Taoiseach accused of attempting to influence voting by Dublin County Council as stadium gets planning permission.
Councillors voted 23 to nil in favour of the Football Association of Ireland's proposal to build its own 45,000-seater football stadium in the Citywest area of Dublin. Earlier in the day, the taoiseach Bertie Ahern gave a briefing to journalists on progress to date at the £281m pound national stadium at Abbottstown in Dublin. Labour TD and South Dublin county councillor Pat Rabbitte acccused him of stage-managing this briefing in an attempt to influence the council's vote. Ahern denied this, saying:
I do not set my diary by what the various councils around the country do.
The government had unsuccessfully lobbied the FAI to abandon plans for their own stadium in favour of Sports Campus Ireland, but according to Ahern, the door was still open.
Colm Murray reports for RTÉ News on 11 September 2000.