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  1. Updates for Thursday 12 March 2015
  2. More news, sport, weather and travel updates from 07:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Conor Macauley and Ciaran Daly

All times stated are UK

Get involved


Ciaran McCauley


Looks like it's a good night for these sheep in the north east, not to mention the delighted, red-sky loving shepherds (thanks for

the pic Thomas Gibson).

Thomas Gibson

We'll be back from 07:00 tomorrow with all the latest news, including updates on

the ongoing strike. See you then.

Cold night ahead:

Barra Best

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

It's going to be a chilly night with some frost, freezing fog patches and possibly a spot of ice for some. Keep warm.

Weather map

Friday's strike - what's on and what's off:

With some public sector unions striking tomorrow, we've looked at how the industrial action will affect you.


Our rundown of affected services includes everything from schools to scheduled buses.

Pakistan eye Irish win as tribute:

BBC Sport NI

Pakistan batsman Younis Khan says

victory over Ireland in Sunday's must-win World Cup game would be a tribute to the team's late coach Bob Woolmer.

Ireland bowler Boyd Rankin celebrates after dismissing Pakistan's Younis Khan during the 2007 World Cup match in Jamaica
Getty Images

Woolmer died suddenly in March 2007 in Jamaica a day after his Pakistan team's shock World Cup defeat by Ireland.

Welfare talks over:

Mark Devenport

BBC News NI Political Editor

The talks on the welfare reform row at Stormont House have

ended for the night.

It's understood the Stormont parties agreed to meet again. One source says the parties had set out their differing positions on welfare but there had been nothing of substance agreed.

Sinn Féin 'investigated sex abuse' claim:

The Irish education minister has said Sinn Féin conducted an investigation into sexual abuse and discovered about 100 cases,.

Jan O'Sullivan

Jan O'Sullivan made the comments in the Irish parliament after allegations an

IRA member raped a 17-year-old were made earlier this week.

Gerry Adams denied Mrs O'Sullivan's allegation and said it "would be totally inappropriate".

Terry Pratchett in Belfast:

BBC NI Archive

Fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett has

died aged 66. He had been living with Alzheimer's disease for the past eight years.

Terry Pratchett

The author visited Belfast in 1999 - in

our archive footage, he was interviewed by reporter Jamie Darling about his latest novel The Fifth Elephant.

'Life-threatening' calls cover only:

Marie-Louise Connolly

BBC News NI Health Correspondent

From midnight, Northern Ireland's ambulance service will be downsized considerably. Talks ended this evening with management being told by unions they would

only respond to life-threatening calls.


Up until today it was understood that all emergency calls would be responded to. The union Unite says that previous "emergency cover" was abused by management so frontline staff will decided what calls involve a "life-threatening" emergency and respond accordingly.

Welfare talks begin:

Talks about Stormont's welfare reform crisis have

begun in Belfast.

Martin McGuinness

Speaking on his way into the talks, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said the government was "a huge part of the problem".

'Emergency calls' strike agreement:

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) says that agreement has been reached with unions that potentially life-threatening emergency calls will be covered in

tomorrow's strike, but not other urgent calls.


NIAS says "urgent but not immediately life-threatening calls" account for about 60% of 999 calls.

Criticism over 'human rights' delays:

Vincent Kearney

BBC News NI Home Affairs Correspondent

A parliamentary watchdog has

criticised the Stormont Executive for how long it takes to implement judgements by the European Court of Human Rights.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights says the delays are unacceptable.

Legendary broadcaster:

Evening Extra

Coming up later on

Evening Extra: A rare sighting of two giants of broadcasting in the same studio...

Trevor McDonald

Seamus McKee will be chatting to Sir Trevor McDonald just after 17:35.

Arter in Republic squad:

BBC Sport NI

Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter has been

handed his first Republic of Ireland call-up for the Euro 2016 qualifier against Poland on 29 March.

Harry Arter
Getty Images

Kenny McDowall leaves Rangers:

BBC Sport

Caretaker manager

Kenny McDowall has left Rangers, the club has announced.

Kenny McDowall

Former Motherwell boss Stuart McCall is set to be announced as Rangers manager until the end of the season.

Flight cancelled:

BBC NI Travel

The Flybe flight from East Midlands to Belfast City airport that was due to arrive at 21:00 has been cancelled.

World record bridge attempt:

Queen's University students are trying to break a world record by building the longest ever Meccano footbridge this summer.

Meccano Bridge

Students from the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering at Queen's will work with 10 local schools as well as industry and academic mentors in building the bridge.

More joining teachers union:

Maggie Taggart

BBC News NI Education Correspondent

A teachers union says it has gained a further 100 members since it announced taking strike action this week.

A spokesman for the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) said he didn't know if the teachers had left other unions that had decided not to strike.

Man arrested over hit-and-run:

Police say they have arrested a 27-year-old man in connection with a

hit-and-run on New Lodge Road in north Belfast on Tuesday.

Rebuilding Mivan:

Julian O'Neill

BBC News NI Business Correspondent

Antrim firm Mivan says it hopes to be

back employing 250 people within two years - the same number of jobs it lost when it
went into administration last year.


The company was bought over by the MJM Group in Newry.

Lanes 'won't be enforced' during strike:

Police are reminding people that they won't enforce rules over bus lanes during tomorrow's public transport strike. But this doesn't apply to the hard shoulder the buses use on motorways.

Bus lanes
(C) British Broadcasting Corporation

Tribute to 'beautiful' daughter:

Keiron Tourish


Lisa Orsi parent's pay tribute to their "beautiful" daughter. She

died on holiday after collapsing in Indonesia.

Lisa Orsi

'Lived for racing':

News Letter

A young motorsports enthusiast who was killed in a rural car smash has been described as a man who "lived for racing",

the News Letter reports.

Jonathan Buckley was killed when he lost control of the car he was driving in 2013.

The Welsh perspective:

BBC Sport

Wales' Jamie Roberts has described his side's crucial

Six Nations match against Ireland as "a thinking man's game this weekend".

Jamie Roberts
Getty Images

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

Replacing McCoy:

BBC Sport's horse racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght

tweets: #CheltFest: asked McCoy boss JP McManus how we/he will replace him. Joked: "We're going to clone him".


Tree down in south Belfast:

BBC News NI reporter Michael Fitzpatrick sends us this photo of a fallen tree on Derryvolgie Avenue in south Belfast.

Fallen tree

The tree fell near St Bride's Primary School. No one was injured. The road has been closed.

A1 reopened:

BBC NI Travel

The A1 at Banbridge has been reopened following an incident that was attended by the police near the Outlet.

McCoy on the winning trail:

BBC Sport NI

AP McCoy has ridden his first winner at his final ever Cheltenham Festival.

Tony McCoy

He won the Ryanair Chase on 16-1 shot Uxizandre.

M1 delays

BBC NI Travel

A broken down lorry on the Stockmans Lane offslip of the M1 is blocking one lane and causing delays towards the city

Fallen tree:

BBC NI Travel

Part of Derryvolgie Avenue in Belfast is closed because of a fallen tree close to the Malone Road end - the road is passable with care.

Traffic is also busy in all directions towards Broadway roundabout because of a lot of traffic to Royal Victoria Hospital.

Corporate manslaughter admitted

The managing director of a caravan park has admitted causing the death an employee through a "gross breach" of duty of care. Thomas Houston was crushed when a static caravan fell on him at Silvercove Caravan Park near Kilkeel in February 2012.

Alan Milne
PAul Higgins

County Armagh businessman Alan Milne. 54, pleaded guilty to charges of corporate manslaughter on behalf of Nicole Enterprises and breaching health and safety regulations.

A1 closed at Banbridge:

BBC NI Travel

The A1 is closed in both directions at Banbridge between Newry Road and the Outlet junctions. Expect delays.

Drivers going south are being diverted at off and on slips at the Outlet. Drivers going north are being diverted at Newry Road through Banbridge.

Dundonald device 'WW2 grenade':

The suspicious device found during a security alert in Comber is believed to be a World War Two grenade.

Kincora ruled out of UK abuse inquiry:

Home Secretary Theresa May

appears to have ruled out extending the scope of a child sexual abuse inquiry to cover Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Home Secretary

Amnesty has criticised the decision as a "missed opportunity".

Judgement reserved in murder trial:

Judgement has been reserved in the trial of a 60-year-old Londonderry man accused of murder. The judge is to give his decision "as soon as possible".

Kieran McLaughlin

Kieran Edward Joseph McLaughlin, from Elaghmore Park in the city, denies murdering Barry McCrory, who was shot dead at his flat in October 2013.

Heaslip back for Welsh clash:

BBC Sport NI

Ireland boss Joe Schmidt has made

just one change to the side that defeated England at the Aviva stadium a fortnight ago.

Jamie Heaslip

Jamie Heaslip replaces Jordi Murphy in the side to face Wales. Injury ruled him out of Ireland's last game against England.

Dundonald alert over

Police say the security alert on the Comber Road in Dundonald is over.

They've taken away an object for further examination.

Titanic to get exhibition centre:

John Campbell

BBC News NI Economics & Business Editor

Titanic Quarter has announced plans to build an exhibition centre in east Belfast to stage exhibitions and trade shows.

exhibition centre

The property company said it intends to develop it at a site on the Queen's Road, opposite the Titanic Studios.

Budget in jeopardy over welfare row:

Stephen Walker

BBC News NI Political Correspondent

The Secretary of State Theresa Villiers says without a welfare reform agreement a budget at Stormont is "unsustainable ".

secretary of state

In the hunt for a winner

Tony McCoy has 5 mounts on day 3 at Cheltenham as he seeks his first winner of the festival

AP McCoy

Comber security alert:

There's another security alert - this time on the Comber Road in Dundonald.

The road is closed at its junction with Millmount Road. Police say diversions are in place and a number of houses have been evacuated. Army bomb experts are being sent to the scene.