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  1. Updates for Wednesday 29 April 2015

Live Reporting

By Ciaran Daly and Dave Culbert

All times stated are UK

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Ciaran McCauley


That's us for Wednesday - we'll see you again tomorrow for more news, sport, weather and travel from 07:00.

Emma Gornall

We'll leave you with this seasonal

photo by Emma Gornall taken at blustery Castlerock - may be approaching the summer but we're definitely not there yet.

Brighter tomorrow:

Geoff Maskell

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

It's been a cold one today and there'll be more showers, later but

the full forecast shows a drier and brighter start tomorrow.


WW2 convoy veterans hailed:

Eight local veterans of the

arctic convoys in World War Two have been toasted for their role in the campaign at HMS Hibernia, the NI headquarters of the Royal Naval Reserve.

Arctic Convoys
Sgt Ross Fernie

The veterans and their families were recipients of the Arctic Star Medal issued in 2013.

Church makes £60k donation to Nepal appeal:

The Presbyterian Church in Ireland has launched an appeal over the

earthquake in Nepal and says it's donating £60,000 to the international relief effort.

Nepal earthquake
Getty Images

Snooker event for Belfast:

BBC Sport NI

Belfast will host one of a number of new

'Home Series' ranking events as part of World Snooker's revamped 2016 tour.


Past winners:

BBC Sports Personality of the Year is

coming to Belfast this year, so no better time to look back on our three previous winners.


In 1972, it was Mary Peters, while
Barry McGuigan claimed the trophy in 1985 and
Tony McCoy in 2010. In McGuigan's case, the announcer even mistakenly announced a 'Barry McCaughlan' as the winner.

Band members found guilty:

Thirteen members of a loyalist flute band have been

convicted of provocatively playing a sectarian tune outside a Catholic Church.

Young Conway flute band

The members of the Belfast band, Young Conway Volunteers denied playing a rendition of the Famine Song and claimed they were performing Sloop John B by the Beach Boys.

Popping the question?

Mark Devenport

BBC News NI Political Editor


generated huge discussion this week - should Northern Ireland's voters be given the chance to
give their views on same-sex marriage through a referendum?

Same-sex marriage

It's an opportunity being given to those in the Republic, but it's less clear how a referendum might be called here even if all the parties agreed to it.

Attack brother returns home:

A County Antrim man who was given a suspended sentence for attacking his brother in Australia says he's

"totally delighted" to return home.

Barry Lyttle

Barry Lyttle from Ballycastle was hugged by family and friends as he arrived in Dublin Airport on Wednesday.

Sydenham crash cleared:

BBC NI Travel

Crash on Sydenham Bypass near Dee Street has been cleared, but knock-on delays remain in both directions.

Owner concern over Kincora comments:

The owner of the building that

used to be Kincora Boys' Home has described Peter Robinson's comments that it should be demolished as "inflammatory".


Leslie Black says he was extremely surprised and alarmed that Mr Robinson issued a press release to the Belfast Telegraph without contacting him.

Murder victim a 'harmless soul'

News Letter

The News Letter

reports that the 69-year-old Ballymena man whose death is now the subject of a murder investigation has been described as a 'harmless soul'.

Ballymena death scene

'Appalled' at alert hoax:

Alliance MLA Trevor Lunn says he's "appalled" by the hoax alert at Pond's Park Primary School.

Pond's Park

"I cannot begin to understand the mindset of somebody who would make a hoax bomb call at a primary school," he says.

Three car crash near City airport:

Crash tweet
BBC NI Travel

'Gay cake' judgement due on polling day

Mark Simpson


Judgement is expected in the Ashers Bakery 'gay cake' case on Thursday of next week May 7th - the same day as judgement in General Election.

Ashers shop
Getty Images

Premiership play-off highlights:

BBC Sport NI

Bangor will take a two-goal advantage into the second leg of their relegation/promotion play-off against Warrenpoint Town.

Kris Pike
Press Eye

You can watch highlights of the first leg here.

Appeal for missing woman

Police are searching for 51-year-old Elaine McDowell who has been missing since yesterday afternoon.

Elaine McDowell

Ms McDowell is considered a vulnerable person and was last seen walking on the Old Shore Road in Newtownards at around 12:45

Killer's protest over jail move:

News Letter

A killer staging a jail protest has launched a High Court challenge over being forced to move from his cellblock, says

the News Letter.


Crash cleared


Beltany Road now cleared following a two vehicle crash

School told alert was hoax

The school at the

centre of a five hour security alert in Lisburn says it was a hoax.

School reopens
Conor Macauley

Pond Park Primary will reopen as normal tomorrow.

Crash between Omagh and Newtownstewart

AA Roadwatch

School alert over:

The security alert at Pond Park Primary School

has ended. No word yet on from police on whether searches at the school found anything.

Pond Park Primary

SPOTY 'to bring positive outcomes':

BBC Sport NI

Belfast City Council and Tourism NI are supporting

BBC Sports Personality of the Year coming to Belfast.

Lord Mayor, Arder Carson said: "This is a great coup for our city and further enhances our reputation as a great venue for high quality, high profile events.

"Belfast, as it always does, will roll out the welcome mat - and we look forward to the positive outcomes this will undoubtedly bring".

Belfast 'crying out for events like SPOTY':

BBC Sport NI

World golf number one and runner-up for Sports Personality of the Year 2014 Rory McIlroy says: "I think Belfast has shown over the past few years that it can hold massive events like the

BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Rory McIlroy
Getty Images

"We have the facilities like the Odyssey Arena which hosted the MTV music awards. I think it will be huge, Belfast has been crying out for events like this, and in the years since the Millennium, Belfast has grown into a really vibrant city."

Belfast to host Sports Personality awards:

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015 is coming to Belfast, the corporation has announced.

AP McCoy

It will come live the Odyssey Arena on Sunday 20 December, in front of an estimated 8,000 audience.

School pupils 'safe':

Rev Andrew Thompson is the chair of Pond Park Primary School's board of governors - he says the children are "safe and secure" after a

bomb threat was made on the school.

"That's the number one priority," he says. "I just heard there was a security alert and children have been evacuated off-site."

Hamilton happy to fill-in:

Marie-Louise Connolly

BBC News NI Health Correspondent

Finance Minister Simon Hamilton says he's more than happy to stand in as

temporary health minister until a permanent appointment is made.

Simon Hamilton

Speaking at a Marie Curie event, Simon Hamilton said that while he enjoys his current post, he'd accept wherever his party leader decides to send him.

Monday's marathon weather:

Barra Best

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

Are you doing the Belfast Marathon on Monday? At the minute, the weather may be unsettled but you'll be able to get more accurate forecasts closer to the time on BBC Newsline, BBC Radio Ulster and on the BBC News NI website.

Monday marathon weather

Report on E. coli outbreak:

The Public Health Agency's

full report on the E. coli outbreak at Flicks restaurant has been published.

E Coli report

The report says it could not definitively determine the source of the outbreak, but that exposure to contaminated food, in this case chopped parsley, or an ill staff member were the most likely reasons.

Bomb alert 'a disgrace':

A parent of a child

caught up in a bomb alert in Lisburn says whoever has put them at risk is "very very sick".

Pond Park

Alica Sangan tells the BBC that she was "shook up to hear" that there had been a security alert at Pond's Park Primary School.

She says: "When I got to the school my kids were worried and hadn't a clue what was going on. The school was in chaos and parents were running in to grab their kids. I think it's a disgrace that someone can put innocent kids at risk."

Apology over E. coli:

The managing director of Moviehouse Cinemas, which owned Flicks Restaurant, says he "deeply sorry" for an E. coli outbreak that has seen the

company fined £110,000.

Flicks Restaurant

"I am personally devastated that any business of mine could have caused people to become ill," says Michael McAdam. ""The company fully accepts the penalty imposed by the court." He added that the company will not reopen the restaurant.

Roadworks causing delays:

Trafficwatch NI

Trafficwatch NI has just

tweeted that there are delays on the Falls Road out of town and the Grosvenor Road approaching the Falls Road/Grosvenor Road junction due to roadworks in the area.

Falls road delays

'Device at school' threat:

Police say they received a call this morning claiming a device had been left at Pond Park Primary School. The school

was evacuated..


Over 600 pupils and staff have been moved to Laurelhill Community College (above). Ch Insp Derek McCamley says police are now searching Pond Park's school buildings.

Council welcomes E. coli decision:

Belfast City Council says it welcomes the "significant fine"

imposed on Flicks Restaurant for what was described at the time as Northern Ireland's worst E. coli outbreak.


The council says it was "extremely fortunate that no lives were lost in the outrbreak".

Uber coming to Belfast:

Julian O'Neill

BBC News NI Business Correspondent

US company Uber, a mobile-app based taxi business, hopes to establish an operation in Belfast before the end of the year.

Getty Images

The firm already operates in more than 300 cities worldwide, including Dublin and London. It has advertised for a general manager position in Belfast, but will also require an operating licence.

School bomb threat:

Michael Fitzpatrick


The police are carrying out searches in the grounds of Pond Park Primary School in Lisburn.

Pond Park Primary School

Rain cloud building:

Angie Phillips

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

There's dry and sunny spells in the south and east but plenty of lumpy shower cloud building towards the west - it'll be heading eastwards today.

Wednesday weather