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  1. Updates for Friday 20 March
  2. More news, sport, weather and travel updates from 07:00 on Monday 23 March

Live Reporting

By Ciaran McCauley and Grania McFadden

All times stated are UK

Get involved


Ciaran Daly


That's BBC News NI Live over for another week. For the day that's in it, we'll leave you with this picture of today's eclipse in Antrim kindly sent in to us by Conleth O'Callaghan.

Conleth O'Callaghan

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

BBC News NI website. Have a good weekend!

Weekend weather:

Angie Phillips

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

There'll be mainly dry conditions tonight with cloud clearing so it could be quite chilly.

Evening weather 20 March 2015

Tomorrow will be mainly dry with bright spells. Sunday will present a similar picture and temperatures could reach 11C or 12C.

Six Nations Special:

BBC Sport NI

BBC Sport NI

tweets: Send questions to our Six Nations Special panel tonight using #asksix and follow
the live blog


McGuinness wants inclusive 1916 commemorations:

Belfast Telegraph

The Belfast Telegraph

reports that Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness says that Easter Rising commemorations must be inclusive, mature and inoffensive.


Arts funding cuts:

A number of Northern Ireland arts organisations, who receive funding from the Arts Council, have been told the amount of money they get is being cut.

Arts cuts

The announcement comes just a day after

Queen's University Belfast said it could no longer fund the Belfast Festival at Queens.

Dissident charges:

Dissident republican terrorists tried four times to remotely detonate a no-warning bomb beside a special needs school, a court heard today.

Craigavon courthouse

The claim came at Craigavon Magistrates Court where 44-year-old James Seamus McGuigan was charged with possessing a mobile phone and sim card for a terrorist purpose and preparing a terrorist act on 9 October 2013.

Every point matters:

BBC Sport NI

Any one of four teams can win the Six Nations on Saturday and it's likely that the victors could win the championship on points difference.

As this archive from 2007 shows, Ireland have suffered points difference heartbreak before when a late French tie wrestled the title from Ireland despite their huge winning margin over Italy. Can Joe Schmidt's men avoid the same fate this weekend?

Culture NI to close:

Culture NI will close in April after its funding was cut by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Culture NI
Culture NI

Culture NI is an arts and cultural website, covering music, literature, heritage, sport, dance, theatre and the visual arts.

Agnew criticises Sinn Féin over welfare:

The Green MLA Steven Agnew has strongly criticised Sinn Féin's in an interview with

Inside Politics about their handling of welfare reform, claiming they misled those likely to be affected by benefit changes.

Steven Agnew

Return of the Mac:

BBC Sport NI

Rory McIlroy is back in the hunt at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Florida. McIlroy has

carded five in his first 13 holes today which puts him in a tie for fourth place.

Rory McIlroy posted a closing 69 at Augusta
Getty Images

McIlroy is currently seven-under-par, six behind leader Morgan Hoffman.

Desertcreat facility should not continue:

Vincent Kearney

BBC News NI Home Affairs Correspondent

The departments of justice and health have accepted a recommendation that plans for a joint training college for the police and other emergency services at Desertcreat, County Tyrone, should go back to the drawing board.

overview of practical training area

More than £12m has already been spent buying the site and on design fees. But a steering group in charge of the project has said concerns about the current financial environment mean it "would not be prudent to press ahead".

Coming up on Inside politics:

BBC News NI political editor Mark Devenport


Inside politics

Six Nations Live:

BBC Sport NI

There's a

live Six Nations special programme on BBC Two NI tonight at 20:00. Stephen Watson is presenting with pundits Andrew Trimble, Chris Henry and Eddie O'Sullivan. You can send your comments and questions to the panel using #asksix.

Six Nations Live

There'll be

a live blog throughout the programme and you can vote for
your favourite Ireland Six Nations try here.

Ambulance meeting:

A meeting with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) management and the union Unison has been arranged for Thursday 26 March 2015 to discuss items "which have been on the agenda for too long".


The Chief Executive of the NIAS wrote to staff earlier today to acknowledge that relations between the service and staff had been tested by the

recent major incident that was called that prevented workers from striking.

Stewart hopes to resurrect appeal:

Belfast Telegraph

The Belfast Telegraph

reports that convicted double killer Hazel Stewart is being represented by a leading London barrister in her bid to resurrect an appeal against being found guilty of murdering her policeman husband.

Hazel Stewart

Brendan Kelly QC has been instructed in the challenge.

Fuel laundering plant dismantled:

A 43-year-old man has been arrested and a diesel laundering plant dismantled by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

HMRC officers and police searched premises in the Ardboe area of County Tyrone, where the laundering plant capable of producing over one million litres of illicit fuel a year was found in a shed.

Hillhead Road accident:

PSNI Antrim



Ireland unchanged for Scotland clash:

BBC Sport NI

Ireland have named an unchanged team for Sunday's closing Women's Six Nations game against Scotland when the Irish will be chasing the Triple Crown and a possible Championship title.

Niamh Briggs in action for Ireland against Scotland in 2010
©INPHO/Andrew Fosker

France's defeat by Italy has opened the door to an Irish title triumph although the French lead on points difference.

Ulster quartet sign contract extensions:

BBC Sport NI

Four of Ulster Rugby's exciting

young prospects have signed new two-year contracts that will see them stay at the Kingspan until at least 2017.

Alan O'Connor

John Andrew and Alan O'Connor move up from the academy to receive development contracts, while Kyle McCall and Peter Nelson extend their development contracts by one year.

Pensioner convicted of bomb hoax:

A pensioner who is blind in one eye and who is losing the sight of his second eye has been jailed for 11 months at Londonderry Magistrate's Court after he admitted making a hoax bomb call to the emergency services stating that there was a bomb inside the court building.

James Harkin, 65, from Damien House, which is a hostel for people with alcohol addiction problems, was caught after police found his DNA on the mouthpiece and earpiece of the public phone he used to made the hoax bomb call.

Temple weather:

Barra Best

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

If you're heading to the temple fire in Londonderry tomorrow night it'll be dry, but a little cold.


Antrim to face Offaly:

BBC Sport NI

Antrim complete their Division 1B Hurling League programme

at home to Offaly on Sunday.

Kevin Ryan

Manager Kevin Ryan has made eight changes to his side ahead of next weekend's relegation play-off against Laois.

Tail docking first in NI:

A Coleraine woman has been prosecuted for docking the tail of a dog in what is believed to be the first prosecution of its kind under the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011. Tail-docking is the intentional removal of a dog's tail.


Edith Burton, 36, formerly of Loughanhill Park, Coleraine, County Londonderry, was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to boxer puppies in her care in August 2013 and to docking the tails of a previous litter of boxer-type puppies in June that year.

Ambulance service and union spat:

Marie-Louise Connolly

BBC News NI Health Correspondent

BBC News NI Health Correspondent Marie-Louise Connolly


Ambulance service spat

Civil service redundancy scheme:

BBC News NI business correspondent Julian O'Neill


Julian O'Neill

Eclipse pic

Here's a picture of this morning's eclipse outside St Michael's Grammar School in Lurgan, County Armagh. Thanks to Damian Harvey for sending in the picture.

St Michael's Grammar
Damian Harvey

Simmons to take charge of West Indies:

BBC Sport NI

Ireland coach

Phil Simmons has accepted an offer to take charge of his native West Indies after the end of the current World Cup.

Ireland coach Phil Simmons

A confirmed the Trinidadian's departure after eight years in the role.

Tesco sells share in Derry shopping centre:

Tesco has sold its 50% stake in the Lisnagelvin shopping centre in Londonderry.

It is part of a wider deal with the property firm British Land.

Man told to leave home days after mother's death:

Derry Journal

The Derry Journal

reports that a man has been told to vacate the home he shared with his mother just days after her death.

Paul McGill
The Derry Journal

Delays on M2:

Trafficwatch NI


M2 delays

Latest weather forecast:

Angie Phillips

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

There is still a lot of cloud in the sky and it's going to stay with us this afternoon.

Brightness is at a bit of a premium. But temperatures will reach 11C or 12C.

Afternoon weather 20 March 2015

This evening, there'll still be a fair amount of cloud but overnight the cloud will start to break up a bit. It'll be mainly dry tomorrow with a bit more brightness.

Memory and loss at Derry's temple:

Nuala McCann

BBC News

David Best's temple has risen on a field high above Londonderry and the River Foyle. Tomorrow night it will be burned along with memories of loss and suffering left within its balsa wood curlicues.

Brian Morrison

Speaking in

to BBC News NI, Best said the project involves grief but also "absolute joy".

Pope makes Cardinal O'Brien ruling:

Pope Francis has accepted a decision by Ballycastle-born

Keith O'Brien to formally give up his rights and duties as a cardinal.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien
Getty Images

The disgraced Catholic clergyman will retain the title of cardinal but will be reduced to a strictly private life.

Creator saddened by 'pagan' claims:

BBC Radio Foyle

Creator of the wooden temple in Londonderry, David Best, says he is "saddened" by claims the ceremonial burning of the structure is

a pagan ritual.

David Best

David Best said that parents of

PSNI officer Philippa Rey nolds visited the site to leave a tribute. "You know, if that's pagan then I'm Donald Duck," he said.

Damaged relations:

BBC News NI Health correspondent Marie-Louise Connolly


Ambulance service

Motorcyclist 'serious but stable':

The 17-year-old motorcyclist

injured in a road crash in Londonderry earlier is in a "serious but stable" condition, the Western Trust says.

Further talks on welfare reform:

Further talks on resolving the dispute at Stormont over welfare reform will be

held later on Friday, says Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

Martin McGuinness

Mr McGuinness was speaking at Sinn Féin's launch of its 1916 Easter Rising commemoration plans.

More daylight hours:

Barra Best

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

Today is the spring equinox - when we start to have more light during the day than dark until 23 September.

Spring equinox

McKinstry ahead of Martin O'Neill:

You may have read that globe-trotting football manager

Johnny McKinstry has been appointed manager of Rwanda.

Johnny McKinstry
Getty Images

What has the Lisburn man got himself into? Well, the Wasps are 64th in the current

Fifa world rankings - that's ahead of of Australia, Norway and even the Republic of Ireland.

Wells praises suicide prevention unit:

Health Minister Jim Wells has praised the Niamh Louise Foundation as it launches a new mobile unit to help with suicide prevention. Approximately 280 people in Northern Ireland take their own life every year.

Jim Wells

Mr Wells said: "This new mobile therapy and intervention unit will contribute greatly to suicide prevention in the Tyrone and Armagh areas by providing support right to the heart of local communities."