Speaking to the BBC’s Evening Extra programme, the SDLP representative declined to “go into details” about other possible local locations for the new Gaelic pitches, due to “remarks from those who were concerned about the GAA being in East Belfast”. Will try my best to stop it”.
The East Belfast GAA club, which was established in May 2020, had expressed interest in finding a more regular pitch for the council to train and play matches on, after renting out various council venues over the past two years.
The successive pitches used by all four codes of the club – men’s and women’s Gaelic football, hurling and camogie – include the Woodlands, The Dub and Cherryvale Playing Fields in West Belfast, the latter already being used by South Belfast side St Malachy. being shared. GAC and Co Down Team Bradagh.
Cllr deFaoite stressed that Belfast City Council has a policy “that does not award home ground to any particular club or team”.
“All of our pitches are open for booking by anyone, so it is not the case that a pitch is open to a particular club or group of individuals. It will be open to anyone who wants to book it to be able to play GAA,” he said.
East Belfast’s Alliance Party legislator Peter McReynolds said that the East Belfast GAA had been told that Victoria Park is “currently under-utilised”, offering one of the park’s three soccer pitches to the Ko Down organization for ‘reconstruction’ He is going.
Mr McReynolds continued, “having the club at Victoria Park was always going to be an exploratory move”.
“Social media may have played some role in all of this, but pretty much, this decision was always being passed back to the East Belfast GAA to say ‘Is this appropriate?’ And till then a decision will be taken on how they proceed with it with the council officials.”
He said the negative comments on social media regarding the launch of the GAA pitch in East Belfast have been “quite disappointing”.
“I’ve seen East Belfast GAA a couple of times now,” he said.
“It is a positive, diverse and inclusive organisation. We just saw him for example last week at Belfast Pride. I think it’s a great club and I think they can bring a real energy to East Belfast.
Victoria Park’s playgrounds currently have soccer pitches, a bowling green, and a cycling and BMX track.
Preliminary work had already begun on the establishment of a GAA pitch on the main football field, with lines and markings already lined up for Gaelic games.
The Belfast Telegraph also understands that the Ulster GAA organization was there to help post and provide support for the site.
On Wednesday, a Belfast City Council spokesman said: “The council is working to identify a suitable location for the East Belfast GAA, but no final decision has been taken. The East Belfast GAA and the local Work will continue with both the councillors.
“Some of the preparatory work that started at Victoria Park is now on hold due to the busy schedule ahead.”
An East Belfast GAA club spokesman said: “As it stands, we await official confirmation regarding the status of the proposed GAA pitches.
“Until we receive confirmation from Belfast City Council, we will not make any further comment on this issue.”