Wednesday, 25 February 2004

Ceisteanna (24, 25)

Pat Rabbitte

Ceist:

106 Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the format, content and timescale of consultations that must now commence with Iarnród Éireann on the redevelopment of Lansdowne Road as the site of the new national stadium given the likely disruption to rail services it will involve; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6128/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pat Rabbitte

Ceist:

120 Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism if his attention has been drawn to concerns expressed by residents living in the Lansdowne Road area of Dublin that the decision to redevelop the site as the new national stadium will deprive the area of the remaining piece of parkland adjacent to the River Dodder; if he plans to consult with the residents in advance of a planning application being submitted for the redevelopment of the stadium; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6127/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism)

I propose to take QuestionsNos. 106 and 120 together.

As the Deputy is aware, the decision taken by the Government was to provide support for the joint FAI/IRFU proposal for the redevelopment of Lansdowne Road. Thus the responsibility for delivery of the project rests ultimately with the two sporting bodies which, I understand, have agreed to establish a special purpose company to oversee its delivery and to report to Government on progress. I have established a steering group, comprising representatives of FAI, IRFU, my Department and the Office of Public Works, to monitor overall progress with redevelopment. This steering group held its first meeting earlier this week.

While it is intended that the demolition of the current west stand and the construction of its replacement will take place without any interruption of the DART services, the detailed arrangements remain to be finalised.

Issues in regard to planning and the acquisition of additional land in the vicinity of the stadium are being dealt with by the IRFU and the FAI in consultation with the local authority and local residents. I understand that IRFU representatives have already met with local residents and that it is the intention of the IRFU and the FAI to maintain dialogue with interested parties as the project proceeds.