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Summary

  1. Updates for Thursday 19 February 2015
  2. More news, sport, weather and travel from 07:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Grania McFadden and Ciaran McCauley

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodnight!

We'll leave you tonight with this picture of a serene sunset in Enniskillen that was sent into us by David Coulter.

Enniskilllen sunset
David Coulter

We'll be back again on Friday at 07:00. Until then, you can keep up to date with all of the latest news, sport, travel and weather on the

BBC News NI website.

Security alerts end

Both security alerts in the Waterside area of Londonderry have now ended after two pipebombs were found.

Alert Derry
BBC

The pipebombs were found at Trafalgar Court and Jeffrey Avenue in the city, say police. Residents are now returning to their homes.

Diversions in Armagh:

There'll be traffic diversions in place in Armagh tonight as the Armagh international road race takes place in the mall area of the city.

Road race
PSNI

Clarke off the pace:

BBC Sport NI

European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke is six off the pace at the Dimension Data Pro-Am in South Africa

after firing an opening level-par 72.

Darren Clarke carded three birdies and three bogeys in his round on Thursday
Getty Images

Elsewhere, Ballyclare man Gareth Maybin, who lost his European Tour card last year, is seven off the pace in the Indian Open after a 72.

Weather tonight:

Geoff Maskell

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

It's been colder today with largely clear skies, which means

there's a risk of a few icy patches forming on untreated roads by tomorrow morning.

Geoff weather
BBC

Friday will bring a mix of sunshine and showers. In the cold air some of the showers could fall as sleet or snow on higher ground.

Health and social care board budget cut:

Marie-Louise Connolly

BBC News NI Health Correspondent

Northern Ireland's health and social care board budget is to be cut by 15%.

The health minister has warned that his department faces a £140m shortfall
Science Photo Library

It's also emerged that the Public Health Agency, which advises on health and wellbeing, is to lose around £2.8m. The union NIPSA says that will put jobs under threat.

Inquest delays 'unacceptable'

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has said the delays to the inquest into the murder of GAA official Sean Brown are "unacceptable", after raising the issue at a meeting of the Policing Board today.

Sean Brown
PAcemaker

Sean Brown was abducted and killed in Bellaghy, County Londonderry, in 1997 and last week the inquest into his death

was postponed indefinitely. due to issues relating to the disclosure of documents.

Brimstone civil service report:

Stephen Walker

BBC News NI Political Correspondent

BBC News NI political correspondent Stephen Walker

tweets: BBC has obtained the civil service report into Stephen Brimstone. More on
@bbcnewsline at 18:30.

Brimstone
Twitter

McGuinness hails 'hero' Gregg

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has praised former Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg ahead of the the launch of a foundation in his name.

Former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg with the teams before the kick-off at Windsor Park
Press Eye

Mr McGuinness said: "The first time I met Harry I told him he was one of my sporting heroes. The Harry Gregg Foundation will create opportunities for many young people to get involved in football."

10-week ban for Pape:

BBC Sport NI

France lock

Pascal Pape will miss the remainder of the Six Nations after being handed a 10-week ban for kneeing Ireland's Jamie Heaslip in the back during last weekend's game in Dublin.

Pascal Pape escaped with a yellow card from referee Wayne Barnes
Getty Images

The second row has the right to appeal against the ban.

Newtownbulter murder update:

PSNI Fermanagh

tweets:

PSNI Fermanagh
Twitter

Farmers union 'shocked'

The Ulster Farmers' Union claims BBC NI is to end the long-running Radio Ulster farming and rural affairs programme

Farm Gate and says it's "shocked and disappointed."

Farm gate
BBC

The

BBC said: "We are currently looking at ways in which we can improve our coverage of agriculture-related stories.

"We will be making an announcement about our new plans in the near future. We expect that this will allay many of the fears that have been expressed."

Spring in the air?:

It's a fine evening in a lot of places across Northern Ireland. Does this mean spring is on the way?

Twitter
Derek Toms

Thanks to Derek Toms for this photo of Strangford Lough in County Down today. You can email your pics to bbcnewsni@bbc.co.uk.

A 'scary' moment with Meryl

Northern Ireland cinematographer Seamus McGarvey has described the "scary" moment when Hollywood star

Meryl Streep was not happy with how he made her look.

STreep
Getty Images

In The Hours, he was responsible for filming both Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep. A full interview with Seamus McGarvey will air on

The Arts Show tonight on BBC2 NI at 22:00.

Homophobia forces man from home

A grieving man who has been the target of a series of homophobic attacks and death threats has said

he can no longer live in his north Belfast home.

Paul Finlay-Dickson with his civil partner Maurice, who died of cancer last month
PAUL-FINLAY DICKSON

Paul Finlay-Dickson, whose civil partner Maurice died of cancer last month, said the attacks began 18 months ago and continued through his illness.

Prisoner on the run

A 53-year-old prisoner, Samuel McKinley, is still on the run after failing to return to prison on 22 December 2014 from a work placement, say police.

PSNI crest
BBC

Police believe that McKinley left the Mater hospital in Belfast yesterday at 5pm with a walking aid that was subsequently found on the hospital premises.

'Proper' to include SDLP in debates

In its legal letter to the BBC saying the DUP intends to seek a judicial review of the corporation's decision to exclude the party from the televised general election debate, the party says it recognises it would be "proper" to include the SDLP.

Dr Alasdair McDonnell
BBC

The letter says: "Given that the SDLP has three seats, the DUP would recognise that it would be proper to include them in a combined debate as well."

City Hall lights up for new year:

Belfast City Hall will be

red and orange tonight to mark Chinese New Year.

Property nerdishness:

BBC News NI economic and business editor John Campbell

tweets:

John Campbell
Twitter

A SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) is a subsidiary of a company that attempts to isolate the parent company from financial risk.

Attempted robbery:

PSNI

Police are appealing for information after an attempted robbery on Main Street in Randalstown, County Antrim, at 21:35 last night.

A man holding what was believed to be a gun entered the shop and approached the checkout before leaving the store empty-handed.

Taser witness appeal:

The Police Ombudsman's Office has appealed for witnesses following

the use of a Taser by police against a man who had escaped from prison escorts at a Dublin hospital.

Bridge House
BBC

The incident happened at around 19:15 outside the Bridge House pub at Bedford Street in Belfast city centre.

Girls hospitalised:

Belfast Telegraph

The Belfast Telegraph

reports that two 12-year-old girls have been hospitalised after taking legal highs at a bus station in Newry, County Down.

A bag of legal highs
Getty Images

The schoolgirls took ill after consuming a drug known as Trippy Weed, according to police.

Turner prize winner in Derry

Turner Prize nominee Mark Wallinger will be in Londonderry this weekend to curate an exhibition at Void at the City Factory Gallery in the city with gallery director Maoliosa Boyle.

Mark Wallinger
Presser

Mark Wallinger won the Turner Prize in 2007. The exhibition, Horse, features work by 28 artists.

Nothing but blue skies:

Belfast's looking good in the sunshine today.

Belfast
Jason Johnson

Thanks to Jason Johnson for this

picture of the city.

Bradley granted bail:

A Londonderry man accused of receiving weapons and explosives training in Syria is to be released on bail, a High Court judge ruled today.

Eamon Bradley
Daily Mirror

Eamon Bradley has spent more than three months in custody. It's claimed he took part in battles against Islamic State and Assad forces.

New rate for super-council:

Lurgan Mail

The Lurgan Mail

reports that there is mixed news for Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon households when it comes to new super-council tax rates.

Council tax bill
BBC

Calls for devolution of broadcasting powers

Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has said broadcasting powers should be devolved to Northern Ireland.

Philip Hammond wrote on social media that Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín had "no notion" about the arts
BBC

The call comes as it was revealed Scotland is to get more powers over broadcasting as part of the post-referendum settlement.

Mistaken identity in shooting:

BBC Radio Foyle journalist Jenny Witt

tweets that Claire Sugden MLA says
the shooting in Coleraine was a case of mistaken identity. She says the 67-year-old man in the house is very shaken.

NIPSA criticises libraries move

Trade union NIPSA which represents staff in Libraries NI has criticised the

plans to reduce library opening hours in a bid to cut £2.4m from its budget.

Library
BBC

NIPSA's Paddy Mackel said: "This is further evidence of the Tory-led attack on public services through massive cuts to the assembly budget."

Classroom comedians

Has John Toal found the funniest schoolchildren in Northern Ireland? Here's a

sneak peek of some pupils at Enniskillen Model Primary School as they prepare for Comic Relief .

Enniskillen Model Primary School
BBC

Hear John's full report on

his show this Saturday at 11am on Radio Ulster

Pot of castle gold?

Julian Fowler

BBC News NI

Hailstones and rainbow above Enniskillen Castle.

Enniskillen Castle
BBC

Age discrimination legislation

A leading older people's charity, Age Sector Platform, has welcomed news that the Executive will bring forward age discrimination legislation.

Crossed hands
Getty Images

The proposed legislation relates to healthcare, financial services and retail.

Fugitive robbed Belfast pharmacy

Fugitive Derek Brockwell

robbed a Belfast pharmacy at knifepoint before he was arrested last night, police say.

Derek Brockwell
BBC

CCTV shows Brockwell entering the shop on the Dublin Road. He then threatened staff with a knife and demanded money.

Westlink collision cleared:

BBC NI Travel

The collision on the Westlink at Roden Street towards the M1 is now cleared. Traffic is returning to normal.

Londonderry security alert locations:

This map shows where the

two separate ongoing security alerts in the Waterside area of Londonderry are.

Secuirty alerts
BBC

Thousands of turkeys die in fire

The fire service confirm that thousands of turkey chicks have died in a fire in Loughgiel.

The fire broke out at a turkey house at Shelton Road on Wednesday afternoon. There were 7,500 chicks in the building at the time and it's understood that most of them died.

Jeffrey Avenue alert

Here's the scene at Jeffrey Avenue in the Waterside area of Londonderry, where police have set up a cordon after a security alert.

Jeffrey Avenue
BBC

It's one of

two alerts ongoing in the city.

Westlink crash:

BBC NI Travel

In Belfast, a traffic collision is blocking the left-hand lane on the Westlink at Roden Street and causing delays towards the M1 from Divis Street.

Also due to an alert at Jeffrey Avenue in Londonderry, Brigade Road and Harkness Gardens are closed at Rossdowney roundabout. Rossdowney Road is open.

Plans for inter-denominational school:

Belfast Telegraph

Protestant church leaders have revealed plans for Northern Ireland's first inter-denominational school,

the Belfast Telegraph reports.

Those behind it say it will be founded on a "common Christian principle".