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  1. Updates for Thursday 2 April 2015
  2. More news, sport, weather and travel updates from 07:00 on Wednesday 8 April

Live Reporting

By Conor Macauley and Ciaran McCauley

All times stated are UK

Get involved


Ciaran Daly


Not only is that BBC News NI Live over for the day, but we'll be taking a short break over Easter. We'll be back again on Wednesday 8 April at 07:00. Until then, you can keep up to date with all of the latest news, sport, travel and weather on the

BBC News NI website.

Hibernia Lanscape

Until Wednesday, we'll leave you with this stunning sunset over Cloughmore in Rostrevor, County Down. Thanks to the good folks at Hibernia Landscapes for sending it in. Goodnight and have a great time over Easter.

Giants seek silverware:

BBC Sport NI

The Belfast Giants take on Coventry Blaze on Saturday as they try to end the season by lifting the silverware at the end-of-season play-off finals.

Darryl Lloyd of the Belfast Giants has a shot saved by Brian Stewart, netminder for the Coventry Blaze
Michael Cooper

Steve Thornton's men take on Coventry Blaze in the second of the semi-finals being staged at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham.

Letter response to Culture NI cuts:

Members of the Culture NI team handed over 1,000 signatures from the public to the Director of Arts Development at Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Noírín McKinney. It comes in response to funding cuts that will close the Culture NI website.

Culture NI
Culture NI

David Lewis, director of Culture NI, said: "Since the announcement of this devastating cut, we've been overwhelmed with the level of support from the general public."

New boss at Tourism NI:

The board of Tourism Northern Ireland has appointed John McGrillen as its new chief executive with effect from July.

Mr McGrillen was a former board member of the tourist board and is currently the director of development at Belfast City Council.

Easter weekend weather:

Cecilia Daly

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

Tonight there'll be some rain around but

it should brighten up by the second half of tomorrow. We should see higher temperatures and hints of brightness, especially around southern counties.

Evening weather 2 April 2015

It's going to be generally dry on Saturday with a little bits of brightness and it'll be a little milder. There may not be an awful lot of sunshine over the Easter weekend but at least it will be milder and drier than it has been.

Coming up on BBC Newsline:

BBC Newsline presenter Tara Mills


Newsline 2 April 2015

Men's Health first for McIlroy:

BBC Sport NI

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy is the first golfer to be featured on the cover of Men's Health. The Holywood man graces the cover of the April edition of the magazine.

Rory McIlroy
Getty Images

Coming up on BBC Evening Extra:

BBC News NI political correspondent Chris Page


Election debates

Center Parcs to open resort in Republic of Ireland

One of the UK's largest holiday resort firms plans to open a 200m euro (£147m) 'village' in the Republic of Ireland.

Center Parcs resort
Center Parcs

Center Parcs has agreed the purchase of a 375-acre site near Ballymahon in County Longford where it will build the 2,500-guest capacity resort.

Casement ground safety plans:

The body set up to organise sports ground safety had not received an emergency exit strategy for the proposed new Casement Park stadium in west Belfast by as late as November 2014.

Casement Park

The Moreland and Owenvarragh Residents Association (MORA) established through a freedom of information request that the Casement Park evacuation strategy had been requested in spring 2013.

Ulster sign Aussie fly-half:

BBC Sport NI

Ulster have signed

Australian fly-half Sam Windsor from promotion-chasing Championship side Worcester Warriors.

Sam Windsor will join up with the Ulster squad in July
Getty Images

The 27-year-old, who is Ireland-qualified through his parents, has agreed a one-year contract and will arrive at Kingspan stadium in July.

Basic wage of Eishtec jobs:

BBC News NI economics and business editor John Campbell


Basic wage

Weak Euro bad news for NI tourism:

Julian O'Neill

BBC News NI Business Correspondent

Sterling's strength against the euro is not good news for Northern Ireland tourism as it tries to make headway in two of its toughest markets.


Continental Europe and the Republic of Ireland in particular have been a struggle, (based on the last annual statistics available, for 2013).

Swann criticises budget cuts

Ulster Unionist MLA Robin Swann has criticised how training organisations dependent on funding to deliver Employment and Learning programmes have had their budgets cut.

Robin Swann

Mr Swann said: (The)..."removal of the Education Maintenance Allowance, will only compound the difficulties being faced by a number of groups already hamstrung by the ongoing European Social Fund difficulties."

Policing plan launched:

Justice Minister David Ford, PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton and the Northern Ireland Policing Board Chair Anne Connolly published the latest policing plan, which sets out the strategic priorities and targets for policing in 2015-16.

Polcing plan launched

The policing plan, Keeping People Safe, includes a number of new measures that are designed to improve the quality of service, particularly to those in the community who are more vulnerable.

Piutau Ulster decision 'difficult':

BBC Sport NI

All Black Charles Piutau says he accepts his decision to sign for Ulster has come as a shock to New Zealand fans.

Charles Piutau

The 23-year-old Auckland Blues back said the decision to move to Belfast had been a difficult one.

Robinson makes 'discrimination' call:

Chris Page

BBC News NI Political Correspondent

The DUP leader, Peter Robinson, says his party has been "discriminated against" by the broadcasters organising televised election debates.

Peter Robinson

Mr Robinson said: "I watch evening after evening as they give coverage to parties which will have less of a say after an election than we will have."

Call centre creating 320 jobs in Lurgan:

John Campbell

BBC News NI Economics & Business Editor

Eishtec, a Waterford-based call centre firm is creating 320 jobs in Lurgan. The company is setting up an operation in the Silverwood business park.

Call Centre

Eishtec, which was founded in 2011, employs more than 1,100 people. The development is being supported with funds from Invest NI and the Department for Employment and Learning totalling £1.5m.

Sunny March but cool too

Armagh Observatory reports that March 2015 was the sunniest March for 12 years, but drier and rather cooler than average.

Sheep Island
Rodney Harrison

The sun was just about peeping through in this lovely shot of Sheep Island, County Antrim,

taken by Rodney Harrison earlier.

Broken-down lorry causing disruption:

PSNI Dungannon


Broken down lorry

Community funding cuts discussed:

Kevin Sharkey


BBC News NI reporter Kevin Sharkey

tweets: Staff and families assess the impact of community funding cuts, Upper Andersonstown Community Forum.

Anderstown Community forum

Police officer disciplined

A police officer has been disciplined after a Police Ombudsman investigation concluded that he had grabbed a youth by his coat, shook him and used abusive language.

Police Ombudsman

The incident happened as the officer and three colleagues were responding to reports of youths causing annoyance in the Craigavon area in November 2013.

Archive: Circuit of Ireland in 1955:

BBC NI Archive


Circuit of Ireland officially starts later today ahead of a weekend of rallying, but the rally cars won't arrive in quite the same style as in 1955.

Car arrives by plane


archive footage shows the competing cars landed in Belfast via aeroplane for the annual rally.

Neeson to narrate Easter Rising centenary doc:

The Belfast Telegraph

reports that Ballymena actor Liam Neeson is set to lend his voice to a major new documentary series to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising.

Liam Neeson

The Hollywood actor will narrate the three-part TV series entitled 1916: The Irish Rebellion.

Masters collapse 'important day':

BBC Sport NI

Rory McIlroy has described his final round collapse at the 2011 Masters as the "most important day of his career".

Rory McIlroy
Getty Images

"I learned so much about myself and what I needed to do the next time I got into that position," he said. An interview between McIlroy and BBC Sport NI's Stephen Watson will be available on iPlayer from 18:00 today.

Swann wants Dalriada 'guarantee':

UUP MLA Robin Swann has asked the health minister to "give a cast-iron guarantee" that Dalriada Hospital in Ballycastle has a long-term future.

Robin Swann

Mr Swann said: "The hospital plays a vital role in the community and this must be protected."

New Consumer Council Chief Executive:

The Consumer Council for Northern Ireland


Consumer Council Chief Executive

Pair arrested over drugs find:


Police say they arrested two men yesterday after cocaine and cannabis worth £90,000, as well as firearms and cash, were found in searches in north Belfast and Templepatrick.

Det Insp Trevor Stevenson said: "We believe those involved are members of an organised crime group as opposed to having any paramilitary or terrorist links."

BBC News NI election offering:

The general election campaign is now in full swing and you can follow it every step of the way on the

BBC News NI website.


We have profiles of all 18 constituencies and the main political parties and, over the coming weeks, we'll take an in-depth look at the party leaders.

Eau de sweat:

Here's a development not to be sniffed at - Belfast scientists claim to have

developed a perfume that smells better the more the wearer sweats.

Woman applying perfume

Researchers from Queen's University have created a liquid which they say releases more of its fragrance when it comes into contact with moisture.

'More Magee investment needed':

Foyle MP Mark Durkan has welcomed the

announcement of investment at Magee but says it should only be the start of a wider expansion.

Mark Durkan

""We must continue to press the minister, the executive and the university to advance the funds needed to facilitate the wider expansion of our city campus, not least in terms of student numbers," he said.

No stroke city on nomination papers:

Irish News

The Irish News

reports that election candidates in Londonderry have been told they cannot write "Derry" on nomination papers and if they do they will not be allowed to stand.

View of Derry

The Electoral Office contacted candidates in East Londonderry to warn them that no abbreviation of the constituency's name will be accepted on forms.

Gangmaster suspect arrested

A man suspected of acting as an unlicensed gangmaster has been arrested in Lurgan by Gangmaster Licensing Authority (GLA) officers and police.

The 39-year-old Romanian was apprehended as part of an ongoing investigation into unlicensed labour on fruit farms in County Armagh.

World-class shot of Belfast:

A Belfast artist and photographer's stunning photograph of Belfast has won a prize at the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards.

Sony World Photography winner 2015
Norman Quinn

Norman Quinn's picture includes the iconic Harland & Wolff cranes Samson and Goliath. Mr Quinn won the prize in the open panoramic category for the photograph above called Perfect Symmetry.

Linfield games rearranged:

Linfield are seeking to arrange their two remaining home fixtures in the Irish Premiership after it was confirmed that they will be unable to play at Windsor Park again this season

due to structural damage to the Kop stand.

Windsor Park building work close up

In a club statement Linfield confirmed that the games against Crusaders on Saturday 4 April and against Glenavon on Saturday 11 April will not be staged at Windsor Park. Further details concerning the fixtures will be provided once the arrangements have been confirmed.

Circuit of Ireland set to start:

BBC Sport NI

Waterford driver Craig Breen is the number one seed for the

Circuit of Ireland Rally, which has attracted a record number of entries.

Circuit of Ireland
Press Eye

The event forms round three of the European Rally Championship series and a ceremonial start will take place tonight at Belfast City Hall.

Settled weather over Easter weekend:

Barra Best

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

There's just one last unsettled day to get through before it turns much better for the Easter weekend. Before then. there'll be heavy bursts of rain throughout the afternoon and evening.

Weather forecast 2 April 2014

It's going to be a bit of a damp start on Friday but rain will eventually give way to drier conditions. It'll be largely settled, drier and mild over the weekend.

You can watch the latest weather forecast here.

Windsor Park latest:

Mark Simpson


BBC News NI's Mark Simpson


Windsor Park