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  1. Updates for Wednesday 11 March 2015
  2. More updates from 07:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Conor Macauley and Ciaran Daly

All times stated are UK

Get involved


Ciaran Daly


That's BBC News NI Live done for another day. We'll leave you with this picture of a stunning sunset at Mussenden Temple in County Londonderry sent in by Edmond Reed.

Mussenden Temple 11 March 2015
Edmond Reed

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

BBC News NI website.

No likey no lighty:

Julian O'Neill

BBC News NI Business Correspondent

The group which manages Belfast city centre is calling for a re-think of the Christmas lights switch-on, after 69% of shops felt last year's event "did not benefit business."

Christmas lights

It was moved to a Saturday evening. Now Belfast City Centre Management (BCCM) says the timing of the event should be reviewed with the council.

Wet and windy weather on the way:

Angie Phillips

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

There's another batch of wet and windy weather heading our way but not tonight.

You can watch this evening's weather forecast here.

Evening weather 11 March 2015

Heavy bursts of rain will move in tomorrow morning and there will be gale force winds in some places across Northern Ireland.

Former DUP adviser contests voyeurism charge:

Lurgan Mail

The Lurgan Mail

reports that a former adviser to a DUP MP is to contest a charge of voyeurism.

David McConaghie

Appearing at Craigavon Magistrates' Court, 50-year-old David McConaghie pleaded not guilty of committing voyeurism on dates between August 22 and September 13 2012.

Comber cannabis factory:

Two people have been arrested over a cannabis factory discovered in Comber.

Cannabis factory

Police searched a premises on Tuesday and discovered plants and seedlings.

Henshaw expects toughest test against Wales:

BBC Sport NI

Robbie Henshaw says Ireland's fledgling centre partnership will face

its most difficult Six Nations test yet in Saturday's game against Wales.

Robbie Henshaw scores Ireland's try in the win over England despite Alex Goode's efforts
Getty Images

Henshaw will pair up at centre with Jared Payne for just the fifth time as they face experienced Wales midfield duo Jonathan Davies and Jamie Roberts.

Lurgan market closed tomorrow:

Craigavon Council


Craigavon Council

Derry fire update:

There are now 130 firefighters at

a "major" blaze at a Londonderry restaurant in the Queen's Quay area of the city.

Fire at Mandarin Palace

The fire broke out just after 12:50 today. The cause of the fire hasn't been established yet.

Supergrass may seek charges drop

A loyalist supergrass charged with 212 offences, including five murders,

may seek to have some charges dropped on the basis of having acted as a state agent, a court has heard.

Laganside courts complex

Counsel for Gary Haggarty, 43, claimed court papers would show he had no case to answer on some of the allegations against him.

Schoolboys in hit-and-run

Police are appealing for help after two schoolboys were knocked down in a hit and run in west Belfast.

They were hit on the pavement by a motorbike at Stewartstown Road at 3.50pm Tuesday.

Both boys were taken to hospital but their injuries aren't life threatening.

Smoke drifts onto the Foyle

Tara Herron

tweets: Derry Fire still going strong!

wide shot derry fire
Tara Herron

Firefighters are expected to be at the scene for most of the evening.

Future welfare claimants:

BBC News NI economics and business correspondent John Campbell


Campbell analysis

Health officials warn of delays:

Department of Health officials say arrangements have been put in place to ensure that critical services will be maintained during strike action on Friday.

NHS picket line

A spokesperson said it is likely that patients and clients may experience delays on the day.

Belfast boxers braced for WSB bouts:

BBC Sport NI

Watch Belfast boxers Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlon talk about their upcoming World Series of Boxing bouts.

Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes
Press Eye

Both will be boxing on Saturday night.

Dodds responds to Sinn Féin document:

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds


Dodds tweet 11 March 2015

Sinn Féin document word cloud:


document released by Sinn Féin is 26 pages long. Here's a word cloud our colleagues in BBC Newsline made that includes some of the most prominent terms in the document.

World cloud

Sinn Féin release welfare dossier

Sinn Féin have released

documents that the party says is a dossier of exchanges it had with the DUP over the welfare reform bill.

Sinn Féin

Cuts set to 'devastate' disability sports

Disability Sport NI (DSNI) has said cuts to its

budget will "devastate" disability sports in Northern Ireland.

Disability Sport NI

The group provides opportunities for people with disabilities to get involved in sport.

Sinn Féin to release welfare reform document:

BBC News NI political correspondent Gareth Gordon


Welfare reform

Dodging bullets at Cheltenham:

BBC Sport

Dodging Bullets ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies wins the Queen Mother Champion Chase, the showpiece race on day two of the Cheltenham Festival.

Sam Twiston-Davies on Dodging Bullets
Getty Images

What makes the perfect rugby kick?

Johnny Sexton has been passed fit for Ireland's pivotal Six Nations clash against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday and the fly-half's kicking could have a major say on who prevails in Wales.

Midland Counties v South Africa in September 1906:
Getty Images


what is the secret behind the perfect rugby kick? Some of the game's greats including Sexton and Ronan O'Gara try to answer that very question in a BBC iWonder guide.

Over 50 firefighters at Derry fire

There are 52 firefighters at the scene of a major fire at a restaurant in Londonderry.

Derry Fire 11 March 2015
Sean Campbell

An aerial ladder is already being used at the scene of the blaze and another is en route from Belfast. No casualties have been reported.

Blowin' in the wind:

Here's a picture of the flying marquee that has closed the Drum Road in Cookstown, County Tyrone.

Flying Marquee Cookstown
Mark Farquhar

Thanks to Mark Farquhar for sending us this picture. Email us your pics to or tweet us @bbcnewsni

Long on election debates:

East Belfast MP Naomi Long Alliance MP Naomi Long says it is "slightly self indulgent" for politicians to

be debating television election debates in parliamentary time when there is a potential crisis in Northern Ireland.

TV debates

She said: "We risk having more people on the panel in the debate than are actually watching it at home."

Flying marquee:

Tyrone Courier


Tyrone Courier
Tyrone Courier

Brighter afternoon:

Angie Phillips

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

It was a rainy morning but the

video forecast shows that the afternoon is looking a lot better.

Angie Phillips

More images of restaurant fire:

Here are some fresh images of the ongoing fire at a Chinese restaurant in Londonderry, tweeted by

North West Gateway and BBC Radio Foyle reporter
Anna Quigley.

Derry fire

Delays in Belfast:

BBC NI Travel

In east Belfast, a lane closure for roadworks on the Newtownards Road just before the Holywood Road is causing long delays heading out of town.

Also a broken down lorry on the Westlink at Divis Street is blocking one lane and causing delays towards the M1 from York Street.

Firefighters tackle restaurant fire:

Jenny Witt

BBC News

A firefighter in thick smoke on the turntable ladder near the Mandarin Palace restaurant in Derry.

Derry fire

Fire at Chinese restaurant:

The fire service says the fire in Londonderry is at a Chinese restaurant on Queen's Quay.

Derry fire

Eight appliances are dealing with the blaze at the Mandarin Palace. BBC Radio Foyle's Jenny Witt is on the scene and says that firefighters have been donning breathing apparatus.

Police confirm Derry fire:

Police have confirmed there is a fire at a commercial premises on Queens Quay in Londonderry.

Derry fire

The road is closed from Queens Quay roundabout to Harbour Square roundabout.

Fire in Derry

There are reports coming in of a fire in Londonderry.


BBC Radio Foyle's Jenny Witt

tweeted the above photo from the Queens Quay of thick smoke drifting across the River Foyle.

Molloy apologises:

Mid Ulster MP Francie Molloy has apologised for a tweet he made about last night's

BBC Spotlight programme on
Paudie McGahon.

Francie Molloy

Mr Molloy had called the programme "a load of rubbish" in a since-deleted tweet. In a statement, he said: "I apologise for any offence my post caused to Paudie McGahon or any victim of abuse."

Welfare reform talks continue:

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness

tweets about talks in New York about the
current Stormont crisis:

Martin McGuinness

Early talker:

BBC Talkback

William Crawley with Toni McCann and baby Cillian, who was videoed saying "hello" at just seven weeks old.


Beating Ireland 'as good as SA win':

Wales captain Sam Warburton says beating Ireland in the Six Nations on Saturday

would rival his side's victory over South Africa in November.

Sam Warburton

Grand Slam-chasing Ireland travel to Cardiff on Saturday, with Wales knowing a win would keep them in the title race.

Sexual abuse inquiry call:

BBC News NI political correspondent Stephen Walker


Stephen Walker

'Ludicrous' TV debates:

BBC News NI political correspondent Mark Devenport


Mark Devenport
Ciaran McCauley

Under-21 championship kicks off:

BBC Sport NI

Derry's Under-21 footballers go into

Wednesday night's Ulster preliminary round tie against Down without several of their key players.

Under-21 championship
Press Eye

New Oak Leaf boss Paul McIver must plan without Slaughtneil trio Gerard Bradley, Brendan Rodgers and Cormac O'Doherty for the Celtic Park opener.

Cuts put courses under threat:

Newtownabbey Times

The Newtownabbey Times

reports that more than 50 courses are under threat at the Northern Regional College due to funding cuts.

Newtownabbey Times

The college says no decisions have been made yet about the future of individual courses.