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  1. Updates for Monday 27 April 2015
  2. Wells quits as health minister
  3. Man dies in Londonderry fire
  4. 1,500 signs up to bike-share scheme
  5. Murdered student's body brought home

Live Reporting

By Conor Macauley and Ciaran McCauley

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodnight from a day of two seasons:

Ciaran McCauley


That's us for today - we'll be back as ever with all the news, sport, weather and travel.


The weather has been all over the shop today, and these photos taken on Slieve Gallion in the Sperrins (by @STEAM4schools) at 17:00 and 17:30 show what we mean.

Prison term for pharmacist:

An Armagh-based pharmacist has been

sentenced to one year in prison after illegally supplying almost one million prescription drugs.

Maurice Currie

Maurice Currie, 45, of Portmore Road, Lisburn, pleaded guilty at Newry Crown Court to 12 counts of supplying controlled drugs.

'Extensive damage' by wildfire:

Wildfire on Slieve Gullion near Newry has extensively damaged an area of heath that is a protected habitat for wildlife.

Ring of Gullion
Ring of Gullion Project

An official from the Ring of Gullion AONB project says: "This fire has put fire fighters' lives at risk, destroyed a protected habitat, left wildlife with no homes or a food source and the damage caused risks income coming into the area."

Marriage equality motion ayes and noes:

Mark Devenport

BBC News NI Political Editor

The same sex marriage motion at the Assembly was defeated by 49 votes to 47.

Four unionists backed it - Danny Kinahan, John McAllister, Basil McCrea and Claire Sugden. Judith Cochrane, Trevor Lunn and Kieran McCarthy, all Alliance MLAs, abstained from the vote.

M1 closed:

BBC NI Travel

The M1 is being closed in both directions because of a crash at junction 15 Stangmore, near Dungannon.

Petrol bombs thrown:

Police say three petrol bombs were thrown into the Tiger's Bay area of north Belfast last night.


They were thrown near Halliday's Road just after 23:00 - no-one was injured and nothing was damaged.

Marriage equality motion defeated:

The Northern Ireland Assembly

rejected a proposal for the introduction of gay marriage by 49 votes to 47.

NI Assembly

It's the fourth time the house has debated the issue. The full list of how MLAs voted is

available online.

Tandragee road reopens:

BBC NI Travel

Portadown Road in Tandragee has reopened after a crash.

Great balls of fire:

Social media lit up on Sunday night after a

giant fireball could be seen streaking across the sky.

Steve Hooks

Armagh man Steve Hooks

captured this video of what the Armagh Observatory described as a "sporadic meteor".

Missionaries safe:

Two families in Nepal who work as missionaries are safe after an

earthquake hit the country.

Presbyterian Church

The Presbyterian Church says that Stephen and Laura Coulter and Peter and Valerie Lockwood, from east Belfast and Bangor, along with their three children, were not hurt in the disaster.

New health minister?

Evening Extra

Political correspondent Gareth Gordon tells Evening Extra that one name being mooted as a possible successor to Jim Wells is current junior minister Jonathan Bell.

Jonathan Bell

Jim Wells will stay in the position until 11 May, after the General Election.

M1 crash:

BBC NI Travel

There's been a bad crash on the M1 at junction 15, Stangmore near Dungannon. The road is blocked towards Belfast.

Also in Belfast, a broken down car is blocking the third lane between Stockmans Lane and Blacks Road.

Ireland's clash in training match:

BBC Sport NI

tweets that Northern Ireland will play the Republic of Ireland in Dublin in June, although no-one will get to see them play - it's a private training match.

Training match

Lisburn delays:

Trafficwatch NI

tweets that there's delays towards Lisburn because of a broken down lorry on the Saintfield Road.

Lisburn delays
Trafficwatch NI

New Translink chairman:

Frank Hewitt has been

appointed the new chairman of Translink.


He will take up the role in July and replaces outgoing chair John Trethowan.

What next for McCoy?

BBC Sport

For two decades, AP McCoy has been the champion jockey. But now he faces possibly his biggest challenge - retirement.

AP McCoy

We asked former jockey Richard Dunwoody, friend and psychologist Michael Caulfield and the man himself

what the future holds.

Marriage equality motion falls:


motion on marriage equality is defeated in the Assembly.

NI Assembly

It's being reported that the the motion fell by 49 votes to 47 with three abstentions.

Course decision delayed:

Newtownabbey Times


Newtownabbey Times reports that the Northern Regional College has delayed a decision on the future of more than 50 courses until at least the end of May.

Northern Regional College

Tandragee road crash:


tweet that the Portadown Road in Tandragee is closed after a crash.

Road crash
PSNI Traffic

Strabane roadworks

Trafficwatch NI

tweets there'll be roadworks on the Lifford Road roundabout in Strabane, County Tyrone this week.

Tyrone Roadworks
Trafficwatch NI

Sleet at Stormont

High winds and heavy hail at Stormont. Thanks to

Paul Moane for the image

sleet at Stormont
PAul Moane

Tweet us your weather pics to


Fermanagh road closed:

Trafficwatch NI

tweets that roadworks between Derrygonnelly and Enniskillen mean that the B81 will be closed until Wednesday.


Ageas protest:

A company that could close a

Belfast call centre with the loss of 200 jobs has had one of its main offices picketed by union activists.


Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) held the demonstration in Bournemouth at the office of Ageas. The company has started a consultation over the closure of its west Belfast call centre.

Fire death: Victim in his 20s

Police say the

man who died in a house fire in Londonderry was in his 20s.


The fire service was alerted to the blaze at De Burgh Square started just after 11:00 after neighbours spotted smoke. The man was found in a living room and was declared dead at the scene.

From sunshine to hail

It reached 20C in Castlederg, County Tyrone last week but this was the view from Ards in County Down earlier today. Thanks to Louise Rainey for sending us a picture of the hailstorm there this morning.

Ards hail
Louise Rainey

It's going to colder this week but there may be spells of sunshine in between the cold snaps.

New sports arena set to open

A brand new £12.7m Londonderry sports arena in St Columb's Park will be officially opened to the public later on Monday.

Swimming pool

It is hoped that the state-of-the-art Foyle arena will become a centre of excellence for wall climbing, judo and wrestling.

'Missing in Nepal' man reported found:

A County Down man reported missing in the Nepal earthquake

is alive, according to
the Red Cross.

Red Cross

The Red Cross had included Oliver McKevitt, 24, from Newry on a list of people believed to be missing.

Play-off clash:

BBC Sport NI

Warrenpoint Town will face Championship runners-up Bangor in a

two-legged promotion/relegation play-off.

Warrenpoint Town
Press Eye

Bangor will have home advantage for Tuesday's first leg with the return game being staged at Warrenpoint's Milltown ground on Friday night.

Londonderry train

Translink has

tweeted that the Londonderry to Great Victoria Street train will now terminate at Belfast Central Station due to an ill passenger onboard. The train will no longer call at Botanic, City Hospital or Great Victoria Street.

Belfast central

Ulster contingent in U-20 squad:

BBC Sport NI

Six Ulster players are

included in Ireland's squad for the World Rugby U-20 Championship.

Sam Arnold, Lorcan Dow, Zack McCall, Jack Owens, Jacob Stockdale and Alex Thompson will be on the plane for the tournament in Parma in June.

Sweet sound of success:

Grosvernor Grammar and Pond Park Primary have been

named BBC Radio Ulster School Choirs of the Year.

School choirs of the year

The event was broadcast live from Belfast's Ulster Hall on Sunday - a total of 64 choirs battled it out to win a place in the final.

Conservatives could lose DUP support:

Nigel Dodds says that David Cameron

risks losing the support of the DUP over the Tories' handling of Scotland in the election campaign.

David Cameron and Nigel Dodds

In a letter to the Guardian, Nigel Dodds said that the Tories were in danger of "abusing" the House of Commons over Scotland.

'Double slap in the face' over rehab facility:

Derry Journal

The Derry Journal reports that a councillor campaigning for an addiction rehabilitation facility to be publicly funded for cross-border use has criticised both governments north and south.

McKinney criticises DUP's 'narrow interest'

SDLP health spokesman Fearghal McKinney has accused the DUP of "taking their narrow interest and putting that in front of wider societal need".

Feaghal McKinney

Mr McKinney said: "The DUP and the health minister have been sitting on a number of issues which are denying people here the proper access to services."

Bike scheme day one:

Belfast City Council says its

bike scheme has had a "fantastic start" but there have been some "technical issues".

Belfast Bikes

The council are looking into reports that a bike wouldn't release from the Cromac Street docking station, while the terminal at Central Station is out of order because of vandalism. The council also says its hotline is fully manned.

Fire death in Derry:

BBC Radio Foyle

One person has

died in a fire at De Burgh Square in Londonderry.

Londonderry fire

Kelly challenges DUP

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has welcomed the resignation of health minister Jim Wells and said that the big question for the DUP is about who will now be appointed health minister.

Gerry Kelly

Mr Kelly said: "I think people are waiting to see who's going to be appointed health minister because we don't want to continue down this line of anti-equality and indeed homophobia."

'Upset over lifestyle criticism'

BBC Talkback

One of the lesbian couple at the

centre of an incident with Jim Wells was upset by the minister telling her that he disagreed with her lifestyle, her daughter tells
BBC Talkback.


She says that Mr Wells was "very keen to apologise" but that "he wanted to say sorry but that he didn't agree" with what her mother was doing.

"What's the point in him saying sorry when he doesn't mean it?" she says. "It's an empty apology."

Will Wells' resignation hurt the DUP?

Mark Devenport

BBC News NI Political Editor

Could the

resignation of health minister Jim Wells
affect the DUP vote on 7 May?

Jim Wells

In terms of the DUP's heartland vote, it won't necessarily change much - but it may lose them support in areas of Belfast where the party is hoping to appeal to more liberal unionist voters.