Councillor wants action on Harps' new stadium

Councillor wants action on Harps' new stadium

A Fine Gael Councillor has asked Donegal County Council to support him in a bid to get the original grant monies released for the building of Finn Harps’ new stadium in Stranorlar.

Cllr. Martin Harley raised the issue at a meeting of Donegal County Council in Lifford on Monday.

Planning approval for the stadium was granted in April, 2005.

On August 28th, 2008, the then Minister for Sport, John O’Donoghue supported the €3.5million project.

Cllr. Harley said that to date, less than €1m of the €3.5million has been drawn down.

A huge fan of the Finn Harps, Cllr. Harley fears that should the stadium not be built in the near future, the team might not be given a licence to compete in the League of Ireland

“The site of the pitch is being built on Donegal County Council land. The council bought the 19-acre site in 2000,” he said.

He said that the stadium, which when complete, will hold 6,800 supporters, has huge economic possibilities for the immediate area.

“If you have a stadium which can hold over 2,000 people, any underage Irish match can be held there,” he pointed out.

Knock-on effect

“Being able to hold matches like that will have a huge knock-on effect for the local area. It will certainly bring money in,” he said.

He added that the lands around the new pitch could attract new business as well.

His proposal was seconded at Monday’s meeting by Cllr. Jimmy Kavanagh.

Donegal County Council will now contact the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, informing them of the support of Donegal County Council and seek the co-operation of the department in the release of the any grant monies which are outstanding.