Ulster secretary Danny Murphy has hit out at how media treated claims by a safety official that the proposed Casement Park could suffer a tragedy similar to the Hillsborough Disaster.
In front of the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Culture, Arts, and Leisure Committee, a Safety Technical Group employee associated evacuation issues he had with the stadium’s former reconstruction plan with the crush that saw 96 people lose their lives at an FA Cup semi-final in Sheffield 17 years ago.
The GAA dismissed his evidence as “unfounded and hysterical” at the time and, in his annual report to Ulster convention, released yesterday, Murphy criticised media coverage of the evidence.
“The sensational reporting of evidence being given to the Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee linking the GAA to events at Hillsborough were (sic) inaccurate, unfair, and offensive and totally lacking in research.
“In general, we have a good working relationship with the media and we do appreciate the input of the written, visual, spoken, and photographic coverage of our games and other related matters, but we will challenge those that do not operate fair reporting procedures.”
Murphy also gave support to the proposed calendar year: “I believe that the calendar year of fixtures can be scheduled, provided that everyone adheres to the discipline of the listed dates. The Ulster Council have been criticised for taking too long for the playing of our championships, but in nine weeks our counties complete the senior hurling and football championships, the minor championships, the Ring, Rackard, and Meagher Cups, plus a substantial part of the All-Ireland qualifiers in hurling and football. A more concise playing season can be agreed, but it should not be to the detriment of structures and, above all, standards.”
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