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  1. Updates for Friday 6 February 2015
  2. More live news, sport, weather and travel updates on Monday

Live Reporting

By Ciaran Daly

All times stated are UK

Get involved


Ciaran Daly


That's it from us for the week. We have to warm up now for a tough weekend of watching

the Six Nations.

Wales and England kick off the tournament shortly but we all know it's Ireland's year... again!

Ireland lift the 2014 Six Nations trophy
Getty Images

We'll be back again at 07:00 on Monday 9 February. Until then, you can keep up to date with all news, sport and travel on

BBC News NI website.

Dry February?:

Barra Best

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

There you go folks - at the minute there's no rain in the forecast until at least the middle of next week:


Police seek Rea tapes


want to obtain interviews that loyalist Winston 'Winkie' Rea gave to a US university project known as the Boston tapes.

Winston Rea

Mr Rea has issued proceedings to prevent the PSNI obtaining the recordings. The police say they want them as part of their investigations into murder, attempted murder and robbery.

Security alert at Churches:

Claire Graham


BBC News NI reporter Claire Graham is on the scene in Newtownabbey and has confirmed that both ongoing security alerts there are at Catholic churches.

St mary's

The two churches are the Star of the Sea at Whitehouse Park and St Mary's on the Hill on Carnmoney Road.

Second Newtownabbey alert

There is a second security alert in Newtownabbey. This one is at a church at Whitehouse Park. Motorists should avoid Shore Road and Doagh Road.

Second round exit for Allen:

BBC Sport NI

Northern Ireland's

Mark Allen was edged out by former world champion Shaun Murphy in the second round of the German Masters.

Mark Allen
Getty Images

The Antrim player led the Englishman 4-3 before slipping to a deciding frame defeat in Berlin.

Newtownabbey security alert:

BBC News NI reporter Claire Graham

tweets: Security alert on Carnmoney Road Newtownabbey after small suspicious object found.

security alert

Reaction to welfare changes

Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs says that Sinn Féin's original opposition to

welfare reform was based on rhetoric and accused the republican party of rolling over "at the last minute".

Alex Maskey

Sinn Féin's Alex Maskey called Mr Beggs' remarks "ludicrous," calling the UUP a party of "no principles and less substance".

Road warning:


Police are advising drivers to avoid the Carnteel Road area near Granville in County Tyrone after a collision.

Justice minister on abortion:

BBC News NI political correspondent Gareth Gordon


Gareth Gordon

Welfare reform deal details

Details of the

welfare reform deal reached between Sinn Féin and the DUP under the Stormont House Agreement have emerged.


A £70m fund to offset the impact of welfare reform will be established and there are plans to install a commissioner to oversee the discretionary payments.

Rangers EGM announced:

BBC Sport

Glasgow Rangers'

extraordinary general meeting, called by Dave King, will be held in London on Wednesday 4 March.

Paul Murray, Dave King and John Gilligan

The shareholder and former Ibrox director is seeking to overhaul the board. The club has asked shareholders to reject the proposals.

Security alert:




Traffic update:

BBC NI Travel

BBC NI Travel


BBC NI Travel

Marvellous night for a moondance

Lots of people have been tweeting that it's a marvellous night for a moondance in response to our story that Van Morrison will

be playing a concert in the street immortalised in his song, Cyprus Avenue.

Van Morrison

It's as good an excuse as any to revisit some Van from the vaults. Enjoy him and his band

playing St Luke's Church in London a few years back.

Early bonfire collection?:

Tyres and pallets have begun to appear in New Mossley in Newtownabbey, County Antrim, where large bonfires have been held on 11 July in previous years.

New Mossley

Belfast hotelier honoured:

BBC News NI Business Reporter Clodagh Rice



Equality Commission on conscience clause

The Equality Commission has given

its full response to the conscience clause legislation proposed by the DUP, saying it would "significantly weaken protection against discrimination in Northern Ireland".

Equality Commission

The commission also says it does not believe that faith-based adoption or fostering agencies should be exempted from the sexual orientation regulations.

Who's going to win the Six Nations?:

BBC Sport

The Six Nations kicks off this weekend and a host of rugby greats have been giving their thoughts on who'll be

crowned champions this year.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt

Legendary Irish hooker Keith Wood is unsurprisingly backing his former side to triumph, saying coach Joe Schmidt is "confident, mindful, driven and innovative".

Bomb hoaxer jailed:

A 26-year old man who was involved in a campaign of bomb hoax chaos in Newtownabbey has been

given a 26-month prison sentence. Robert Colganwill spend half in custody and half on licence.

Belfast court complex

He pleaded guilty to a total of 12 charges including leaving a crude device outside a Catholic church and a hoax device at the home of a DUP councillor.

Unique sound

The extraordinary sound of Scots Gaelic psalm singing will be ringing out in Belfast this weekend.


You can get a taste of what to expect,

from the BBC archive, or catch the psalm singers from the Isle of Lewis live at
Skainos on Saturday or
An Cultúrlann on Sunday.

Footballer finds home at Clandeboye:

The shooting star of

Northern Ireland's Homeless World Cup team is celebrating after signing as an amateur for Irish League side Bangor.

Padraig McKissock

Padraig McKissock, 18, scored more than 30 goals as local street league players claimed the Accion Total Cup in Chile in October.

Device discovered in Poleglass

A pipe bomb was discovered by police last night in Poleglass on the outskirts of Belfast.

Pipe bomb

The device, pictured above, led to a number of residents in the Colinbrook area of west Belfast being evacuated out of their homes until 03:00 this morning.

Westwood joins stellar Irish Open field:

BBC Sport NI

Former world number one Lee Westwood will tee off in Northern Ireland for the first time ever at this year's Irish Open at Royal County Down in May.

Lee Westwood
Getty Images

Westwood will form part of an impressive field including Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke, and Rickie Fowler.

Portadown sign Oman

BBC Sport NI

Portadown have

signed 32-year-old defender Ken Oman.

Ken Oman (left) started his League of Ireland career with Bohemians

The former Shamrock Rovers and St Patrick's Athletic defender has signed an 18-month deal but will not be available for selection this weekend.

Unlawful killing charge

A County Armagh businessman is to

stand trial for the unlawful killing of one of his employees, Thomas Houston, who was crushed when a static caravan fell on him at at a caravan park near Kilkeel in February 2012.

Newry courthouse

Alan Milne, from Armagh Road, Newry, will appear at Newry crown court next month in both a personal capacity and as the representative of two companies.

Wind turbine debate:

Larne Times

Larne Times

reports on fears that some of the most scenic views along the Islandmagee and Whitehead coastline could be blighted by a wind turbine.

Turbines in the US
Getty Images

Whitehead Golf Club has lodged an application to erect a 46.5m high turbine at McCrae's Brae.

Northern Ireland Science Festival:

Earlier, we reported that Belfast is one of five places with the most successful

digital technology companies in the UK.

Make it digital

Well, you can 'make it digital' by booking your

place at the NI Science Festival, which is taking place at BBC Blackstaff studios from Thursday 26 February to Saturday 28 February.

Omagh roadworks:

BBC NI Travel

BBC NI Travel



Not just a Duffy doppelganger...

Our story on a

New York priest getting mixed up with Celtic FC's new signing Michael Duffy is getting plenty of reaction - although one Twitter user reckons he looks like someone closer to the newsroom.

Duffy William Crawley

"The pic on the right looks like William Crawley,"

tweets Tim Moore. Although
BBC Talkback's presenter
isn't convinced.

Drug charges admission

A 27-year-old man who confessed to being

a drug dealer has pleaded guilty to three drugs charges at Londonderry Crown Court.

Bishop St courthouse in Londonderry

Thomas Peter Kelly from Knockena, Buncrana Road, committed the offences between 1 February and 22 April of last year.

Cloudy with a chance of sunshine:

Barra Best

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

There's a lot of

cloud about today but we're almost at 10C in places and the sun has come out in County Down.


McDowell shoots 73

BBC Sport NI

Graeme McDowell is

six shots adrift of pacesetters Lee Westwood and Alejandro Canizares after the second round in the Malaysian Open.

Graeme McDowell
Getty Images

The Portrush man, who led with Westwood after the first round, shot a 73.

Irish language row

DUP MLA Nelson McCausland says Sinn Féin is

"stepping up its cultural war" after a letter was sent to primary schools inviting them to develop an Irish language study programme.

Nelson McCausland

Sinn Féin's John O'Dowd, who is Stormont education minister, said Mr McCausland's claims were "nonsense".

Martin McCrossan dies:

Derry Journal

The Derry Journal

reports that well-known Derry businessman and local tour guide Martin McCrossan has died after a short illness.

Martin McCrossan
Derry Journal

Archive: Ireland vs Italy in 2000

BBC NI Archive

Ireland take on Italy in their opening game of this year's Six Nations Championship on Saturday - and Irish fans will be pretty happy if the game turns out like the

first Six Nations match between the two sides in 2000.

Ireland vs Italy 2000

As our highlights show, Ireland ran out 60-13 winners at Lansdowne Road. Keep a look out for some fresh-faced Irish internationals including Brian O'Driscoll.

Debut pressure

Italy's rugby captain Sergio Parisse says Ireland caught Italy on the hop by handing Ian Keatley his RBS 6 Nations debut this weekend.

Sergio Parisse

He admitted the Munster fly-half will be put under a lot of pressure by the Italian side.

Warning on Magee cuts:

Derry Journal

The Derry Journal

reports on a warning that cutting courses at the Magee campus of Ulster University could result in fewer students from less-well-off backgrounds being able to afford to go.

Magee campus

More generous benefits in NI:

News Letter

The News Letter

reports that there may be a more generous benefits system in Northern Ireland under the terms of the welfare reform agreement between Sinn Féin and the DUP.


Roughly £60 million has been set aside to cover a year's worth of 'top-up' benefits.

Strangford to get new ferry

Strangford is to get a new ferry in August 2016. It will cost £5.7m to build.

Pic courtesy of Ross/Geograph
Ross/CC Geograph

Transport Minister Danny Kennedy announced that Cammell Laird from Merseyside will build the boat.