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  1. Updates for Tuesday 24 February 2015
  2. More news, sport, weather and travel updates from 07:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

By Conor Macauley and Ciaran McCauley

All times stated are UK

Get involved


Jayne McCormack


That's all from us for today, thanks for all your photos again! This last snap of sunny County Down comes in from Mervyn Kennedy.

Mervyn Kennedy

We'll be back from 07:00 tomorrow. Until then, stay up-to-date with all the latest news, sport, weather and travel on the

BBC News NI website.

Jewellery found:


Police in

Newry and Mourne are appealing for the owner of this stolen jewellery to contact them and claim it. The items were found last week in Hilltown and Rostrevor.


Croke Park tickets theft:

A former deputy head of security at Croke Park who

stole seven booklets of GAA season tickets to pay off his son's debt has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Croke Park

John Gibson stole booklets worth 9,313 euros (£6,834) between January and March 2014. He was given an 18-month suspended sentence.

Mean screens:

BBC NI Travel

Here's the view from the Traffic Control Centre in Belfast during rush hour. We've got our eyes on as many screens as possible to give you the latest travel updates.

Traffic screen

School in social media appeal:

Mervyn Jess


I've been up to Kilbride Central primary school near Doagh, where

students have made a social media video to highlight the lack of classroom space for the growing number of pupils.


Teacher Julie West says the school is appealing to the Department of Education for a new hall or an extension to ease its plight.

Rainbow rig:

Jayne McCormack


It's dark out there now and the weather forecast for tonight looks pretty grim, but

Paul McCormick has just sent us this great picture of Belfast harbour that's cheered us right up!

PAul McCormick

Busy roads:

BBC NI Travel

It's busy on the M5 towards Rushpark and on the Westlink to York Street. The Sydenham bypass out of town from the M2 remains steady as well as delays on the A2 leaving Belfast at Holywood.

Backstage preparation:

BBC Newsline

BBC Newsline presenter

Donna Traynor is backstage preparing for the programme. She says if, like her, you like your food, you'll want to watch the report about safe food at 18:30.


Wrap up warm:

Angie Phillips

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

A milder but cloudy and damp day ahead tomorrow, plus more rain and wind to contend with. We're expecting some blustery wintry showers on Thursday too, so wrap up warm if you're heading out!


Go-ahead for canal restoration:

Northern Sound

reports that funding has been secured for the restoration of the Ulster Canal from Upper Lough Erne to Castle Saunderson.

Castle Saunderson

It's expected to cost around 2m euros (£1.46m) and the Irish heritage minister says construction should begin towards the end of 2015.

Missing woman appeal:


Police in Londonderry are appealing for help to find 18-year-old Kim Hazlett, who has been missing from her city centre accommodation since 14 February.


She's described as being 5ft 4 in (1.6m) tall, of slim build and has blue eyes.

Strike vote:

Our Health Correspondent Marie-Louise Connelly



Drive time rush:

BBC NI Travel

Traffic starting to get busy on the Sydenham bypass, heading out of Belfast towards Dee Street and George Best Belfast City airport. Traffic is also slow moving on the Westlink towards York Street.

Athletes book Euro places:

Northern Ireland athletes Paul Pollock and Adam McMullen have been named in a 12-strong Irish team for next month's European Indoor Championships.

Paul Pollock

Pollock booked his place in Prague by winning the 3000m at the Irish Indoor Championships.

Long jumper McMullen, 24, will make his senior championship debut after improving his personal best to 7.80m.

Welfare woes:

BBC Spotlight NI



Race routes:

Details of two

Gran Fondo cycle race routes have been released.

Cyclists in Belfast

"The two

Strangford and
Mourne routes showcase our beautiful scenery and countryside travelling through towns and villages such as Rathfriland, Hilltown, Castlewellan and Comber," says Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster.

"The Strangford route will also be starting from Titanic, Belfast before taking in views of the iconic Harland and Wolff cranes."

Trust to hear DUP debate appeal:

The BBC Trust has confrimed it will hear an appeal from the DUP over the party's omission from TV general election debates.

In a statement, the trust said: "We will be considering the BBC's election guidelines on Thursday 26 February, and are making arrangements so any appeal can be heard on Wednesday 4 March."

Second job:

Belfast Telegraph

The Belfast Telegraph

reports that DUP MP William McCrea dedicated around 30 hours a week last year to his second job as minister of Calvary Free Presbyterian Church in Magherafelt.

William McCrea

Wheel appeal:

The enterprise minister is encouraging cyclists to register for a Giro D'Italia-organised event in June.

Giro D'Italia

Arlene Foster says the

Gran Fondo, will be held on closed roads to give cyclists the "true Giro experience."

Bid not accepted:

The Irish transport minister says the government cannot accept a bid by International Airlines Group to buy Aer Lingus.


Paschal Donohoe said the information and commitments given by the company, which also owns British Airways, didn't at present provide a basis for the takeover.

Trekkies in revolt:

Ciaran McCauley


Lots of Star Trek fans (so-called Trekkies) got in touch with us yesterday after we reported on a man who said he was the captain of the Starship Enterprise after police caught him urinating in the street.

Star Trek

In a tweet, we used a photo of what we thought was the famed ship, but were quickly told we were wrong! Klingon to our dignity, we've boldly gone where no newsroom has gone before - on a

quest for truth behind the Star Trek ships!...

Making a splash:

There certainly won't be many sitting on the benches at Ballintoy Harbour today. A sunny yet stormy morning with plenty of sea foam splashing onto the shore (hat-tip to


Karenann Photo BC

Translink in savings review:

John Campbell

BBC News NI Economics & Business Editor

Translink is to make some managers redundant following a review of senior staff and administration costs.

Bus station sign

The public transport firm hasn't revealed how many jobs will go but says the review will allow it to make annual savings of just over £2m. It also said there wouldn't be an adverse impact on frontline services.

Rally 'will boost tourism':

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster says the Circuit of Ireland rally 2015 will play an "important role" in bringing more tourists to Northern Ireland.

Idris Elba
Getty Images

It begins on 2 April in Belfast and some

famous faces - including film and TV star Idris Elba, have already been spotted training for it!

Toddler 'permanently injured':

A toddler who suffered a fracture skull in an alleged murder bid in Bessbrook last year has been left with "permanent injuries" and is likely to develop epilepsy, Belfast High Court has heard.

Darren Eamon Fegan

Darren Eamon Fagan denies the charges, claiming the child was dropped while being carried up the stairs by her mother. He was refused bail.

Roadwork delays:

Trafficwatch NI


Twitter pic

Appeal rejected:

A man jailed for an iron bar and pistol-butt attack on a family in their Magherafelt home in 2013

has failed in his bid to have his conviction overturned.

DERRY Bishop's Street Court house

Lawyers for Michael Mongan claimed there were flaws in how the family identified him as having battered them during a botched robbery.

Sligo student named:

The 23-year-old student from Belfast who was found dead at student accommodation in Sligo yesterday was Jamie Shaw. In a statement, the university said the student had been unwell for a few days and was confined to his apartment.

Election debate appeal:

Peter Robinson says the BBC Trust has decided that its complaints and appeals board should consider the DUP's appeal against the exclusion of the party from the TV general election debates.

Peter Robinson

The DUP said their case is due to be heard on 4 March. The party is also expected to meet with senior BBC officials in Belfast next week.

Glutton for punishment

BBC NI Archive

Earlier, we reported on a

new study that says one in three people in Northern Ireland struggles with portion control and is at risk of gaining weight.

Food portion archive

But have we always been such gluttons when it comes to meal time? It seems so, as our

archive footage from the 1960s shows, when James Boyce reported on overeating.

Storm chaser:

Jayne McCormack


The weather might have been pretty stormy over the past couple of days, but it's sure made for some fantastic photos.

Martin McKenna

Thanks to Martin McKenna for sending in this brilliant snap of a big storm cell over the coast at Mullaghmore last night.

Fond farewells:

Chris Page

BBC News NI Political Correspondent

MLAs of all parties have joined in the Great Hall at Stormont for a presentation to former assembly speaker Willie Hay. He says the job was a "huge privilege".

Willie Hay

Lord Hay

stood down from the role last year due to health problems, and was replaced by Sinn Féin's Mitchel McLaughlin.

Record breakers

Northern Ireland students have just broken the Guinness World Record for the world's largest practical science lesson!

Science lesson
NI Science Festival

More than 1,300 students took part in a forensic investigation challenge at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast as part of the NI Science Festival. Now they're real Einsteins!

Heat installed 'in days':

BBC Talkback

The Housing Executive's director of landlord services, Gerry Flynn, has told

Talkback he is hopeful that a new heating system can be installed "in days" at the home of a 72-year-old man who has been without heat since December.

John Lundy

Mr Flynn said the Housing Executive had "failed" Rathcoole pensioner John Lundy.

Belfast software jobs:

John Campbell

BBC News NI Economics & Business Editor

A London-based software firm is creating 50 jobs in Belfast with the creation of an engineering centre.

Finger touching iPad

Intelligent Environments provide mobile and online software to financial services firms.

Sunday players named:

BBC Sport NI



Boyce opposed to Qatar final date:

Britain's FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce says he opposes

suggestions to hold the 2022 World Cup final on 23 December.

Jim Boyce

The former Irish FA chairman said it's too close to Christmas and would like to see it held a week earlier.

DUP block council regulations:

Chris Page

BBC News NI Political Correspondent

The DUP have blocked regulations for new councils in the assembly, which would have set out details for councillors to "call in" contentious decisions for reconsideration.


The party tabled a petition of concern against the proposals, despite all other parties voting for them. Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said he would have to go "back to the drawing board" to try to get consensus.

Tin hat time

Colm McCaffrey was out dodging the huge hail balls in Co Fermanagh this morning.

Colm McCaffrey


tweets: It's a hail Stoney morning in Garrison.

Solar farm talks:

Ballymena Times

Plans to hold open days discussing proposals for a solar farm near Kells have been criticised by a residents' group, the Ballymena Times


Solar farm