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'The Sun Setting Over Casement Park, It Was One Of The Best Training Sessions'

'The Sun Setting Over Casement Park, It Was One Of The Best Training Sessions'
By PJ Browne

The redevelopment of Casement Park took a major step forward on Tuesday with a Belfast High Court decision ruling against an attempt to overturn the planning permission granted for the stadium in 2021.

Casement Park, which has been derelict since 2013, is set a for a 34,500 capacity facelift. It is expected that work will begin next year, and be completed by 2025.

"I said to a few people that we've been here once or twice before," says Antrim hurler Eoghan Campbell.

"There's the issue about who is going to cover the extra cost.

"It was a big, big hurdle to get over. It’s fantastic. Hopefully we can push forward with the tender and get the grounds crew in there to start ripping it up.

"People have said Casement Park isn’t going to be the golden ticket for Antrim or Ulster hurling – and it’s not. But it’s a massive, massive stepping stone towards getting a proper stadium within Ulster and Belfast city.

"It’s something we have targeted with Gaelfast. For young kids to know they have a chance to play in a state-of-the-art stadium is massive."

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1 June 2022; Eoghan Campbell of Antrim during the Joe McDonagh Cup Final media event at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Campbell got to play in some underage games at Casement Park before it was shut, but never played there at senior level.

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"I got called up to the extended panel the last year they trained there – it got shut the next year," he says.

"First night under Kevin Ryan I was called in, I think they were short for a challenge game. I got called in on a Thursday night, under the blistering sun, the sun was setting over Casement Park – it was probably one of the best training sessions with that setting and with that lovely surface.

"Having a permanent home [would be great]. We moved a lot about after that. We found sort of a permanent home in Corrigan Park, and you can see that it's really stood to us.

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"Not having that for those years was detrimental to us. It will be great to get back in and have a home like that."

See Also: Antrim Have Sympathy For Kerry Munster Hurling Championship Plight

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