Pat Ramsey accused of using Brandywell development proposals as a “political football”

The SDLP's Pat Ramsey has been accused of making a political football out of funding for the Brandywell Stadium.

Mr Ramsey had called for 110 million euro of funding set aside to redevelop Windsor Park to be allocated to the Brandywell project.

This on the basis that no binding agreement to develop Windsor was in place.

Pat Ramsey says that at a High Court case in which Glentoran are challenging the funding tentatively awarded to Windsor Park, the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure's lawyer pointed out that the decision by DCAL to award funding had not yet taken place - he wants the funding directed to Derry.

But Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin says Pat Ramsey is either misinformed of funding criteria and allocation, or he is deliberately exploiting the undoubted need for refurbishment of Brandywell Stadium as a political football.

She adds that it is no surprise that final funding agreements are at different stages of completion or development and that this in no way affects the ongoing development of each stadium.

Ms McLaughlin said if Pat Ramsey was interested in the refurbishment of the Brandywell he would have ensured that his Party colleagues on Derry City Council supported a motion that was brought to the table in 2010.

The proposal, despite Sinn Féin making numerous public and private interventions, was blocked by other Parties including the SDLP.