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  1. Updates for Wednesday 18 February 2015
  2. More updates from Thursday at 07:00

Live Reporting

By Dave Culbert and Ciaran Daly

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good night

Ciaran McCauley


That's all from us at BBC News NI Live - we'll be back tomorrow from 07:00 with more news, sport, weather and travel.

Rain rolling in:

Barra Best

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

Here comes the rain - it'll move east through the night. Tomorrow there'll be sunny spells and showers. Cooler with highs of 8C.

Rain Wednesday

Minister fails to hand over report

Social Development minister Mervyn Storey has

failed to hand over an internal civil service report on the conduct of a special adviser.

Mervyn Storey

The report covers the behaviour of ministerial adviser Stephen Brimstone. Mr Storey was asked to make the report available by 17:00 but it was not submitted.

Payout scheme details:

John Campbell

BBC News NI Economics & Business Editor

The finance department have published details on the civil service redundancy scheme. There will be more than 2,000 redundancies between September this year and March next year.

People who successfully apply will get one month's pay per year of service up to 21 months. The first £30,000 of any payout will be tax-free.

Teenage shooting victim:

Dan Stanton

BBC News

I've interviewed the victim of a

shooting in west Belfast. Full story coming up on
BBC Newsline at 18:30.

Aaron Stilges

Train fire


A small fire has broken out on a train travelling from Belfast to Portrush.

Fire service put the fire out while about 100 passengers were evacuated. It's not thought there will be any knock-on delays.

Whiteabbey delays:

BBC NI Travel

There's been a collision on the A2 Shore Road near Station Road near Whiteabbey - its causing long tailbacks through Rusk Park on to the M5 and the M2 to beyond Fitzwilliam.

Clarke's Ryder Cup record

Europe's new captain Darren Clarke has played in five Ryder Cups (1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006) and acted as vice-captain in two (2010, 2012).

Darren Clarke
Getty Images

Clarke has lost only one of those competitions - in 1999 in Brookline, Massachusetts. On the course, he's won 10, lost seven and halved three of his Ryder Cup matches.

Court appeal over flag protests

A Belfast man has been given leave to appeal to the Supreme Court over how police handled loyalist flag protests in the city.

Flag protests

The Short Stand resident originally won a case stating that police had wrongly facilitated loyalist flag protests, but it was

overturned last summer after the PSNI appealed.

'No need' for charges

An assembly committee has heard that there is no need to reintroduce

prescription charges in Northern Ireland.

Colette Goldrick

Colette Goldrick, from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, told the health committee that a "ring-fenced fund" was not required.

Shooting horror

A west Belfast teenager has spoken of his

horror at being shot in the legs six times by a masked gang in the bedroom of his home.

Aaron Stilges

Aaron Stilges, 17, was shot in his home at Monagh Drive on Tuesday night.

Belfast traffic slow:

BBC NI Travel

In Belfast, traffic is very congested after a crash on St Georges Street - there are delays on East Bridge Street, Short Strand, Bridge End and Sydenham Bypass all heading towards the Westlink.

North Belfast shooting appeal

Police are appealing for information after a man was shot in the leg in north Belfast.

Officers say that the man was shot in the Cliftonville Road and Clifton Crescent area at about 20:15 last Thursday.

'Gang fights' warning:

Derry Journal

A Londonderry councillor has warned that organised gang fights are taking place in an estate in the city,

the Derry Journal reports.

Elisha McCallion says a number of fights have taken place in the Galliagh area recently.

Cuts to library hours?

Maggie Taggart

BBC News NI Education Correspondent

Public libraries could face more

reductions to opening hours because of budget cuts.

NI Libraries

Libraries NI says it has reluctantly agreed to review hours.

Pensioner "forgotten about":

Belfast Telegraph

The son of a pensioner who died on an emergency department trolley says he was "forgotten about",

the Belfast Telegraph reports.

Great Georges Street crash:

BBC NI Travel

There's been a collision on Great Georges Street in Belfast - it's blocking two lanes and holding up traffic going on to the Westlink from the Sydenham Bypass, M3 and M2.

Wedding shooting arrest

Police have arrested a 46-year-old man in Belfast in connection with the

murder of Barney McGinley at a wedding in Newtownbutler last week.

Bernard McGinley

McCoy's last National:

BBC Sport NI

AP McCoy's expected mount in his last Grand National, Shutthefrontdoor, has been allotted a weight of 11st 2lbs for the handicap at Aintree on 11 April.

AP McCoy on Shutthefrontdoor
Getty Images

Shutthefrontdoor, owned by JP McManus, is favourite despite not having raced since a win at Carlisle in November.

Student accommodation application:

Planning applications have been submitted for York street in Belfast proposing managed student rooms and retail units.

An artist's impression of the university's development plan

The accommodation blocks would situated next to the University of Ulster's new Belfast campus if the applications are granted.

Kennedy signs for Stevenage:

Ulster Star

The Ulster Star

reports that Lisburn teenager Ben Kennedy has signed his first professional football contract with Stevenage Football Club.


The former Lisburn Youth player scored his first two senior goals in the 3-1 win over Hartlepool on Saturday, helping him to secure the contract.

Prison recommendations

The Independent Monitoring Board

has made a series of recommendations for Northern Ireland's prisons.

Maghaberry prison

Among the recommendations are more modern buildings, a greater emphasis on drugs strategy meetings and the recommendation that medication should not be withdrawn from prisoners as punishment.

Archive: Clarke's emotional Ryder Cup

BBC NI Archive

Darren Clarke has had plenty of big moments in the Ryder Cup, but the K Club in 2006 is possibly the most memorable as

our archive video shows.

Darren Clarke

Not only did Europe thrash the US in a first Ryder Cup on Irish soil, but Clarke was also playing just six weeks after the death of his wife.

Police response justified:

Police were justified in discharging two AEP baton rounds at a man who attacked a police Land Rover with a samurai sword in Belfast's New Lodge area on 9 August 2013.

Police Ombudsman

The Police Ombudsman said the actions of police had been "lawful and proportionate".

West Belfast delays:

Trafficwatch NI

tweets there are reports of delays on the Monagh by-pass as the result of an RTC. Motorists are advised to choose alternative routes.

Congrats to Clarke

Lee Westwood

tweets: Congratulations slim #RyderCupCaptain

Darren Clarke congratulations

Ian Poulter

tweets: Congratulations to @DarrenClarke60 being appointed as 2016 @RyderCupEurope captain. That's great news and will be first class captain.

Sergio Garcia

tweets: Congrats Captain @DarrenClarke60! I'm sure you'll be an amazing asset to #TeamEurope. Go Europe

Body found in Lough Erne

Julian Fowler


A body has been found in Lough Erne by those searching for missing Monaghan man Kieran McAree.

Kieran McAree
Emyvale - pic family want used

The body has not been identified yet.

Mr McAree went missing 64 days ago.

Ballykelly jobs boost

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness says the redevelopment of the former Shackleton Barracks site in Ballykelly will create thousands of jobs.

Martin McGuinness on building site

Mr McGuinness visited the site with Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill. They took a look at the site that will be DARD's new headquarters come 2017.

Concern over street patrols

Police say they are concerned over

night-time street patrols by a loyalist community group in east Belfast.

Street patrols

The group, Action for Community Transformation (ACT), told the BBC the aim of the patrols is to prevent crime and deter anti-social behaviour.

Darren gets Villiers' vote:

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers has been

tweeting her best wishes to Captain Clarke:


Donaldson inquest postponed

The family of Denis Donaldson has expressed their disappointment after an inquest into the circumstances of his death was adjourned for the 15th time due to an ongoing investigation into the matter by the Irish police.

Denis Donaldson

The Sinn Féin official and republican informer was shot dead at a remote cottage in County Donegal in April 2006.

Dodds criticises court decision:

DUP MEP Diane Dodds has criticised the decision to dismiss charges against the organiser of

a republican parade in Castlederg in 2013 that commemorated republicans who died during the Troubles.


Brendan Devlin, 42, was cleared of breaching a parades commission determination at Strabane Magistrates Court last week.

Clarke decision unanimous

The decision to select

Darren Clarke as Europe's Ryder Cup captain was unanimous.

Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke

The five-man selection panel, including previous captains Paul McGinley, Jose Maria Olazabal and Colin Montgomerie, all voted for the Dungannon man.

'Irish first' criticised

A decision by Newry, Mourne and Down district shadow council to

place Irish above English on its signage has been criticised by unionists.

Newry, Mourne and Down
County Down Outlook

The decision is expected to be ratified on 3 March. However, the

County Down Outlook reports that the decision could be challenged.

Clarke's class:

BBC Sport NI

Re-live the greatest achievement of Darren Clarke's career when, against the odds, he won the 140th Open Championship in 2011 at the age of 42.

Darren Clarke
(C) British Broadcasting Corporation

Clarke has been chosen as Europe's Ryder Cup captain for the 2016 tournament at Hazeltine in the United States.

Full-time jobs boost:

John Campbell

BBC News NI Economics & Business Editor

This table suggests that over the last year employment gains in Northern Ireland have been in full-time employee jobs.

Employment figures

BreakingMcIlroy and McDowell reaction:

BBC Sport NI

Watch Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell praise the appointment of fellow Northern Ireland golfer Darren Clarke as the European captain for the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, USA.

Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell
Getty Images

BreakingCaptaincy challenge

Darren Clarke says he's looking forward to emulating the "fantastic captains" he featured under in seven Ryder Cups.

Darren Clarke Ryder Cup
David Cannon

"I look forward to the challenge of trying to follow in their footsteps and help Europe to a fourth consecutive Ryder Cup victory at Hazeltine next year," he said.

Road re-opens after alert: