Government backs the redevelopment of Lansdowne Road instead of building a new stadium at Abbotstown.

Bertie Ahern's dream of a national stadium in Dublin was finally abandoned when the government instead decided to redevelop Lansdowne Road.

Five years after the Taoiseach first unveiled plans for the "Bertie Bowl", the government has agreed to a 50,000 seater stadium at the headquarters of Irish rugby, for major soccer and rugby fixtures. It should be completed by 2008 at an estimated cost of 300 million euro of which the government will contribute around two-thirds. 

Progressive Democrats objections put an end to Bertie Ahern's plan for a national stadium at Abbotstown. The official reason given by Minister for Sport and Tourism John O'Donoghue related to problems with access to the Abbotstown site.  

The new Lansdowne Road stadium, which will be owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU),  will continue to be used for soccer internationals and will be available to the GAA. Fran Rooney of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and Phillip Browne of the IRFU welcome the opportunity to continue the relationship of their organisations.

Plans for Abbotstown have not been totally abandoned with plans for a sports campus on the site once money becomes available.

Abbotstown may have been Bertie Ahern's pet project but Ministers from both coalition parties will be relieved that this long running controversy is now drawing to a close.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 27 January 2007. The reporter is David Davin-Power.