Casement Park, West Belfast lies derelict.

Clones and Casement could rotate Ulster final, suggests Smyth

A local TD has suggested the option of "rotating" the venue for the Ulster Championship final in light of progress on the redevelopment of Casement Park.

Deputy Niamh Smyth expressed concern that Clones may lose the Ulster final when the redevelopment of Casement Park in West Belfast, which got the green light last week, has finally been completed.

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan has urged the minister to speak to the Ulster Council and the wider GAA about the possibility of rotating the provincial showpiece.

"I want to refer to the wonderful and buzzing weekend in Clones with the excitement of the Ulster final," the local TD said, addressing the Dáil after Derry beat Donegal to claim The Anglo-Celt Cup. "There were almost 30,000 fans in St. Tiernach’s Park and that makes a huge difference to the local economy in a town such as Clones in a border county such as Monaghan, which borders Cavan. A conservative estimate would be that this can bring about €3 million to the local economy.

"While it will be really welcome when the redevelopment of Casement Park happens, the Ulster final will then be moved there. Would it be possible to have a rotating Ulster final, whereby Clones would not completely lose its 100-year tradition of holding the Ulster final and, perhaps, as is the case in Cork and Kerry, a rotating final could be considered?''

Deputy Smyth will liaise with her party colleague and Minister of State for Sport, Jack Chambers, to see what can be done on this issue.