Cup win prompts fresh calls for stadium funds

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Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has pledged to give his “full attention” to plans for a new Brandywell stadium.

Mr McGuinness made the comment in talks with club chairman Philip O’Doherty as the Candy Stripes made history in securing city’s fifth FAI Cup in the Aviva stadium in Dublin on Sunday.

Derry City Council submitted a business case to examine options for the development of the Brandywell Stadium, Brandywell Showgrounds and the Daisyfield to DCAL. It was told no Government funding will be available until at least 2015 under the sub regional stadia scheme.

As fans got caught up in the delirium of the celebrations after the club’s first FAI Cup victory since 2006, Mr O’Doherty said he was “fed up” with the lack of action.

“The business plan is there, it’s now over to DCAL working with Derry City Council to come up with the goods. It has to be sorted out.

“Quite frankly it is an embarrassment to bring visiting teams from throughout Europe to the Brandywell. It’s not acceptable and it needs to be sorted.”

A spokesperson for Derry City Council said yesterday that it shared the disappointment and frustration over the recent ‘sub regional stadia’ announcement.

“Relevant Derry City Council officers will be taking up the offer to meet with DCAL Sports Branch officials and Sports NI representatives to discuss the Showgrounds and Daisyfield elements of the scheme.”

SDLP Foyle MLA Colum Eastwood said DCAL must commit to the city by backing the project.

“It’s a club which deserves a lot more than the third world facilities which have been tolerated at the Brandywell Stadium for so long. Entry into European football next year only acts to strengthen this case.”