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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 January 2006, 09:54 GMT
GAA 'wants council land for free'
Club says land would develop GAA games
Club says land would develop GAA games
Derry City Council is divided over plans to give away valuable land to a Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) club for free.

The eight acres in Creggan is worth almost 250,000.

Nationalist councillors in the city want to give the field to the Sean Dolan GAA club, but unionists are opposed to the move.

The club was offered the site 10 years ago for 10,000. It did not have the money to develop the site then.

Now it has, but the same plot is now worth about 240,000. The club has asked Derry City Council to give it the site for free.

The SDLP and Sinn Fein want to hand over the field for nothing, but unionists said it was too valuable.

I don't believe that we can just hand over land that is now valued at a huge amount of money
William Hay

Club chairman Hugh Brady said: "This land, at this moment in time, is nothing but a dumping ground.

"It is worth an absolute fortune to this club and this community and the development of gaelic games over the next 20 years."

DUP councillor William Hay is opposed to the move.

He believes the field should be sold off and the money used to ease the burden on ratepayers.

"I don't believe that we can just hand over land that is now valued at a huge amount of money," he said.

"Secondly, we have got to ask is that a good way of spending public money."

However, the SDLP's Pat Ramsey said it was "a wise move" and "a sound investment for the council".

Sinn Fein councillor Kevin Campbell said his party also believed the club should get the land.

However, unionists are worried about demands the council may now face from other clubs looking for land.

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