Plans for the long-awaited redevelopment of Casement Park have finally been given formal approval.
At last work can commence on turning the derelict Belfast ground into a state-of-the-art 34,500 capacity stadium.
The North's Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon confirmed the news that the planning process had reached a successful conclusion.
Casement has lain idle since 2013, with its redevelopment frequently stalled due to political uncertainty in the Six Counties and challenges from local residents.
In October of 2020, Minister Mallon recommended planning approval for the stadium, but it still needed to get past a number of final hurdles.
"This is an historic day for gaelic games in Ulster, but it's also a really important day for Gaels right across our island," she said.
CASEMENT APPROVED. Today I've granted final planning approval for Casement.
Here's to an exciting Ulster Final this weekend & many memorable games to come in a new & iconic Casement Park, now that @UlsterGAA is to finally have the home it deserves in Ulster. @officialgaa pic.twitter.com/wW4XtkrvQo
— Nichola Mallon (@NicholaMallon) July 28, 2021
"Because this has been such a long time in coming. All efforts now must be focused on getting this project funded, and getting this iconic stadium built.
"Here's to an amazing Ulster final this weekend, and here's to many memorable and fantastic games now that Ulster GAA will have the home it deserves in Ulster."
No timescale has been placed on construction, but the new Casement Park is likely to cost at least £110million (€130m).
Today marks a huge step forward in the redevelopment of @CasementPark, with formal planning approval now granted.
Here is a message from Project Board Chair Tom Daly & Communities Minister @DeirdreHargey. #Bepartofit #BuildCasement@AontroimGAA @UlsterGAA @CommunitiesNI pic.twitter.com/L7ySgOLyoW
— Casement Park (@CasementPark) July 28, 2021
Chief executive of Ulster GAA Brian McAvoy said he is looking forward "confidently to the construction phase with a clear pathway for the project's delivery".
"We will be launching an extensive, far-reaching, and inclusive community engagement programme in the coming weeks to help realise the significant opportunities that the stadium will deliver for the whole community."