McLaughlin rejects Brandywell snub

The Sinn Féin group leader on Derry City Council has rejected claims by a Foyle SDLP MLA that the culture minister refused to meet with him and Derry City officials.

Councillor Maeve McLaughlin was speaking after Pat Ramsey said Culture minister Cáral Ní Chuilin refused to meet him to discuss proposals for the regeneration of the Brandywell stadium and surrounding area.

The Northland colr. said; “There is surprise in the city over the statement released by Pat Ramsey in relation to the regeneration of the Brandywell. Mr Ramsey in his statement claimed that the Minister refused a request to meet himself and representatives of Derry City FC. This is surprising since one of Caral Ní Chuilín’s first engagements was to visit the Brandywell Stadium, meet DCFC officials, and discuss a number of issues with them. She also met and listened to the views of other local stakeholders including Council representatives.”

Colr. McLaughlin added; “Cáral met with senior Derry City Council officials and offered whatever assistance possible and suggested that they request a meeting with the Culture, Arts and Leisure committee to take place in Derry so that the case for funding could be put in detail.

“The Minister also stressed the importance for putting a robust business case together for the regeneration of the Brandywell. I would be interested to know if that business plan has indeed been put together and forwarded to the Minister. As Pat Ramsey is quite aware, the Culture Committee does not meet until after the Assembly returns from recess which is the beginning of September.”