The not unexpected announcement came yesterday following what has been termed a 'tense' 90-minute discussion between Taoiseach Bertie Ahearn and Tanaiste Mary Harney. And on RTE Radio this morning Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy explained that "changed financial circumstances in Ireland and indeed across Europe" forced this decision, despite the fact that earlier in the week Taoiseach Ahearn expressed his confidence, in a television interview, that the project, planned for Abbotstown, would go ahead.
The decision represents a huge blow to the IRFU's aims to develop a new stadium after they had abondoned their own plans in support of the Abbotstown project. The prospect now of having to go-it-alone will impact directly on the development of the game in this country and seriously affect the professional game which is the bedrock of the national side.
The alternatives are for the IRFU to redevelop Lansdowne Road or turn to their green-field site at Newlands Cross.