Taoiseach says "Bertie Bowl" dream still alive

Friday 01 February 2002 14.20
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Bertie Ahern, "Dream still alive"
Bertie Ahern, "Dream still alive"
Stadium Ireland,Unlikely to go ahead during Government's lifetime
Stadium Ireland,Unlikely to go ahead during Government's lifetime

The Taoiseach says that his dream of a stadium at Abbotstown is still alive and that a 65,000-seater stadium will be built. Bertie Ahern admitted that the go-ahead was most unlikely to be given during the lifetime of this government, given all the work that has to be done following the independent consultants' report.

In a related development, RTÉ News has been told that people associated with the Campus and Stadium Ireland Project are furious at what they see as completely inaccurate interpretations in the consultants' report. They also claim that there are many "patently wrong" elements contained in the report itself.

The Tánaiste said earlier that the proposed project is too expensive. A report by independent consultants has put the cost of the so-called "Bertie Bowl" at over €1bn.

"I don't think the kind of sums mentioned in the report are affordable. I think most people would accept that it would not be possible to allocate over €1bn to a project like this at this time," said Mary Harney.

Ms Harney said that the consultants' report had highlighted some very serious concerns, which would have to be addressed before any new project is given the go-ahead.

The two coalition partners reached an accommodation last night on moving the Campus and Stadium Ireland Project forward by developing a scaled-down approach.