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Row rumbles on as Ulster GAA refute claims they were consulted over Council’s play pitch strategy

The Ulster GAA has refuted claims they were consulted over the Council’s pitches strategy in Craigavon.

Sinn Féin had originally blasted the report which went before councillors earlier this month, which they claimed, failed to reflect the needs of the entire community.

The report was commissioned in a bid to identify need for greater GAA provision in the Craigavon area.

Councillor Catherine Nelson said GAA is the largest sporting organisation in the Borough “yet in the Craigavon area ABC council provides 25 pitches for soccer and zero for GAA”.

She added: “The GAA section of the report includes a continuous reference to Sport England and Rugby Football Union guidance which begs the question as to what consultation actually took place with the GAA.

“The failure to equality proof this policy is also of major concern.”

However, SDLP councillor Declan McAlinden hit back, stating that Sinn Féin’s proposal did have the support of the Ulster GAA council, local clubs or schools” and that the party were playing “silly beggars” with Council’s play pitch strategy.

However, Ulster GAA have this week said they were not consulted on the strategy which was published earlier this month.

A Ulster GAA spokesperson said: “At no stage was Ulster GAA consulted in relation to the ABC Council pitches strategy.

“Previous reporting on the matter indicated that Ulster GAA had been involved in the process, however, this was incorrect.”

The recommendations from the report were accepted by the Council’s Leisure Committee, despite the protestations from Sinn Féin.

Nonetheless, the decision still needs to be ratified by full Council next Monday night (June 24).

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