N. Ireland Politics

Casement Park inquiry: Stadium controversy is 'like Fawlty Towers'

Aerial view of Casement Park GAA stadium
Image caption Nelson McCausland was accused of undermining the inquiry into the proposed redevelopment of Casement Park

The chairman of a Stormont committee has compared the Casement Park stadium controversy to sitcom Fawlty Towers.

Plans to transform the stadium into a modern 38,000-seater Gaelic games venue are being probed over safety fears.

Nelson McCausland said the investigation into concerns over emergency exits at the planned new stadium was proving difficult.

He said: "No-one seems to know anything. It's almost like Fawlty Towers, and Manuel - 'I know nothing'.

"That's how this is operating," the chair of the the culture, arts and leisure committee added.

"Everybody's saying: 'Nobody told me, I didn't know.'

"There's something wrong in the system in the way it's been operating."

Image caption Mr McCausland said the investigation was proving difficult

But Mr McCausland, a former DUP minister, was criticised for the way he has handled the committee's inquiry into Casement Park by some nationalist politicians.

Dominic Bradley of the SDLP took issue with a media statement issued by Mr McCausland on Wednesday, in which he described the Casement project as "shambolic and dysfunctional".

Mr Bradley said Mr McCausland was drawing premature conclusions and undermining the inquiry.

He asked: "Is there any point of us continuing with it?"

Mr McCausland responded that he was entitled to make public comment and pointed out that the statement was issued in his party capacity, not as committee chairperson.

The committee hearing continues.

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