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  1. Updates for Friday 13 February 2015
  2. More news, sport, weather and travel from Monday 16 February

Live Reporting

By Conor Macauley and Ciaran McCauley

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good night

Ciaran McCauley


It's the weekend and that means it's time to rest our paws, down tail and say good night from BBC News NI Live - these dog tired guys (sent in by Steven McKeag and Kelly Cunningham) have the right idea.

Dog tired

We'll be back at 07:00 on Monday - until then, have a great weekend.

Weekend weather

Geoff Maskell

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

Any remaining showers will fizzle out this evening as the cloud fills in. That helps to keep the night time temperatures above freezing. Lows of 3C or 4C.

Weekend weather

Saturday is a mainly dry and cloudy day with some decent brighter breaks later especially across the north and west. Top temperatures of 8C.

Who let the dogs out

After Bounce the dog made an impression on BBC News earlier, we asked for your dog pics and we've got a big response.

Dog collage

Clockwise from left we have Baxter, Bessie (from

DrivingMissDaisy), Wylie (thanks Michelle Steven-Neill) and Rocco (from Shelley Rennick).

The hunt for Fairy Thorn

Peter Coulter


Thanks for sending in all your stories about fairies across Northern Ireland. We've featured some of your stories in

our article.

Fairy thorn

So do you still believe in fairies? Would you be tempted to cut down a fairy thorn or would you be scared of the consequences?

Jobs to go in west Belfast

Unite the union says eighteen workers are to be made redundant at a technology company in west Belfast.

240 workers are employed making scientific cameras at Andor Technologies, which the union claims is highly profitable

Low down sound

Shane Harrison

BBC Ireland Correspondent

Sweet music or a pain the ears? Buskers in Dublin have been told to

keep the volume down on their playing after complaints by residents and some businesses.

Busker Dublin

Jay hits the net and the big time

Jay Beatty from Lurgan has made history - he's become the

youngest ever person to be nominated for the Scottish Premier League goal of the month award.

Jay Beatty

11-year-old Jay hit the back of the net at half-time of Celtic's win over Hamilton Academical last month. The Hoops fanatic, who has Down's Syndrome, last year made headlines when Giorgios Samaras

thanked him for his "strength and support" during Greece's World Cup campaign.

World according to Dog

Just what these lads thinking? Earlier we asked for your dog pictures after

one turned up looking nonplussed on BBC News and we've not been disappointed.


Clockwise from top left we have Presley (

sent in by Lord Midgeley) unimpressed at getting his photo taken; Finn controlling the TV; Dexter planning his next move (thanks Terry Molloy) and Olly looking like he's got that Friday feeling. Keep them coming - @bbcnewsni and

Talks over unionist pacts:

Mark Devenport

BBC News NI Political Editor

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt says he hopes to meet Peter Robinson at the start of next week to discuss whether the two main unionist parties can agree any pacts for the May general election.

Mike Nesbitt

Mr Nesbitt says none of his party's candidates are confirmed until he endorses them and he believes there are strong reasons why unionists should co-operate. You can hear his full interview on

Inside Politics from 18:00.

Fairy thorn tales

Earlier our reporter Peter Coulter asked for your tales of fairy thorn trees. Here's what you've been saying:

Noel Totten

tweets: Tiveragh hill in Cushendall. H M Browne wrote a poem about it.

Linzi Conway

tweets: interesting - just told my daughters bout this last week - 1 on the RHS outside Larne towards Ballynure apparently

Alan Watson

tweets: Contractors building the De Lorean car plant at Dunmurry are said to have cut one down.

Downpatrick alert over:


Police say the security alert on Owenbeg Avenue in Downpatrick is over. After a controlled explosion army bomb experts declared it as nothing untoward. All roads have been reopened.

Solar farm benefits

Carrick Times

Carrickfergus community projects could benefit from plans to build a solar farm in the borough,

the Carrick Times reports.

Solar panels

Boogaloo big time?

Best short film at the Baftas - is an Oscar next for the young stars of Boogaloo and Graham?

young stars of Boogaloo and Graham

They've been telling Chris Buckler about their plans for the big night - you can see his report on BBC Breakfast on Sunday.

500 teaching jobs could go claims union

A teaching union warns of up to

500 job cuts due to a funding shortfall.

Child in school

The INTO has criticised the piecemeal way schools are given information about their budgets.

On the look-out for the little people:

Peter Coulter


It's Friday the 13th - I'm on the hunt for fairy thorns for BBC News NI today. Have you come across one and would you ever cut one down?

Fairy thorn

Bracing myself for bad luck!

Tweet us or email on

Archive: O'Driscoll's Paris magic;

BBC NI Archive

In 2000, Ireland hadn't beaten France in Paris in 28 years - but all that was about to change thanks to a young Brian O'Driscoll.

Brian O'Driscoll

Re-live the day O'Driscoll announced himself on the world stage with a phenomenal hat-trick in

our archive video and marvel at former Ulster out-half David Humphrey's late penalty to win the match. And let's hope that
Ireland can do it all over again tomorrow.

Oil spill Templepatrick:



Traffic tweet

No judgement on Rea tapes

A judge

has reserved judgement on whether the police can hear interviews given by an ex-Loyalist prisoner to a US university.

Winston Rea

The PSNI are

seeking to access interviews Winston Rea gave to
Boston College's Belfast Project. The judge says officers can return from Boston with the sealed taped interviews tomorrow, but ordered that they be deposited with the US counsel until a verdict early next week.

Arrest over attempted murder

Police say they have arrested a 50-year-old man in Ardoyne in connection with the

attempted murder of Harry McMahon at a Chinese takeaway on 30 January.

Harry McMahon attempted murder

Pet-work news:

Ciaran McCauley


Our colleagues in national news had a very special guest in the studio earlier today.


That's Bounce (a dog, in case you were wondering) - he was on because of new research that says dogs can

tell the difference between happy and angry faces. But what about your dog - got any good pics of them looking happy, sad or generally fed up? Tweet them to us @bbcnewsni or email

Warning to school governors

Teachers union INTO has warned of hundreds of job losses after a letter from the Department of Education told governors to stay within their budgets.

Department of Education letter

The letter from the department's finance director Trevor Connolly said even though money has been found to increase school spending, it does not cover extra financial pressures that principals are under.

Bribe allegation in rape trial:

A detective told a Londonderry court today that a 38-year-old charged with twice raping a woman last Sunday returned to her home yesterday to offer her £200 to withdraw her complaint.

Londonderry courthouse

The policeman said the man allegedly offered the bribe because he didn't want his wife to find out about the rape allegations against him.

Big hits in Dublin

BBC Sport

Looking forward to tomorrow's big game in the Aviva Stadium? Check out BBC Sport's take on the

key match facts ahead of Ireland's crucial Six Nations clash against France.

Ireland vs France 2014

Circus ban considered:

Newtownabbey Times

The Newtownabbey Times

reports that circuses featuring wild animals could be banned from council-owned land.

Lion in captivity

The Newtownabbey Borough Council committee's decision still have to be ratified by the full council when it meets on 26 February.

Captain Clarke?:

BBC Sport NI

Darren Clarke tells BBC Sport NI's Stephen Watson

he will be delighted if he is named as Europe's 2016 Ryder Cup captain next Wednesday.

Darren Clarke
Getty Images

The Northern Irishman is vying with Spain's Miguel Jimenez to captain the team at Hazeltine in Minnesota.

'Bewildered over loss'

Lisa McAlister


There is an overwhelming sense of sadness in the village of Belcoo today. Although the

death of 13-year-old Oisin McGrath was expected, it hasn't made these tragic events any easier to cope with.

Oisin McGrath

St Michael's College is closed today out of respect for Oisin and his family. His classmates are said to be bewildered at the loss of their friend.

50 not out for Otty!

BBC cameraman John 'Otty' Otterson is celebrating 50 years of service with the BBC today.


Otty is one of the most colourful and popular characters at the BBC to such an extent

that even politicians seem to like him.

Fire service budget cuts warning

Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson has said that proposed budget cuts of just under 10% to the Northern Ireland Fire Service could put lives at risk.

Fire and Rescue Service logo

She said: "Budget cuts must not compromise public safety. The minister's proposed cuts will impact on response times."

Alert in Downpatrick

Police say they are attending a security alert in Downpatrick after the discovery of a suspicious object.

Owenbeg Avenue has been closed between St Patrick's Avenue and Stream Street. Army bomb experts are on the scene.

Hoey three behind in Thailand

BBC Sport NI

Overnight leader Michael Hoey has

slipped three shots behind new pacesetter Miguel Angel Jimenez at the inaugural True Thailand Classic.

Michael Hoey
Getty Images

Hoey, who fired a course record 64 in his first round, recorded a level par 72.

Traffic update:




£4.5m spent on closing courthouses

More than £4.5m has been spent since 2010 on the upkeep and refurbishment of eight courthouses the Department of Justice now intends to close.

Ballymena courthouse

TUV leader Jim Allister obtained the figures by asking Justice Minister David Ford to detail the cost of refurbishment in eight of the courts earmarked for closure.

Saffyre on Talkback

Conor Macauley


BBC News NI's Conor Macauley

tweets: Co Down singers
@saffyre_girls are in for
@BBCTalkback and they're very good.


Basement battle:

BBC Sport NI

Ballymena United manager Glenn Ferguson has warned his players they could be

facing relegation if they don't halt their poor run in the Premiership.

Ballymena United manager Glenn Ferguson
Press Eye

The Sky Blues had a brilliant Irish Cup win at Cliftonville but have managed just one point from 15 in the league.

BBC NI Archive

Roses are red, violets are blue

We've got great archive for you.

In case you've forgotten, it's Valentine's Day tomorrow. It seem romance doesn't always come easily to Northern Ireland.

Valentines day messages in Belfast

This funny and charming archive from 1978 asks Belfast folk what messages they'd write inside Valentine's Day cards.

Loss of 'bright, talented student'

Msgr Joseph McGuinness, chairman of the board of governors at St Michael's College in Enniskillen, has paid tribute to Oisin McGrath who died on Thursday after an incident at the school on Monday.

Monsignor McGuinness

He said: "He was a bright and talented student, particularly talented at sport. To see such youthful energy and talent cut off is just heartbreaking."

Busy at Boucher

BBC NI Travel

Traffic is busy heading towards the Boucher Road, causing a queue on the Westlink off-slip to Broadway junction.

Teacher cuts expected

Maggie Taggart

BBC News NI Education Correspondent

A teachers union says it is expecting 400 to 500 job losses, in spite of a better budget deal for schools.

The Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) says a strongly worded letter to schools has warned governors to urgently make sure they stay within their budgets.