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

Live Reporting

By Conor Macauley and Ciaran McCauley

All times stated are UK

Get involved


Ciaran McCauley


That's it from BBC News NI Live today - we'll be back per usual tomorrow at 07:00.

Remember, there's still five hours left in this rainy April Fools Day so don't get pranked and don't get caught in the rain. We'll see you again tomorrow.

Hungry Hungry...humans?

You may be familiar with the tabletop game Hungry Hungry Hippos where the aim of the game is to capture as many balls using a mechanical hippo but what would that look like in human form? Well, wonder no more.

Hungry Human Hippos

The Markethill Girls Brigade in County Armagh played a game of human Hungry Hungry Hippos, as highlighted by this video on the

Ulster Gazette Facebook page.

Williams banned for eight weeks:

BBC Sport NI

Ulster forward Nick Williams has been

suspended for eight weeks for
striking opponent Rhys Patchell during the Pro12 match against Cardiff Blues.

Nick Williams
Press Eye

The committee ruled because of Ulster's fixtures, Williams will not be able to play again until 1 September.

Windsor before and after:

What a difference a game makes - these pictures offer a before and after view of Windsor Park's West Stand.

Windsor Park

On the left, the teams emerge on to the pitch in front of a packed West Stand for

Sunday's Euro 2016 qualifier. But yesterday the stand was closed after
cracks were found in the structure.

Belfast leisure centre funding:

Belfast City councillor John Kyle


John Kyle
Ciaran McCauley

Boy 'critical' after Enniskillen crash:

Police say that an 11-year-old boy is in a critical condition after a crash between a van and a car near Enniskillen.

The vehicles crashed on Lough Shore Road. Two males, aged 23 and 47, were also injured.

Windsor options:

Northern Ireland could be forced to play at the home of Ulster Rugby or somewhere in Britain if Windsor Park stadium is closed for June's Euro 2016 qualifier against Romania, says the Northern Ireland Supporters' Club chairman.

Windsor Park

Gary McAllister says the other option is to play at the reduced capacity stadium. The

West Stand was sealed off after cracks were spotted on Tuesday.

Wet and cool tonight:

Cecilia Daly

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

The full forecast shows that it's going to stay cool and wet over the evening and into tomorrow but there's a slightly better outlook for Easter weekend.

Weather Wednesday

Planning hard work for councils:

Kevin Sharkey


The 11 new super-councils have been given over 6,700 planning applications to consider. The planning powers are amongst functions devolved to the new councils.

Planning applications

The highest number of 'live' applications is in Newry, Mourne and Down.

Milking it:

Donna Traynor

BBC Newsline presenter

I'm with Cyril and Martin Millar who are telling me a thing or two about milking. I've visited their farm near Coleraine this afternoon to talk about milk quotas.

Trainor Newsline

I'll have more on

BBC Newsline from 18:30.

Fans want meeting over Windsor safety:

The Northern Ireland supporters club chairman has

called for a meeting with the IFA after the West Stand was sealed off because of possible subsidence.

Windsor Park

Cracks in its structure were spotted on Tuesday. The IFA says it's waiting for a report from engineers.

Kelly welcomes hayshed shooting investigation:

SDLP deputy leader Dolores Kelly says the an

investigation into circumstances around an alleged shoot to kill incident in 1982 by Police Scotland is the "correct decision".

Dolores Kelly

She said: "The move to involve Police Scotland is an important step in assuring the independence and impartiality of the on-going investigation."

Man arrested after drugs searches:

A 40-year-old man has been arrested after four more searches in Northern Ireland by police investigating an international drugs trafficking operation.


Searches were conducted in Belfast, Ballyclare and Ballynahinch.

Seven people were arrested in the last week as part of the same operation.

GAA throw-in change:

BBC Sport NI

If anyone is hitting the road tonight for Cavan for the U21 championship game between Armagh and Tyrone, note that the throw-in has been moved to 20:30.

Ulster GAA say this is to allow adequate travelling time for spectators.

Republic facing Uefa sanctions:

BBC Sport NI

The Republic of Ireland and Poland are

facing sanctions from Uefa following their Euro 2016 qualifier in Dublin.


Martin O'Neill's side were charged with improper conduct after five players were booked in the game. Poland also face disciplinary action after their fans threw objects and set off flares in the Aviva Stadium.

Gilnahirk reopening delayed:

BBC NI Travel

The reopening of the Gilnahirk Road in Belfast has been delayed until about 20:00 tonight because of a mechanical breakdown.

'Belly bounce' assault man sentenced:

A Belfast man who

assaulted an elderly neighbour by "belly bouncing" her has been given an eight-month suspended sentence.

Morrison Wilson

Morrison Wilson, 59 of Rotterdam Court, must also pay £1,000 compensation to the victim.

Probe into 'hayshed murder' surveillance:

The PSNI confirm that Police Scotland will conduct an investigation into security personnel over an

alleged shoot to kill incident in 1982.

Hayshed Lurgan

Michael Tighe was shot dead and Martin McCauley was wounded by members of the RUC at a hayshed near Lurgan in 1982. PSNI say that police in Scotland will investigate possible withholding or destruction of surveillance evidence.

Enniskillen road collision:

The Lough Shore Road outside Enniskillen is blocked near Ely Lodge after a road collision. Emergency services are at the scene.

Letter paints an honest picture:

Marie-Louise Connolly

BBC News NI Health Correspondent

A letter signed by eight senior ward sisters criticising the out-of-hours hospital transfers of frail, elderly patients in Belfast provides

a clear and honest picture of what is happening to some extremely vulnerable men and women while in hospital.


Women plead guilty to running Derry brothel:

Two women have pleaded guilty at Londonderry Magistrates Court to charges of running a brothel in Derry city centre.

DERRY Bishop's Street Court house

Andrea Dumitru, 18, and 23-year-old Stelata Serban from Grove Place in Derry committed the offences between 30 January and 27 March 2015.

'Appalled' over elderly patient transfers:

Marie-Louise Connolly

BBC News NI Health Correspondent

The Commissioner for Older People in NI says she is "appalled" by the

transfer of older people between hospitals late at night.

Claire Keatinge

Claire Keatinge says there needs to be "leadership" from the health minister and managers to make sure these "inexcusable" transfers do not happen.

'Tall order' for McCoy fairytale:

BBC Sport NI

Trainer Jonjo O'Neill says it will be a

"tall order" for AP McCoy to end his career with a fairytale win at Aintree.

AP McCoy

McCoy will ride the O'Neill-trained Shutthefrontdoor in the Grand National on 11 April, indicating he will retire if he triumphs on the 8/1 favourite.

Archive: Jurassic Carrick

BBC NI Archive

Carrickfergus has often been the sight of many historical finds - but what

about prehistoric eggs?

(C) British Broadcasting Corporation

On 1 April 1985, the BBC's Jeremy Bowen reports on the find near Carrickfergus Castle and the "strange noises" which locals believed were attempts to hatch one of the possible dino eggs.

Minister challenged over school language scheme:

Ulster Unionist education spokesperson Danny Kinahan has said the education minister should produce evidence that the primary school language programme was not delivering.

Danny Kinahan

The scheme to introduce pupils to foreign languages

has had its funding pulled. Mr Kinahan said modern languages were being "prioritised in the rest of the United Kingdom" and that the decision needs to be looked at again.

'Long-term' GP funding needed:

The chair of the British Medical Association NI's GP committee says a £15m investment package in GP services is "welcome" but a "long-term commitment" on funding is needed.

Tom Black

Dr Tom Black said: "Even with this investment, funding for general practice in Northern Ireland will continue to lag behind that of the rest of the UK."

Ulster's newest import:

BBC Sport NI

He's the 14-times capped All Blacks international and

he's coming to Belfast in July 2016 - but who is Charles Piutau?

Charles Piutau
Getty Images

Equally at home at wing, centre or full-back, the Blues player has scored four international tries and eight in Super Rugby. His explosive play has already led to

highlight reels like this - Ulster fans will be hoping for more the same next year.

Superhero role for Nesbitt:

Belfast Telegraph

The Belfast Telegraph

reports that Northern Irish actor James Nesbitt will star in a new 10-part series for Sky1 called Lucky Man, which has been written by the celebrated writer Stan Lee.

Jimmy Nesbitt

Lidl to open 60 news stores

Lidl has announced a plan to open up to 60 new stores across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Lidl sign

The first store Lidl store in Ireland opened in 2000 and the grocery retailer's expansion has been rapid with 38 stores now operating across Northern Ireland.

Foolish stories that are true

Given the date today, you might have found yourself fooled by stories that are nothing more than April Fool's Day pranks.

Cats, Dash button, dancing, greyhounds, and restaurant payment (clockwise from top left)

Well, our colleagues in the BBC Magazine team have put together a list of

10 stories that look like pranks but aren't.

Suspended sentence for 'belly bounce' assault

A Belfast man who assaulted an elderly neighbour by "belly bouncing" her away from his home has been handed an eight-month suspended prison sentence.

Morrison Wilson must also pay a total of £1,000 compensation to the woman and her daughter for two separate incidents linked to a parking dispute.

Boucher Road B&Q closure

The B&Q store on the Boucher Road in south Belfast will also close in addition to the closure of the B&Q store in Londonderry.

Shoppers walking past a B&Q store
Getty Images

Kingfisher, the owner of DIY chains B&Q and Screwfix, announced yesterday that it

is to close about 60 B&Q stores in the UK and Ireland over the next two years.

Leisure centre jobs assurance:

Rick Faragher


Representatives of the unions NIPSA and Unite say they have been given assurances that there will be no compulsory redundancies

for Robinson Centre staff following a meeting with the senior management of Belfast City Council and its chief executive.

The asbestos was found in an area of the centre not open to the public

Alison Morris of NIPSA said: "All areas will be explored, not just in terms of leisure but across all the new council areas to seek to reassure these staff that they do have a future in Belfast City Council."

Road blocked after collision



Road closure

More rain coming:

Cecilia Daly

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

Plenty of cloud and showery rain this afternoon - though some gaps in the rain too. Brisk winds easing, but still chilly.


No redundancies at leisure centre:

BBC News NI reporter Rick Faragher


Rick Faragher
Ciaran McCauley

Derry B&Q set to close

The BBC understands that the B&Q store in Londonderry is set to close with the loss of up to 60 jobs. It is expected that the Derry branch will stop trading in January 2016.

B&Q Derry

Kingfisher, the DIY chains parent company, is to

close about 60 B&Q stores in the UK and Ireland over the next two years.

900 jobs to secured with building firm merger:

Julian O'Neill

BBC News NI Business Correspondent

Northern Ireland's oldest building firm H&J Martin has been taken over by another construction company in a deal that Enterprise Minister Arlen Foster says will "secure the future of over 900 jobs."

Arlene Foster

The move also involves another Belfast firm, Lagan Construction. The two companies have been in discussions for several weeks and their combined turnover is more than £300m.

Social housing call for Visteon site

Sinn Féin's Paul Maskey said the future of the Visteon factory site must include both social housing and economic use. Fold Housing has been told the scheme does

not include enough new space for economic or business use.

West Belfast MP Paul Maskey

Mr Maskey said: "Clearly there is a high demand for homes in west Belfast and this site is large enough to include both new homes and economic use."

Historic building firm bought:

BBC News NI economics and business editor John Campbell


H&J Martin