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  1. Updates for Wednesday 22 April 2015
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather updates on Thursday from 07:00

Live Reporting

By Grania McFadden and Ciaran Daly

All times stated are UK

Get involved


Ciaran McCauley


That's all from us at BBC News NI Live - we'll see you again for all the news tomorrow from 07:00.

Dominic Murray

We'll leave you with of what is either a cloud or a return of the alien invaders from

Independence Day. Let's hope it's the former.

Doctor guilty of police assault:


hospital anaesthetist has been found guilty of two charges of assaulting police officers after a Christmas party night out in Londonderry.

Eireann Kerr

Dr Eireann Kerr, 32, was given a two-month conditional discharge.

More sun tomorrow:

Barra tweets that today was the warmest day of the year so far - Castlederg hit 19.1C - and
Geoff Maskell says it's going to continue tomorrow.

Thursday weather

Derry to get NI's first pagan church:

Derry Journal

The Derry Journal reports that the first pagan church recognised by law here is being set up in Londonderry.

The Order of the Golden River, currently operating in Belfast, is opening a branch in the city with a launch early next month.

VE Day funding:

The Royal British Legion has

launched a funding scheme to help veterans make it to the annual VE Day celebrations in London on 8-10 May.

VE Day
Crown Copyright 2015

Any veterans over 85 who served during World War Two can get money to help pay for travel for them and one carer.

The wan with the wil' hard accent, hi:

Courteney Cox has found out just how difficult our accent can be, after

trying to teach her family to speak like her fiance, Snow Patrol's Johnny McDaid.

Courteney Cox and Johnny McDaid

The former Friends star

showed US chatshow host Jimmy Kimmel a video of the difficulties her family faced trying to imitate how the Londonderry musician said "how now brown cow".

Groups to get carrier bag money:

Environmental groups that are facing budget cuts are to

receive a share of £2m raised by the carrier bag levy.

Ulster Wildlife

Cavanagh expected to be fit:

BBC Sport NI

Tyrone expect

Sean Cavanagh to be available for their football championship opener against Donegal on 17 May.

Sean Cavanagh
Press Eye

The 32-year-old had a minor knee operation last week.

Court hears folk songs and chants:

A court has been played folk songs and football chants by lawyers defending a

loyalist flute band accused of playing a sectarian tune outside a Catholic church.

Loyalist band

The 13 defendants, all members of the Belfast band, Young Conway Volunteers, are alleged to have played the Famine Song at St Patrick's church in 2012. The band says it was playing the Beach Boys' hit Sloop John B.

Gallipoli commemoration:

The 'Big Gun' at Grey Point Fort in Helen's Bay will be

fired on Saturday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the
Gallipoli landings.


Grim up north:

It's a hot day across much of Northern Ireland but not everywhere.

Weather differences

BBC News NI weather presenter Geoff Maskell

tweets these photos that show how the temperature and view has been very different for those along the north coast.

Airport deal 'never agreed':

Lawyers for Aer Lingus have

told the High Court that the airline didn't agree to keep a base at Belfast International Airport for a set time.

Aer Lingus

The airport claims Aer Lingus breached contract when it moved to George Best Airport in 2012 and is seeking £20m in damages.

More on Drumahoe explosives:

Police say that three pipe bombs found in Drumahoe were designed to kill or maim.

Drumahoe alert

The bombs were found by a member of the public on a riverbank close to a pub car park at about 10:30. Ch Insp Alan Hutton says "they posed a real danger" to anyone who disturbed them.

Animal welfare consultation extended:

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) confirms it has

extended the consultation period for the public to have its say on the Welfare of Animals Act.


The closing date has been extended until 21 May. Last week, Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill said

punishments for so-called 'puppy farming' could be increased after a BBC investigation.

Explosives found in alert:

Police in Foyle say three explosive devices have been made safe in Drumahoe after a security alert.

PSNI Twitter

Drumahoe Road has now reopened.

Michael Allen to leave Ulster:

BBC Sport NI

Ulster back Michael Allen will

join Edinburgh on a two-year deal at the end of the season.

Michael Allen
Press Eye

The 24-year-old, who can play wing or centre, has been at Ulster since joining after leaving Methodist College.

Hebdo event 'cancelled over risk assessment':

Queen's University says a

conference on the Charlie Hebdo murders was cancelled because organisers didn't complete a risk assessment.

Queens University

The move was criticised for breaching freedom of speech but the university denies the cancellation was about academic freedom.

Attack linked to dissidents:

Police say last night's

attack on a PSNI patrol in north Belfast bears all the hallmarks of a dissident attack.

North Belfast attack

Ch Supt Nigel Grimshaw says police were responding to reports of a burglary when a device was thrown.

Derry walls in 3D

Londonderry's historic walls have been painstakingly

recreated in a 3D model as part of a new Irish history project.

A 3D model of Ferryquay Gate in Derry
Discovery Project

The 17th Century walls, which form a walkway around the city, were scanned to produce detailed images and videos.

Health policy 'here to stay':

The head of the Health and Social Care Board says the

Transforming Your Care health policy has major branding issues but is
here to stay.

Valerie Watts

Valerie Watts also told a health conference that more open debate was need on how society pays for care.

Derry could delay Fleadh bid:

Derry Journal

Londonderry may delay it's bid for the All-Ireland Fleadh until 2018 if Ennis decided to bid in 2017, according to

the Derry Journal.


Ireland hotting up:

Scorcher! Barra Best

tweets this satellite photo of Ireland's rising temperatures.

Ireland temperatures

Drumahoe alert latest:

BBC Radio Foyle reporter Teresa Craig

tweets this photo from the ongoing security alert near Drumahoe.

Drumahoe alert

Army bomb experts are still on the scene.

Crash in east Belfast:

Police tweets that there are delays on the Sydenham bypass after a crash near Belfast City Airport.

East Belfast crash
PSNI Twitter

Body-boarder could not swim:

News Letter

The News Letter reports that a coroner's court has heard that a man who drowned while body-boarding in Portrush could not swim.

MLAs call for incinerator rethink:

Newtownabbey Times

MLAs in South Antrim have called again on the environment minister to halt plans for a £240m incinerator energy plant in Mallusk,

the Newtownabbey Times reports.

Rusty Zip shuts:

A Belfast student institution is closing its doors - vintage clothes shop the Rusty Zip is to shut.

Rusty Zip

In a

Facebook post, the Botanic Avenue shop thanked customers for their support over 17 years of trading.

Sunny for some:

Ciaran McCauley


It looks like a glorious day from the small windows of the newsroom (sob) but some of you have been out enjoying it.

Cherry Blossoms and dog

Whether admiring the garden cherry blossoms in Maghaberry (thanks Gordon Young) or out walking Honey the springer spaniel at Binevenagh Mountain (ta Chris Hamilton), we're glad (and furiously jealous) that some people are out in the sun.

Jockey 'optimistic' for recovery:

BBC Sport NI

Irish jockey Robbie McNamara says he's feeling "optimistic" about his recovery after spinal surgery.

Robbie McNamara

McNamara, 26, fell at Wexford on 10 April. Despite having no feeling in his legs, he was able to leave his hospital bed for the first time on Tuesday.

Writer joins QUB critics:

Robert McLiam Wilson, Belfast writer and author of Eureka Street who now lives in Paris,

tweets :


Queen's University has been criticised over its decision to cancel a debate on free speech.

£2m from carrier bag levy to aid environmental groups

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan will allocate £2m from the £4.2million revenue raised via the Carrier Bag Levy to help environmental groups.

Plastic bags

Minister Durkan said: "This is a tough tough time for environmental groups. I hear their concerns loud and clear. What I am now doing is fulfilling my vow to try and alleviate some of that pain as imaginatively as possible."

No permission for manifesto bus:

Transport for London says it would not have allowed the DUP to use a Routemaster bus as part of its

manifesto launch yesterday if it had been asked permission.


It says it was not aware of the event and would have denied permission because of "pre-election rules for public bodies".

Barely a cloud in the sky:

Barra Best

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

BBC News NI weather presenter Barra Best

tweets: It's shaping up nicely out there, barely a cloud in the sky!

Satellite image of Ireland
Dundee Sat Station

Hours not completed:

Police have

written to 113 part-time reserve officers asking them to explain why they've not completed contracted working hours.


83 of 462 officers have not completed the required 144 hours a year of service, while 30 have not worked any hours.

Locked gate delayed ambulance for teen:

Belfast Telegraph

The Belfast Telegraph reports on a father's anger after an ambulance was delayed by 11 minutes because of a padlocked gate after his son collapsed during a football match.

Suspicious object near water pumping station:

BBC News NI reporter Keiron Tourish

tweets that a security alert is continuing near Drumahoe in Londonderry after a suspicious object was found near a water pumping station.

Security alert Derry

TUV manifesto launch

The Traditional Unionist Voice has highlighted reform of Stormont and an early EU membership referendum

as key policies in its manifesto.

The TUV is fielding candidates in seven constituencies

The party launched the document at a hotel in South Antrim, one of seven constituencies in which there are TUV candidates.

McCoy's farewell race:

BBC Sport NI

The final race of AP McCoy's illustrious career will be in the Bet365 Handicap Hurdle at Sandown on Saturday when he will be on Box Office.

Tony McCoy celebrates his win
Getty Images

40 Robinson centre staff redeployed:

Julian O'Neill

BBC News NI Business Correspondent

The trade union Unite says it has secured employment for almost 40 former Castlereagh council staff who faced an uncertain future.

The Robinson Centre

They are being redeployed to positions at Belfast council. The union says the staff "had been in limbo" after the discovery of asbestos closed the Robinson leisure centre.

Coming up on BBC Newsline

Newsline presenter Donna Traynor

tweets: Queens University Belfast cancels a conference relating to the Charlie Hebdo murders. Mark Simpson has the story at 13:30 on BBC One NI.

Newsline 22 April 2015