When Mr. McManus put forward IR£50 million for the construction of a national stadium, it was given on the basis that the Government would construct a publicly funded stadium with a capacity of 80,000 at Abbotstown, but that patently will not now be built. The Government decided that the stadium will proceed at Lansdowne Road. Budgetary considerations and economic conditions meant we were not in a position to proceed with the Abbotstown proposal. In those circumstances the task I had was to see if there was a viable alternative that would be acceptable. I am happy to say we have such an alternative and that the stadium project can now proceed.
With regard to Mr. McManus's money, I do not believe it is available for Lansdowne Road. It would be quite unfair to ask him now to switch over to a concept to which, in truth, he had not subscribed in the first instance. We are constructing a new sporting campus at Abbotstown. That point may have been lost in the euphoria of the moment when we announced details of the stadium. The campus will be of considerable benefit. We intend to ensure that, as resources allow, we will have a necklace of centres where we can ensure sporting excellence and greater participation at Abbotstown. The National Aquatic Centre, which was built on budget and on time, is an example of what can be achieved there. I envisage proceeding with the campus and planning for it.
The Campus Stadium Ireland Board was convened. I explained what I and the Government wanted. I asked its members to prioritise the building of the campus, set out the facilities they believe are required and in the order in which they are required in order that I would be enabled to go to the Minister for Finance during the Estimates discussions in the autumn with a view to obtaining funding to progress the campus. It is important to point out that an important part of the Government decision was that the campus would proceed.