Reading Colum Eastwood’s column on Tuesday, I would like to point out a few facts to the very misleading article that Colum penned.
Colum knows rightly that the DCAL Minister allocated the £110m to the three codes of rugby, soccer and GAA who then decided where the stadia would be built.
The DCAL Minister Carál Ni Chuilín had no influence where the stadia were to be situated but in fact it was the SDLP Minister who granted planning permission for the three stadia. Maybe Colum should have had a word with his fellow Derryman and Planning Minister Mark H Durkan in forcing one of the stadia to Derry.
Colum also states that Derry City FC are awaiting a stadium worthy of its standing yet Derry City FC are a private company and football club. While everyone wants to see the Brandywell stadium developed the reality is that it cannot be built by public funds alone as this could set a dangerous precedent.
Will Colum clarify if public money was be used to build a stadium for Derry City then would he support new stadia for Institute, Cliftonville, Glentoran, Glenavon or any other club who requests one in the North or why Derry City should be in that unique position of having a stadium built for them.
Colum states that DCAL has failed the people of Derry yet it was DCAL who provided over £27m to City of Culture events alone apart from other major investment in sports and cultural projects in the city. Where were you Colum when this money was pouring in?
Colum is only deluding himself if he thinks that deliberately misleading people will score him a cheap political point as the electorate are a lot wiser than Colum gives them credit for.